National Medal of Honor Heritage Center Receives Prestigious Awards from Tennessee Association of Museums

National Medal of Honor Heritage Center Receives Prestigious Awards from Tennessee Association of Museums


May 21st, 2021

CHATTANOOGA, TN–During their recent annual conference, the Tennessee Association of Museums(T.A. M.) recognized Chattanooga’s National Medal of Honor Heritage Center with four prestigious awards. The association is a statewide membership organization of Tennessee’s to museums and historical sites, whose mission is to inspire, engage, and connect to their audiences and communities. 

The purpose of the TAM Awards of Excellence program is to recognize, encourage, and promote excellence within the activities of the Tennessee museum community. Each year the group accepts nominations from museum staff and individuals. Each entry is presented to the TAM Awards Committee which makes the final judging and decisions on the awards. Awards are based on creativity, originality, resourcefulness, success, support of the museum mission statement, and utilization of staff and volunteers. Categories include permanent, temporary, blockbuster, and traveling exhibits; educational programming; special events; publications; digital media; audiovisual; special recognition; and volunteerism. 

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Group 1 (L-R) Shana Haynes, E. Tennessee TAM Awards Representative, TN Assoc. of Museums

Hannah Sher, Dir. Of Education, National Medal of Honor Heritage Center

Molly Randolph, Curator, National Medal of Honor HeritageCenter

Keith Hardison, Exec. Director, National Medal of Honor Heritage Center

Steven Thomas, Director of Program Support, National Medal of Honor Heritage Center

Charles Googe, President-Elect, TN Assoc. of Museum

I am delighted to announce that the Heritage Center has received four awards out of four submissions to the Tennessee Association of Museums annual meeting”, exclaimed Keith Hardison, Executive Director of the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.

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The awards are as follows: Virtual History EducationProgram-Award of Excellence, Dr. Mary Walker Temporary Exhibit-Award of Excellence, Permanent Exhibit-Award of Commendation, OrientationFilm-Award of Commendation. In addition, the Virtual History Education Program was a finalist for the Past Presidents Award.” 

I am thrilled that the efforts of all who were involved in these important projects have been recognized at this statewide professional conference”, Hardison continued. “It reinforces the feedback we receive from our guests and is another reason why folks should come see for themselves and learn these amazing stories.”

“During a year like no other, Tennessee museums showed their creativity, resourcefulness, and ability to adapt to the times, while still providing outstanding programs and opportunities for their audiences. Our state is fortunate to have so many excellent museums and historic sites that are committed to providing exceptional exhibitions, events, and educational programming for visitors to enjoy,” stated Tori Mason, Interpretive Programs Manager at Nashville Zoo, who serves as the chair of the TAM Awards Committee. 

Located in downtown Chattanooga at the TN Aquarium Plaza, theNational Medal of HonorHeritage Center is a 19,000-square-foot facility featuring dynamic exhibits that tell the real-life stories of the Medal of Honor recipients and how they exemplify six common character traits which represent the highest ideals of our country: Patriotism, Citizenship, Courage, Integrity, Sacrifice, and Commitment. Through these incredible stories of bravery and valor, visitors leave with the conviction that they too can be a hero by emulating these values in their daily actions to help make their community a better place. 

The National Medal of Honor Heritage Center is open Monday–Saturday9:00am–5:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am–3:30 pm. For admission rates and tickets please visit For more information on education programs, special exhibits, events, and annual memberships please or call 423-877-2525.

About the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center
Opened in February 2020, the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center is situated in the heart of the birthplace of the Medal of Honor—Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 19,500 square-foot facility features life-sized, immersive exhibits that memorialize our nation’s highest military award for valor, honor its national heritage and recipients, and educate future generations of Americans about the six character traits embodied by the Medal of Honor and its recipients: Patriotism, Citizenship, Courage, Integrity, Sacrifice and Commitment. For more information, please visit

Maranda Wilkinson

Maranda Wilkinson is the Director of Education for the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.


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