Clinton’s time as Arkansas governor coincided with Winter’s time as governor of Mississippi, 1980-1984. Clinton also appointed Winter to be co-chair of his Initiative on Race, which dealt with issues such as racial reconciliation. At the University of Mississippi, the William Winter Institute of Racial Reconciliation (now the Alluvial Collective) was also created. Reuben Anderson (the state’s first African American Supreme Court Justice and former Governor of Mississippi) will also speak at the Foundation for Mississippi History event. Haley Barbour. Winter, who was 97 years old, died December 2020. The former first lady, 95 years old died July 2021. There was no public service after their deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first event will take place in May. Mississippi Today published a “homily” written by Rob Lowry (the former pastor at Fondren Presbyterian Church, Jackson) in his honor. It outlined what he would say if there was a service. Lowry wrote that Governor Winter was a type of public servant nearly absent from the current scene. He was driven by a passion for justice, and compassion for others. This passion was not based on selfish ambition. It was born out of a deep belief in the possibility and promise of a better future. He was acutely aware of the benefits his education and hard work had brought to his state, so he worked tirelessly for its improvement. He made a commitment to leave Mississippi better than it was found. It was this commitment that led to a public life that shaped our state for the past half century and the future. Winter helped to pass the Education Reform Act of 2012 in an unlikely special legislative session just before Christmas. This legislation created public kindergartens and other educational changes. Elise Winter was also active in public service. She worked with her husband to address education issues and improve conditions at Parchman Penitentiary. She was involved in Habitat for Humanity, as well as other causes. William Winter was an active member of the state’s Archives and History Board for many years. He, Anderson and others led the effort to create the Two Mississippi Museums, the museum of history and civil rights. He was also critical of Myrlie’s decision to give to the state papers from her and her husband, Civil Rights leader Medgar, Evers. Evers was assassinated in Jackson in 1963. Winter and Anderson worked together with Barbour’s then-governor from 2004 to 2012 to secure state funding for Two Mississippi Museums, which has been widely praised. “These museums are at the intersection William Winter’s greatest passions –history, education and racial justice,” MDAH Director Katie Blount stated. “Generations will come here to see the stories that have shaped this state and our nation.” Winter was a long-standing politician who served in many statewide offices and also in the Legislature.