Distinguished Alumni Awards


Distinguished Service Award

Jennifer Word Dickey (77A, 80C)

Jennifer Word Dickey

Those asked to describe historian Jennifer Word Dickey consistently express two words: “passionate” and “giving,” traits that are certainly in evidence in her long history of service to Berry College,

Kennesaw State University, the local Atlanta community and to the state of Georgia. Throughout her career she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making history accessible to the public and advocating for preservation of historic resources across the state.

As coordinator of the Public History Program and an associate professor at KSU, she trains a new generation of students to become engaged scholars in public history with a commitment to community service.

Her service to Berry through her museum, historic preservation and curatorial work began in 2004 when she became the curator at Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum and continued later when she became the director of Historic Berry and Oak Hill. Beginning work as a preservation consultant in 2006, she oversaw the complete restoration and preservation of Roosevelt Cabin and Cabin in the Pines, as well as preservation work on the House o’ Dreams and the restoration of the Frost Chapel windows.

She began Berry’s historic marker program, for which she continues to serve as the curator, greatly expanding the museum’s educational mission by helping visitors around the campus learn more Berry history. She also has worked with the Georgia Historical Society to create new historic markers for both Oak Hill and the Original Cabin.

She researched and documented the history of the Berry schools on the mountain campus, resulting in a book greatly admired by Berry high school and academy alumni. During the process she also conducted dozens of oral history interviews, all of which are now stored at the Berry College Archives. She also assisted with the creation of the High School Sports Hall of Fame and has served as the Alumni Council’s historian and vice president of the Heritage Committee.

She frequently volunteers to provide consulting services and advice to individuals and organizations that are seeking to preserve or interpret historical resources. In partnership with Cobb Landmarks, she developed curriculum materials to help the Root House Museum in Marietta, Ga., energize their educational programs for K-12 students. Alongside the city of Acworth, Ga., she created and implemented a bicycle tour of the city, developed an exhibit in the depot to promote heritage tourism, and curated an exhibit on the African- American community for the local Rosenwald school.

She received KSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences 2016 Outstanding Engagement Award for her work with these and many other local community partners. She recently co-authored Memories of the Mansion: The Story of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, as a service to the State of Georgia, contributing all of her royalties to Friends of the Mansion, a non-profit supporting historic preservation of the Governor’s Mansion collection. The book won numerous awards, including the Georgia Writer’s Association “Author of the Year” and the Georgia Historical Society’s Presidential Citation.