Civil War  |  News

Legendary Football Coach, Environmental Engineer and Tourism Expert Join Civil War Trust Board

National preservation organization welcomes legendary University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley, noted environmental engineer Robert Uhler and Tennessee Commissioner of Tourism Development Susan Whitaker to its Board of Trustees

(Washington, D.C.) - The Civil War Trust, the nation's largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, is pleased to announce the three newest additions to its national Board of Trustees - legendary University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley, noted environmental engineer Robert Uhler and Tennessee Commissioner of Tourist Development Susan Whitaker. The leadership and specialized experience that the trio brings to the board will serve to further the cause of historic land preservation throughout the second half of the Civil War sesquicentennial period and beyond.

"It is an honor to work alongside these three outstanding advocates and allies in the cause," said Trust President James Lighthizer.  "These individuals have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to the philosophy of battlefield preservation - that setting aside these hallowed grounds creates a permanent and lasting memorial to American bravery, one which also creates educational, environmental and economic benefits for the surrounding community."

For almost 50 years, Vince Dooley has had an enduring impact on the University of Georgia, Southeastern Conference and collegiate athletics across the country, serving as head football coach at UGA from 1963-1989 and as Director of Athletics from 1979-2004. His contributions to coaching and athletics administration are defined by his place as the only person ever to hold the presidency of both the American Football Coaches Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Dooley is the most successful coach in Georgia history and the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history with over 200 wins, including one national championship, six SEC titles and 20 bowl games. He is the author of seven books on a variety of subjects, including two editions of Dooley's Dogs (with Loran Smith), Dooley: My 40 Years at Georgia, two children's books How Bout Them Dawgs and Hairy Dawg's Journey Through the Peach State, and three coffee table books illustrated by famed artist Steve Penley - Dooley's Playbook...34 of Georgia's Most Memorable Plays, Dooley's Garden....A Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach and History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia.

Robert Uhler is the ex-CEO/Chairman and present Chairman Emeritus of MWH Global, one of the world's largest water infrastructure management, engineering & construction firms.  He is also President/Owner of The Uhler Group, a management consulting practice focused on strategic advice and CEO mentoring for private equity portfolio companies.  He is a Certified Professional Civil and Environmental Engineer and a Certified Value Engineer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and serves as a Diplomat of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Among the most notable projects of his professional career was design program manager of the Living Seas Pavilion at Walt Disney World, the largest aquarium on earth at the time of its opening. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy who rose to the rank of captain during combat service in Vietnam, earning while earning numerous citations for gallantry, including two Bronze Stars, six Combat Air Medals and two Army Commendation Medals. Returning to civilian life, he earned a masters' degree in environmental engineering from the University of Florida and advanced management certifications from Harvard Business School and INSEAD.  He currently serves as a member of board of the Smithsonian Institution's National American History Museum.

Since 2003, Susan Whitaker has served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, a cabinet-level position to which she has been appointed by three consecutive gubernatorial administrations. In 2013, she was named National Tourism Director of the Year by the U.S. Travel Association's National Council of State Travel Directors. She also serves as the co-chair of Tennessee's Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Board Member for the Franklin Battle Trust, Secretary of the U.S. Travel Association's Board of Director's, Co-Chair of the Tennessee State Fair Commission and Member of the Smoky Mountains Park Commission. Although a Chicago native and graduate of Northwestern University, she is a direct descendent of Tennessee's first Governor John Sevier.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.  To date, the Trust has preserved more than 36,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.  Learn more at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.