For Immediate Release: July 5, 2000
Contacts: Edeen Martin
816-268-8218
Truman Library and Museum

Barkley & Evergreen Public Relations
816-842-1500

 

Larry Hackman Leaving The Truman Library
Says Institution Has Bright Future

(Independence, MO) Ė Larry Hackman announced today that he is stepping down as the director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. Hackman has been director since July of 1995 and has led the Library through significant changes that will strengthen the Library and the programs it will offer for generations to come. Hackman is also stepping down from his other role as president of the Truman Library Institute.

In his letter to the Board of the Truman Library Institute announcing his decision, Hackman said, "I take great pride and satisfaction in the progress we have made together. The Library has clarified its mission, adopted a compelling vision, identified the issues critical to success, and is pursuing sound strategies to address them. Staff has been established or strengthened in education, public programs, visitor services, archives, and volunteer and intern management. Overall the Library staff is better organized, better trained and better equipped. We organized a capital campaign that raised over $24 million for the complete renovation of the Museum. The Library has a much higher public profile, especially in Greater Kansas City, and its potential for service is better understood. Expectations are higher, inside and out."

The centerpiece of Hackmanís tenure has been to prepare for the renovation of the Library and the development of its "Classroom for Democracy" initiatives. "The plans, resources and relationships are in place to create the Classroom for Democracy programs and to complete the renovation which is already well underway. We have worked to make this a reality since my arrival five years ago," Hackman said. " I am pleased the Library will be able to upgrade and expand its building; install new permanent exhibitions and a new temporary exhibition gallery; and create the White House Decision Center where students can learn about problem solving, decision making, and communication through role playing on real issues from the Truman Presidency. With the core resources in hand for the renovation and to begin these new programs, it is the perfect time to find a talented and energetic new director to bring these new programs to life."

"Our success is the result of the diligent efforts of many people," Hackman said. "The Institute Board, the National Archives leadership, and the Truman Library and Institute staff have worked hard and well to bring us to this point. The good counsel and great financial support we have received in Greater Kansas City has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I cannot express enough my gratitude to all the people who I have had the privilege to work with these past five years. The task seemed daunting at the time, and at times it was. However, we can all be proud of the accomplishments and can all look forward to the service the Truman Library will provide in the community and the nation in the years ahead."

Willard "Sandy" Boyd, Chairman of the Truman Institute Board, praised the leadership Hackman brought to the Library. "Larry Hackman brought a profound determination to this Library at a time when it absolutely needed it. He never took his eye off the ultimate goal, which was to see that the Truman Library truly lives up to the mission President Truman wanted for it: to be the place where people, young and old, can come and learn about the institution of the American Presidency. On behalf of everyone involved with the Truman Library Institute, I thank Larry for his immense contribution," said Boyd.

Archivist of the United States, John Carlin, said "We will greatly miss Larry Hackmanís strong leadership and vision. His achievements at the Truman Library include completing a capital campaign, planning the renovation of the Library for the 21st Century, and developing public education about the decision-making process of the Presidency. All of us with who he has worked in the National Archives and Records Administration thank him and wish him well."

Hackman was sworn in as Director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library on July 4, 1995. He came to Independence after serving for 13 years as state archivist and assistant commissioner of education for New York. Earlier he had directed several programs at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and had been the first director of the Records Grant Program of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in Washington

Hackman will stay with the Library on a reduced schedule until a successor is appointed or until the end of the year, whichever is sooner. Scott Roley, recently appointed as assistant director of the Library, will be acting director when Hackman is absent. A nationwide search is underway for Hackmanís successor. Hackman and his wife Sandi, vice president of YouthFriends, will continue to live in Kansas City.

The Truman Library and Museum is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Mo. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a. m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6 to 18, and free for children 5 years and under.

The Harry S. Truman Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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