Historic Deerfield museum is proud to announce the recipients of its annual awards. Edwin S. Grosvenor, Editor-in-Chief of American Heritage magazine, is the recipient of the 2012 President’s Award. Other
honorees include Henry “Hank” and Mary Flynt for leadership, Roger and Meredith Parsons for preservation, and Kevin Sweeney for his work raising awareness of Historic Deerfield.
“Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate the important work of those who support and promote an interest in and study of American history,” said Philip Zea, President of Historic Deerfield. “People like Ed Grosvenor, Hank and Mary Flynt, Roger and Mary Parsons, and Kevin Sweeney represent the best of this generation’s champions for knowledge of the past.”
As a publisher and author, Grosvenor is dedicated to making the history and heritage of the United States accessible to a broad audience. His connection to Historic Deerfield spans almost four decades¾starting back in the late 1960s when he was a student at Deerfield Academy, and continues today. He plays a leading role in presenting history in a way that engages readers and conveys the importance of the events that shaped this country.
Hank and Mary Flynt are recognized with the Leadership Award, in part because of their “demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility…whose generosity encourages others to take a philanthropic leadership role.” The Flynts’ support of Historic Deerfield is truly exceptional. Hank served as Vice President of the Board from 1957-1981 and Chair through 2002, totaling 45 years of service. He and Mary have logged countless hours soliciting donations and finding new donors. They also played a leading role in the capital campaign for the Flynt Center of Early New England Life which bears their family’s name, and Hank continues to serve as an Honorary Trustee.
“If it hadn’t been for Hank, there might not even be an Historic Deerfield,” Zea points out. “It was while delivering him to Deerfield Academy that his parents, Henry and Helen Flynt, fell in love with the town and eventually founded the museum to preserve and interpret it for future generations.”
Roger and Mary Parsons are recipients of the annual Preservation Award in part for their help to “build and preserve Historic Deerfield’s collection of historical artifacts.” Through their generosity, the museum became the home of the Charles Warner Hurst and Julia Bates Hurst Furniture Collection consisting of 18 pieces of significant American furniture. Roger served as a Trustee, and has continued to help to preserve the site and its collections as a Director of the Pettinos and Hyde & Watson Foundations.
“Roger is fondly remembered for his interest in Historic Deerfield’s staff,” said Zea. “He and Meredith are true friends and cohorts.”
Finally, the Ambassador Award is given to Kevin M. Sweeney, Professor of American Studies and History at Amherst College. Sweeney has literally told the Deerfield story to tens of thousands of individuals over the last three decades. Building on the knowledge gained as Director of Academic Programs at Historic Deerfield (1987-89), he has published extensively on the architecture and material culture of colonial New England and in particular, that of Deerfield. He is co-author of Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield, and co-editor of Captive Histories: English, French, and Native Narratives of the 1704 Deerfield Raid.
“Kevin is a regular and tireless speaker at Deerfield events ranging from Guide training sessions to lecture series,” noted Zea. “He has substantially raised awareness of Historic Deerfield for this and future generations.”
The awards are presented at the annual Asher Benjamin and Wells Societies Dinner. For more information on Historic Deerfield, call 413-775-7214 or visit www.historic-deerfield.org.