barbour mga

The Mississippi Geographic Alliance at the University of Mississippi honored former Gov. Haley Barbour with its MGA Geographic Visionary Award at the fifth annual awards ceremony Sept. 7.

News analyst, White House correspondent and author Ellen Ratner was the keynote speaker for the event, held at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

“Knowing geography is essential to understanding history,” Barbour said. “If you don’t understand history, you are doomed to repeat it.”

Barbour joins Ambassador John Palmer (2013), George Schloegel (2014), U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (2015), and William Winter (2016) and Leland Speed (2016) as Geographic Visionary award winners. The award honors a Mississippi business or civic leader who recognizes the importance of global understanding and awareness for Mississippians and/or promotes understanding about Mississippi in other parts of the world.

The Jess McKee Award for Distinguished Service to Geography Education was presented at the event to Steven White, a teacher at Pearl High School.

The Mississippi Geographic Alliance, part of National Geographic Society’s Alliance Network, helps prepare Mississippians to interact with the world by increasing geographic literacy through geography education services including outreach to civic leaders and policymakers, awareness raising among the general public, and professional development for K-12 educators.