St. Augustine Residents Shepard and Keys Receive Distinguished Awards from HP Program

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The University of Florida Historic Preservation Program announced today that former UF faculty member Herschel Shepard will receive the 2016 Beinecke-Reeves Distinguished Achievement Award and Flagler College Director of Historic Preservation and Special Initiatives Leslee Keys will receive the inaugural UF Historic Preservation Distinguished Alumni Award. The awards ceremony will take place Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Flagler College, Markland House, 102, King Street, St. Augustine, Florida.

The Beinecke-Reeves Distinguished Achievement Award was created in 2004 to honor individuals or organizations who most embody the “Spirit of Historic Preservation” in Florida and beyond. The award is named in honor of Walter Beinecke, Jr. and Professor Emeritus F. Blair Reeves. Reeves was the founder and developer of the Historic Preservation Program of the University of Florida, and both he and Beinecke worked together with the Nantucket Historical Trust which led to the research and teaching partnership known as Preservation Institute Nantucket (PIN). Beinecke and Reeves were both awarded the coveted Crowninshield Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for their accomplishments in historic preservation.

A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Herschel Shepard has a long and accomplished career in architecture and architectural education with a focus on historic preservation. Shepard received his Master of Fine Arts in Architecture from Princeton University in 1956 and then settled and practiced in Florida. Over the course of several decades, Shepard helped preserve some of state’s most significant and iconic historic buildings including, among

many others, the rehabilitation of the Florida State Capitol and the reconstruction of Mission San Luis de Apalachee, both in Tallahassee, and the restoration of the Ximenez-Fatio House in St. Augustine.

Shepard served as a faculty member of the University of Florida School of Architecture from 1985 through 2001 and held the position of the Beinecke-Reeves Distinguished Chair in Architectural Preservation from 1998 to 2001. He also directed the Preservation Institute Nantucket from 1994 to 1996. Shepard was an advisor and now advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was one of the founders and original trustees of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. He is a current member of the University of Florida Historic St. Augustine Board of Directors. Shepard has received many awards and accolades including the State of Florida Bob Williams Award (2002), Carl Weinhardt Award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation (1997), and the University of Florida School of Architecture Lifetime Achievement Award (2015).

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to a graduate of the Historic Preservation Program who has contributed to the advancement of the discipline and profession through practice, research and service.

In 1976, Keys graduated with honors from Ball State University. In 1977 she completed a master’s in history and in 1983 a master’s in urban and regional planning, both from Virginia Tech. In 2013 she received a doctoral degree in historic preservation from the University of Florida. After holding numerous positions in historic preservation in Florida and elsewhere, Keys joined Flagler College in 2005. In addition to her research and teaching, Keys oversees historic preservation activities on the Flagler College campus. She is responsible for the college’s fine and decorative arts collection.

She served on the Hotel Ponce de Leon 125th Anniversary committee and as the faculty representative on the Flagler College 50th Anniversary Steering Committee. She is a Past President of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, is Immediate Past President of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce’s Historic St. Augustine Area Council, and served the college as representative to the State of Florida for the Viva Florida 500 commemoration, the St. Augustine Sister Cities organization, the St. Augustine-Baracoa Friendship Association and the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration.

In 2015, Keys published a book based on her doctoral research at University of Florida, Hotel Ponce de Leon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Flagler’s Gilded Age Palace, University Press of Florida. That same year, she received the inaugural Roy Eugene Graham Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation Education from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2016 she received the inaugural William L. Proctor Award for the best book published on St. Augustine from the Historic St. Augustine Research Institute, and she received the Flagler College Dean’s Award for Professional Development an Service to College, in part, for her role directing the visit of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia to Flagler College in 2015 as part of their stay in St. Augustine.

For more information, contact Marty Hylton, Director of Historic Preservation Program, University of Florida at 352-219-4122 or


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