Dyess Symposium

Perry Smith introduces this year’s inductees

On Thursday, January 5th, 2017, the Augusta Museum of History hosted the 7th annual Jimmie Dyess Symposium. Dyess, the only person to have earned America’s two highest awards for heroism, the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal, was honored at this event.

Three were saluted for a lifetime of service to their nation, their community and their fellow citizens: Medal of Honor Recipient Lieutenant Colonel Harold Arthur “Hal” Fritz, Beverly Barnhart, an educator extraordinaire, and Ambassador Theodore R. Britton Jr.

Connor Dyess Smith, Jimmie Dyess’s daughter, was there to unveil the permanent exhibit that contains the names of new and past recipients.  Connor was eight years old when her father was killed.


Lieutenant Colonel Harold Arthur “Hal” Fritz

Harold Arthur "Hal" Fritz

Harold Arthur “Hal” Fritz

Harold Arthur “Hal” Fritz was born in Chicago, Tll inois, and earned a degree in elementary education from the Uni versity of Tampa. He was working toward a career in veterinary medi cine when he got his draft notice in 1966. After advanced armor training, he was accepted for Officer Candidate School. Graduating as a second lieutenant early in 1967, he was assigned to the 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The following year, he was sent to VIetnam and assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and by January 11 , 1969, was serving as a First Lieutenant in Troop A, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

During a firefight on that day, in Binh Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, Fritz showed conspicuous leadership despite being seriously wounded. He was subsequently promoted to Captain and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Harold Fritz returned to the United States in the spring of 1969. He was serving with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington, early in 1971 when a call came from the Department of the Army informing him that he was to receive the Medal of Honor. The White House ceremony was conducted by President Richard Nixon on March 2, 1971. Leaving his infant son at home, Fritz was accompanied by his father and mother, brother, wife, and elder son and daughter. Fritz reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring from the Army after twenty-seven years of service.

Fritz served as Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs from 1995-2003 and as Transportation Coordinator of the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2004-2014. He currently Iives in Peoria, Illinois, and works there at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Bob Michel Outpatient clinic.


Beverly Barnhart
Growing up in rural Indiana, Beverly Barnhart was raised around the arts, but her passion has been educating children. “I know what they need and that is firm discipline, strong teachers, and a well-rounded education to include the arts,” she sa id. She attended Central Florida Unive rsity where she received both her bachelor and master degrees.

Beverly Barnhart

Beverly Barnhart

Her career as an educator has included being an elementary, middle, and high school teacher, as well as a consultant on magnet schools in Macon, Savannah, and Albany, Georgia, and Manchester, Massachusetts.

ln the late 1970s, Barnhart helped establish C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet, A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet and John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet, where she served as the nationally recognized school’s first principal for 19 years. Barnhart was the Magnet School Director for Augusta from 1979 to 1982. She retired in 2000. Her affiliations have included Richmond County Association of Principals, Georgia Association of Secondary Principals, the Augusta Museum of History Board of Trustees, the Morris Museum of Art, and First Baptist Church of Augusta.
Barnhart has received numerous awards over her career: PTA Leadership Award in 1982, Outstanding Educator Award in 2000 from the Georgia Association of Educa tional Leaders, and Resolutions from both the Richmond County Board of Education and the Georgia Legislature for Excellence in Education in 2000.
In an Augusta Chronicle article, Joe Bankoff, president and chief executive officer of The Woodruff Arts Center, praised Barnhart for her insight, persistence and discipline that established Davidson as a template for others to follow. “It’s not the magnet schools for math and science at the top of the heap. It’s the arts. And Barnhart ‘blazed the trail’ for infusing arts into the classroom.”


Theodore R. Britton, Jr.
Ambassador Theodore R. Britton Jr. was born on October 17, 1925, in North Augusta, South Carolina.
His family relocated to New York City in 1936. Britton left high school in January of 1944 to join the U. S. Marine Corps where he served in the Pacific Theater during World War ll. After being discharged, he enrolled at New York University until the beginning of the Korean War. Britton was then called to active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps where he served until May of 1951. He then resumed his studies at New York University and graduated with his B.A. degree in banking and finance in February of 1952.

Ambassador Theodore R. Britton Jr.

Ambassador Theodore R. Britton Jr.

Bri tton worked at Carver Federal Savings and Loan Association from 1955 to 1964. From there, he became president of the American Baptist Convention and a leader in the non-profit housing field. Britton joined HUD in 1971 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. As the HUD official managing international research, his volunteer program for the U. S. Information Agency attracted favorable attention. Britton was nominated by President Gerald R. Ford to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and Grenada and as the U. S. Special Representative to Antigua, Dominica, St. Chri stopher-Nevis-Anguill a, St. Lucia and St. Vincent on November 17, 1974. Britton was elected as vice-chair of the Group on Urban Affairs at the Pari s-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 197 1, and later as president.
Upon retirement, Britton was honored by the City Councils of Newark, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal on June 30, 2012, in recognition of his services with the U.S. Marine Corps’ Montford Point Marines. Britton is a Life Member of the Second Marine Division, Montford Point Marine Association, and the Association for Intelligence Officers. Britton has served as Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Albania since 2006. He is also the Honorary Chairman of KristaI University in Tirana, Albania where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree in 2009.
Ambassador Bri tton is married to the former Vernell Elizabeth Stewart of Jacksonvil le, Florida. The Brittons live in Atlanta.’


