Literary festival honors first Winter scholars

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 2, 2000

Looking to honor a former governor with a lasting tribute, the Natchez Literary Celebration welcomes its first William Winter scholars this year.

Outstanding humanities division students and faculty members from Mississippi universities, community colleges and an area high school are guests at the annual celebration taking place this week in Natchez.

&uot;We wanted to honor former Gov. William Winter with something that will live forever,&uot; said celebration Co-Chairman Carolyn Vance Smith. &uot;Last year, at the closing ceremonies of the 10th anniversary celebration, the title was bestowed as a surprise to him. The scholars are chosen by their respective institutions and are obviously considered exceptional. This is our chance to honor them in some way.&uot;

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Scholars are treated to a guided bus tour of historic religious sites free of charge. The institutions allow their scholars to choose from the various activities offered at the celebration in which they wish to participate.

&uot;I really am excited about being selected,&uot; said scholar Buck Foster of Mississippi State University. &uot; Just being in Natchez is great. It has such a checkered past, and since I am a history major, I love it. Being chosen gives us an opportunity to go other places and see other people at no cost – now I’ll come back whether I am selected again or not.&uot;

Jill Childress, a history major from the University of Southern Mississippi, loves seeing so many of the South’s influential people at one time. &uot;(Speaker) Will Campbell provided so much religious inspiration to me, and being able to see him is an honor,&uot; she said.

&uot;I’m already borrowing notes,&uot; said Libby Voss, Cathedral High School’s faculty honoree. Voss, who teaches 11th and 12th grade American history, government and economics, intends to use the knowledge acquired here to enhance her teaching techniques.

&uot;This is the perfect year for me to be chosen to attend the Literary Celebration. Since I am a history major, I’ve been fascinated by the variety of the topics,&uot; she said.