FSC names 73rd Honorary Chancellor
LAKELAND, Fla. (March 14, 2007) – Dr. James Hadley Billington, the nation’s Librarian of Congress since 1987, will be honored as the 73rd Honorary Chancellor for Florida Southern College. Ceremonies will take place during the College’s Founders Day convocation in Branscomb Auditorium on March 19 at 10:10 a.m. Following the convocation, Billington will participate in the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay, Jr. Archive Center of the Roux Library, which takes place at 11:30 a.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
“Florida Southern College has an impressive collection of historical documents, which we can soon share with not only our College’s learning community, but also students and researchers internationally. We are also honored to partner with the Florida Methodist Conference to provide archive space for these materials,” said FSC president, Dr. Anne B. Kerr. “We are honored to host a leader and scholar of Dr. Billington’s stature on this historic and celebratory day in our history.” The president will present Billington with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the program.
Billington has championed the Library of Congress’s American Memory National Digital Library Program, which makes freely available on-line more than 8.5 million American historical items from library collections and other research institutions.
As a noted Russian scholar, author, and historian, he has written books about Russia, including “The Face of Russia” (1998), the companion book to the three-part television series of the same name, which aired on Public Broadcasting stations in 1998.
Billington is a graduate of Princeton University and earned his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Following service with the U.S. Army, he taught history at Harvard University and Princeton University.
Florida Southern has awarded the title of Honorary Chancellor, the highest recognition the College bestows on an individual, since 1934. Among the recipients through the years have been such nationally recognized figures as Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, President Gerald Ford, Lynne Cheney, Robert A.M. Stern, Robert Shaw, Sir John Templeton, Frances Mayes, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Local honorees have included Jack M. Berry, Charles H. Jenkins, Sr., Truman and Marie Miller, and J. Lanier Upshaw.
About Florida Southern College