FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Truman Library Institute
Stacy McCullough or Sarah Rutledge
Sprenger McCullough & Co. (816) 221-9716
NARA SELECTS NEW DIRECTOR FOR
TRUMAN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM & LIBRARY
--Dr. Michael Devine To Assume New Duties This September--
INDEPENDENCE, MO, June 28 -- Dr. Michael Devine, a professor of history at the University of Wyoming and a former director of the university's American Heritage Center, has been appointed the new director of the Truman Presidential Museum & Library. The announcement was made earlier today by the National Archives and Records Administration and John W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States.
Devine will assume his new position in September of this year, replacing the museum's former director Larry Hackman, who retired last January, and acting director Scott Roley.
"I am extremely pleased that Michael Devine has agreed to become the new director," said Carlin in making the announcement. "Dr. Devine combines academic qualifications and cultural leadership skills that will make the Truman Museum an important destination in the 21st century. We welcome Dr. Devine into the Presidential library system."
Since 1991, Dr. Devine has taught courses in U.S. history and 18th and 19th century diplomatic history at the University of Wyoming. In the fall of 2000, he was a Senior Fulbright lecturer in Korea and in 1998 served as Houghton Freeman Professor of American History at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Graduate Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. As the Director of the Wyoming American Heritage Center from 1991-2000, Dr. Devine oversaw the construction of a new $20 million, 135,000 square foot facility on the campus of the university. He organized a public/private partnership to support the Center, raising nearly $9 million.
The Truman Presidential Museum & Library currently is in the final stages of a $22.5 million renovation that includes new interactive exhibits along with an educational program entitled the White House Decision Center, designed for high school and college students to interact with the major decisions made by Harry S. Truman during his U.S. presidency.
"This is an exciting opportunity for me and I am looking forward to working with the great staff at the museum as well as NARA and the Truman Library Institute Board of Directors," said Devine. "This is an ideal position that matches my scholarly interests in U.S. foreign policy and political history along with my experience in museum and archival management."
"I am very pleased that Michael Devine is to be my successor," said Hackman, who was the director of the Truman Presidential Museum & Library since 1995. "Michael brings very impressive experience as a director of important history-related programs in Ohio, Illinois and Wyoming and he is a respected scholar in diplomatic history as well. I'm sure," noted Hackman, "Kansas City will warmly welcome him just as they did me. He will certainly have my support."
"Michael Devine will be an enormous asset to the public-private partnership as the museum completes its major renovation," noted Willard Boyd, Chairman of the Truman Library Institute Board of Directors and President Emeritus of the Chicago Field Museum and Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law.
While heading up the American Heritage Center, Dr. Devine developed a wide range of scholarly and popular programs to integrate the Center into the academic life of the University of Wyoming.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Wyoming, Dr. Devine served as the Director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency/Illinois State Historical Society and was the Illinois State Historian from 1985-1991. In that position, he supervised a staff of 260 and managed a $13 million budget, responsible for the Illinois State Historical Library and 50 historical sites throughout the state. He also served as the State Historical Preservation Officer.
Dr. Devine earned a B.A. from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He has published nationally on subjects ranging from American foreign policy to the history of the West.
The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of 10 Presidential libraries operated by NARA. It houses the official records of the Truman Presidency, including more than 15 million pages of materials, 106,000 photographs, and some 26,000 gifts presented to President and Mrs. Truman. The facility serves as both a major research institution and a museum, showcasing the collections and numerous traveling exhibitions.
The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware Street in Independence, Missouri. 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 and $3 for children 6-18 years old. For more information call 1-800-833-1225 or visit the web site at www.trumanlibrary.org.