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East Tennessee State University professor Ted Olson received the Ramsey Award for Lifetime Achievement. Olson is a professor in the Department of Appalachian Studies in East Tennessee State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the author of numerous works in his field, and a music historian who has seven Grammy nominations. (photo credit: ETSU)

The Ramsey award, named for ETHS founder Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey, is reserved for one individual annually, who, over the course of a lifetime, has made outstanding contributions to the understanding and preservation of East Tennessee history.

Steve Cotham was awarded the Ramsey Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in building the McClung Historical Collection, in Knoxville, into a nationally recognized library and archive, and his partnership efforts with the East Tennessee Historical Society. 

John Rice Irwin was posthumously awarded the Ramsey Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to preserving the heritage of Southern Appalachia, publishing numerous books on the subject, and for his creation of the Museum of Appalachia located in Clinton, Tennessee. He passed away at the age of 91 on Sunday, january 16, 2022. 

Jeff Wells, State of Tennesseehonoring the legacy of his inspirational and foundational leadership in historical administration, preservation, and interpretation in Tennessee State Parks and beyond.