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Schmidt appointed to Alabama Historical Commission

Governor Bob Riley has appointed Dr. John Schmidt to the Alabama Historical Commission.

Schmidt is the senior vice chancellor at Troy University where he is engaged in teaching leadership courses and developing academic programs at the main campus in Troy. In addition, Schmidt leads university efforts for fundraising, marketing, alumni growth, radio and television outreach and external programs.

Schmidt said he is honored to have been appointed by Gov. Riley and is looking forward to serving on the state Historical Commission.

“I had the honor of being appointed by Gov. Riley to the USS Alabama Battleship Commission and that was my first opportunity to serve on an appointed statewide board,” Schmidt said. “I have always been interested in the history of our state and this is an opportunity to serve in another capacity.”

Schmidt said the mission of the Alabama Historical Commission is to preserve, protect and interpret the history of the Great State of Alabama.

“Alabama has sites of great historical significance and I want to find out more about these places and what we can do, as a commission, to make the sites attractive to tourists, as well as our own residents.”

Schmidt said he has lived in both Georgia and North Carolina and those states do a tremendous job of preserving and promoting their historic sites.

“We can do the same,” he said.

Schmidt cited the restoration of the Mobile Point Lighthouse as one example of recent efforts to preserve and promote Alabama’s historic sites.

An example of a prime opportunity to develop an area that will be a tourist magnet, as well as provide recreation for Alabamians, is the Cahaba River Project.

“If developed properly, the project has great potential for canoeing, cycling, camping and picnicking,” he said.

Schmidt said the Alabama Historical Commission has an obligation to help future generations understand the state’s history so that they will take great pride in Alabama.

“Our young citizens should have an appreciation for the heritage of our state and that will come as we better promote our historical sites and make sure that they are preserved for generations to come,” Schmidt said. “My first meeting with the Alabama Historical Commission will be on May 5 and I’m looking forward to working with the Commission and learning more about Alabama.”

Schmidt served in the United States Marine Corps as colonel and commanded at all levels in Vietnam, Desert Shield/Storm, Bosnia and Haiti. He graduated from the Air War College and is an honor graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. In 2004, he completed his doctorate of education from Nova Southeastern University.

Schmidt is active in the Troy community and is involved with the Troy Rotary Club, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and the Pike County Economic Development Board.

Schmidt will replace Janice Hawkins of Troy on the Commission.

Frank White, Alabama Historical Commission executive director, said he is grateful for the dedication and expertise Commissioner Hawkins shared with the historical commission during her service.

“We look forward to working with Commissioner Schmidt,” White said. “He is an excellent addition to the commission.”