Since 1971, the Russell Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to fund a professorship in American history at the University of Georgia. Dr. Gilbert Fite was the inaugural chairholder. His book, Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia, published in 1991, received the D.B. Hardman Prize for the best book on the United States Congress.
Dr. William McFeely and Dr. Edward Larson, both Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, have also held the Russell chair. Dr. Claudio Saunt is the current Russell Professor of American History.