The past few months have been both celebratory and eventful, marked by the successful opening of the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers and the well-received, nationally publicized symposium surrounding the opening, a rare visit and captivating reading by Don DeLillo, and the continual addition of new archives and collections.
Amidst these major events, we have begun the important process of reflecting on the state of our institution and our vision for its future. Clearly our mission has expanded since our renovation, and our efforts to bring our collections to a broader audience continue to grow. To support these efforts and reaffirm our commitment to scholarship in the humanities, the Center has launched a $10 million capital campaign. We see this campaign as a means to support the next chapter in the history of the Center, and our specific goals are described more fully in this issue. The campaign will culminate in 2007, as the Ransom Center celebrates its 50th anniversary, launching the institution into another half century of distinction.
Closely aligned with the campaign, we have begun a strategic planning initiative, in which we will assess the Center's operation in light of our new institutional priorities and our expanding public presence. Essentially, this initiative will enable us to develop a strategy to support our mission in the most effective way, and ensure that we are best employing our talents and resources.
Finally, I am very pleased to announce that we have hired Ellen Handy to be our new Executive Curator of Photography and Visual Collections. She will be joining us on September 1, and she brings a level of experience and expertise to the Center that will certainly enhance the prominence of our visual collections, bringing them to the stature they deserve. You can read more about Ellen in this newsletter.
It is appropriate that the campaign, strategic planning initiative, and the strengthening of our visual collections occur simultaneously, for they all serve the same greater purpose and support our institutional mission.
-Thomas F. Staley