Vicksburg Mayor and Aldermen Honor Ferris with Key to the City, Proclamation – The Vicksburg Post
The Council of Mayor and Aldermen of Vicksburg took a break at the start of their meeting to honor one of Vicksburg’s members, Dr. William Reynolds Ferris.
Ferris, who was honored Friday by the Mississippi Council for the Humanities for his work documenting Mississippi culture, history and folklore, was honored by the board with a key to the city and a proclamation fixing Friday as Dr. William Reynolds Ferris Day in Vicksburg.
“It is probably my greatest honor to be here on this occasion,” said Mayor George Flaggs Jr. “We honor a most distinguished person; a hometown hero.
Former Vicksburg Mayor Robert Walker, who said he met Ferris when the two men were teaching at Jackson State College at the time, said Ferris “comes from a long line of humble but distinguished contributors to the creation of this city and this state; his track record is too vast to be quoted on this occasion.
Walker said Ferris single-handedly elevated the humanities and the human spirit through his work setting precedents and creating sites to study Southern culture.
“He brings honor to our city, to Mississippi, to America and to humanity wherever it is,” Walker said. “He represents the best that is created in the image of our Creator.”
“There’s no greater honor than being recognized at home where people really know you and I can’t tell you how deeply moved and proud I am to receive this recognition,” Ferris said. . “It’s a double pleasure to be here.”
Ferris also thanked the council and remembered the teachers and people in the community who helped shape his life growing up.
Former president of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris is a writer, folklorist, and documentarian who has written or edited 10 books on Mississippi culture and history.
Ferris was founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. In 2018, he produced the Grammy Award-winning “Voices of Mississippi” box set featuring his field recordings and documentary films. He is currently the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was president of the NEH from 1997 to 2001.
About John Surratt
John Surratt graduated from Louisiana State University with a General Studies degree. He worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been on staff at the Vicksburg Post since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul’s Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.