The 2016 Honorees: Dr. Julius S. Scott; Judy Woodruff and SFC (Ret) Sammy L. Davis

The 2016 Honorees: Dr. Julius S. Scott; Judy Woodruff and SFC (Ret) Sammy L. Davis

On Thursday, January 7th, 2016, the Augusta Museum of History hosted the 6th annual Jimmie Dyess Symposium.

For 2016, three were saluted for a lifetime of service to their nation, their community and their fellow citizens: Medal of Honor recipient Army Sergeant Sammy L. Davis, Judy Woodruff, an American television news anchor, journalist, and writer, and one extraordinary citizen of Augusta: Dr. Julius S. Scott, Jr.

Perry Smith addresses the gathering

Perry Smith addresses the gathering


On Thursday,  January 8th, 2015, the Augusta Museum of History hosted the 5th Annual Jimmie Dyess Symposium.
This year’s event recognized four individuals for a lifetime of service to their nation, their community and their fellow citizens: Medal of Honor recipient Barney Barnum, Susan Eisenhower, and Augustans Brian and Neita Mulherin.

Brian Mulherin speaks about being adopted

Brian Mulherin speaks about being adopted

Neita Mulherin is congratulated afterwards

Neita Mulherin is congratulated afterwards

Medal of Honor recipient Barney Barnum, poses afterwards with local ROTC students

Medal of Honor recipient Barney Barnum, poses afterwards with local ROTC students

Susan Eisenhower posed with attendees afterwards

Susan Eisenhower posed with attendees afterwards

For more photos from the 2015 event visit our photo page.


 

4th Annual Symposium held January 9, 2014

At the 2014 symposium there was a surprise. In addition to the three recipients that had been previously announced, the Dyess Symposium creators Perry and Connor Smith were honored with the award as well.

Jeff Foley surprises Perry and Connor Smith

Jeff Foley surprises Perry and Connor

Gen. Jeff Foley, (retired) interrupted the unveiling of the trophy with this years names to reveal the surprise addition of Perry and Connor.

Here’s a link to the story posted on the Augusta Chronicle’s website.

Each year one or more individuals receive the Dyess Symposium’s Distinguished American Award. For 2014, the announced recipients who were  saluted for a lifetime of service to their nation, their community and their fellow citizens were Medal of Honor recipient Al Rascon, and two extraordinary citizens of Augusta: Ann Boardman and Dick Daniel.

Honoree Ann Boardman (right) looks at the Dyess Trophy while holding flowers that she was presented.

Honoree Ann Boardman (right) looks at the Dyess Trophy while holding flowers that she was presented.

Lieutenant Colonel A. J. Dyess, US Marine Corps Reserve, grew up in Augusta Georgia. Dyess earned the Carnegie Medal when he saved the lives of two women when he was a teenager. Dyess, an Eagle Scout and a strong swimmer, dove into the surf during a big storm off the coast of South Carolina at Sullivan’s Island. Out of sight for a period of time, he emerged through the heavy surf with both women in tow.

Honoree Dick Daniel

Honoree Dick Daniel

The Carnegie Medal was established in 1904 and is awarded to civilians who, at great risk to their lives, rescue or attempt to rescue someone in grave danger.

After graduating from Clemson in 1931, Dyess returned to Augusta. He joined the Marines in 1936. In February, 1944, on Roi Namur, Dyess went behind enemy lines to save four wounded Marines. He was killed the next day while leading his men as they attacked a Japanese pillbox. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously. At the time of his death, Dyess was a battalion commander in the 4th Marine Division.

 

Honoree retired Army Lt. Col. Alfred Rascon receives a framed collection of images from the Augusta National Golf Club.

Honoree retired Army Lt. Col. Alfred Rascon receives a framed collection of images from the Augusta National Golf Club.

The recipients for 2015  have already been announced.

Connor Dyess Smith, Jimmie Dyess’s daughter, will be in attendance. Connor was eight years old when her father was killed.

Questions? Please contact Major General Perry Smith, US Air Force (ret.) at genpsmith@aol.com or tel 706 3999754.

Jimmie Dyess

Jimmie Dyess

 

Three individuals were honored with the Symposium’s 2013 Distinguished American Award at the 3rd annual symposium held January 10, 2013. Medal of Honor recipient Thomas G. Kelley, Governor Carl Sanders, and combat veteran and major league pitcher, Lou Brissie. Each, in his own way, has given a lifetime of service to this nation and to his fellow citizens.

Sponsorships at various levels are needed. A sponsorship form is available for download by clicking  here.

The Dyess Award showing the names of its three 2012 recipients

The Dyess Award showing the names of its three 2012 recipients

The Augusta Museum of History hosted the second annual Jimmie Dyess Symposium on January 12, 2012. D. Douglas Barnard Jr. and Maj. Bruce P. Crandall received the symposium’s Distinguished American Award.

Barnard served in the Army during World War II and was a congressman from 1977 to 1993. He played a major role in the creation of the Community Foundation of the CSRA and the Wounded Warrior Project of the CSRA, which is now known as the Augusta Warrior Project.
Crandall received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the 1965 battle of la Drang Valley during the Vietnam War. He was portrayed in the 2002 movie We Were Soldiers.

Doug Barnard being congratulated in front of the Distinguished American Award

Doug Barnard being congratulated in front of the Distinguished American Award

Questions are welcome. Please contact Nancy Glasser at 706-722-8454 or email her at amh@augustamuseum.org.