DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg presented the state's highest awards for history this week at the State Capitol, including a lifetime achievement award to Roger Natte of Fort Dodge.
Overseen by the State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees, the Excellence in History Awards recognize individuals, organizations and communities who have made outstanding contributions to the study and practice of Iowa history.
“I am proud of our state and passionate about its history,” Reynolds said. “So it gives me great pleasure to recognize this year's recipients of the Excellence in History Awards. I appreciate the dedication they have shown in preserving and sharing the history of our state and congratulate them on this outstanding achievement."
"I congratulate all of our recipients for sharing the stories of Iowans both past and present," said Tova Brandt of Harlan, chair of the State Historical Society of Iowa's Board of Trustees. "This year's award winners have made significant contributions to our understanding of Iowa's rich and diverse history and are highly deserving of this recognition."
Natte received the William J. Petersen and Edgar R. Harlan Lifetime Achievement Award during the presentation ceremony. As Fort Dodge's local historian, he oversees the Webster County Historical Society's collection of historic photos, articles, books and more. He has also written more than two dozen articles related to Iowa history and has served on several history-related boards and commissions.
The award is presented in honor of Petersen, a long-time curator of the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City, and Harlan, who served as the second director and curator of the Historical Department of Iowa. Both played key roles in acquiring many of the historical society's most important collections of artifacts.
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.