Bill Jones III has been honored for his contribution to the Georgia Historical Society.

Jones, who now serves as senior adviser for the Sea Island Co., received the John Macpherson Berrien Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday in Savannah.

The award is named in memory of John Macpherson Berrien, the society’s first president and attorney general of the United States under President Andrew Jackson. It is given in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in furthering the society’s mission to collect and teach Georgia and American history.

Patricia Meagher, director of communications for the society, says it’s the organization’s top accolade.

“It is the highest service award presented by the society — our Medal of Honor, so to speak,” Meagher said. “It was presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the Georgia Historical Society to Mr. Jones, whose leadership as member and chairman of the board of curators was critical to the society’s continued growth and achievement on a state and national level.”

The award was presented by Robert Jepson Jr., board chairman, and Dr. W. Todd Groce, president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Historical Society.

During his remarks, Groce detailed how important Jones’ contribution has been to the organization.

“Bill Jones is a seminal figure in the history of the Georgia Historical Society,” Groce said. “His leadership transformed GHS and took us to the next level. Bill represented a new type of leader for GHS, someone who possessed a love of history and a philanthropist who had strong ties to the business community.

“When he joined the board in 2003, he immediately and instinctively understood that if we were to reach our goals and fulfill our mission we needed to transform the board from a largely programmatic one to a philanthropic one. By the time he stepped down as chairman in 2012, the transformation of the board was complete and we had in place a leadership team that possessed the influence and power we needed to reach new heights of achievement.”

Past recipients include distinguished Georgians such as Bo DuBose, Craig Barrow, Tom Watson Brown, Howard Morrison, Lisa White, W.W. Abbott and Lee and Emma Alder.

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