Governor John B. Swainson Award for outstanding contributions
to preserving Michigan's history to be presented May 31 at Capitol
May 22, 2012
The Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Historical Commission today announced that the 2012 Governor John B. Swainson Award will be presented to three recipients in the Capitol Rotunda at a noon ceremony on Thursday, May 31. This year's winners hail from Ingham, Calhoun and Oakland counties.
Given by the Michigan Historical Commission to state, county or municipal employees who have gone above and beyond their official job duties to help preserve Michigan's history, the prestigious Swainson Award originated in 1996 to honor the governor, legislator and Supreme Court justice who headed the commission for many years.
"Our historic resources are among Michigan's greatest treasures, and the Swainson Award helps us pay tribute to those who serve as stewards of our state's rich heritage," said Edward Surovell, president of the Michigan Historical Commission. "This year's winners have earned the honor with their passion for keeping history alive in their communities."
Jennifer Boardman - Michigan Court of Appeals:
Preservation of Belle Isle Aquarium, Detroit
Jennifer Boardman, of Lathrup Village, is a judicial assistant in the Michigan Court of Appeals. She believes that the common thread in many court cases involving teenage defendants is the absence of high-quality, low-cost experiences for young people and families to share. She recognized the Belle Isle Aquarium, designed by architect Albert Kahn, as a special place that could offer opportunities for shared learning and wonder, strengthening families and encouraging community pride.
As a founding member of the Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium, Boardman was a primary fundraiser and grant-writer for its restoration projects, facilitating $75,000 toward structural improvements. In 2010, Central Michigan University gave her the Outstanding Thesis Award for her case study on the closing of the aquarium. She has written a book on the aquarium that Wayne State University Press plans to publish. Her passion and efforts serve as an inspirational example for the entire region.
Nancy F. Brown - State Bar of Michigan:
Michigan Legal Milestones Program, Statewide
Nancy Brown, of Williamston, has worked for the State Bar of Michigan for more than 36 years, overseeing its communications division. She has been instrumental in developing and nurturing the Michigan Legal Milestones program, inaugurated in 1986, making Michigan's rich legal history accessible to everyone. The program's brass plaques highlight significant decisions, trials, events and people who have made an impact on Michigan's history, landscape and laws. Each milestone is a unique story, and the program serves as a vehicle to tell that story, no matter how contentious it may be.
Topics covered by the Milestones include historic Michigan trials, the work of crusaders for justice, the legality of Native American tribal laws and customs, woman suffrage, the fall of McCarthyism, eminent domain, and the end of Jim Crow laws. This law-related educational focus is unique and would be lost without Nancy's guiding hand, oversight and careful budgeting.
Joann E. Germinder - Department of Defense:
Guest Curator at Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing
Joann Germinder, of Battle Crreek, is a logistics data quality analyst with the U.S. Department of Defense and a Girl Scout Leader. She played a critical role as guest curator for the Michigan Historical Museum's new exhibit, "Follow the Girls! 100 Years of Girl Scouting."
Germinder gave hundreds of volunteer hours, loaned her personal collection of Girl Scout artifacts and assisted in the research, design, fabrication, installation and opening of the exhibit. Never having worked in a museum, she learned about making artifact loan arrangements, documenting loans and the procedures for handling and transporting historical objects and then helped create detailed records for more than 800 objects from 13 different lenders that became part of the exhibit. She clarified and corrected information, helped locate photos and objects, found mannequins on Craigslist and directed traffic when more than 2,800 Girl Scouts visited the museum on opening day. She continues to work with the Girl Scout docents every Saturday and plans to do so until the end of the exhibit's showing on Aug. 26, 2012.
The Michigan Historical Commission advises the Department of Natural Resources on Michigan history and the work of the Michigan Historical Center. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/mhcommission.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.