CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation has kicked the campaign to build a unique new national museum into high gear with the naming of Mark K. Updegrove as the foundation's new CEO.
Updegrove currently is director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Tex., and a nationally-recognized museum leader, presidential historian, author and media executive. Updegrove has led the LBJ Presidential Library since 2009. During his tenure, he directed a $11 million major redesign and renovation of the facility, nearly doubled annual museum visitor levels, and brought national acclaim to the library through stellar programming of renown speakers and thought leaders. In 2014, Updegrove created and hosted a Civil Rights summit at the LBJ Presidential Library that brought together former and sitting presidents and earned international media attention as a powerful discussion platform for a critical American and world issue.
"Mark is an immensely talented and innovative leader who's demonstrated how a museum can be transformed into an inspiring national educational center that also helps our country explore some of the most compelling issues of our time," said Chair of the Foundation, Retired U.S. Army Major General Darwin H. Simpson.
"He's recognized as an entrepreneurial leader and has rousing endorsements from many notable leaders, including former presidents such as President George H.W. Bush," General Simpson added. "We're thrilled he's joined us and will be leading our charge to establish the new Medal of Honor Museum as a national treasure that many generations of Americans will enjoy."
Updegrove will relocate to Charleston, S.C., the site of the new national museum, and assume his new duties in early March. "I'm deeply honored to join the foundation and help create a museum that uniquely honors American values and inspires young people, in particular, to embrace the values of courage, integrity, sacrifice and service above self as what being a citizen in our democracy is all about," Updegrove said.
Updegrove has also written for The New York Times, Politico, Parade, The Nation, The Daily Beast, American Heritage, National Geographic, Time, Texas Monthly, and is an analyst for ABC News on matters relating to the presidency. Earlier in his career, Updegrove served as manager of Time in Los Angeles; president of TimeCanada, Time's separate Canadian edition and operation; and publisher of Newsweek in New York.
The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation is a 501(c)(3) educational institution organized to design, fund, build and maintain as new museum and education center that will:
- Preserve the stories of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and present them to new generations as a model to emulate;
- Help visitors understand what it means to put service above self and the meaning and price of freedom;
- Inspire visitors about the ideals of patriotism, leadership and courage, and encourage them to embrace their responsibilities as citizens in a democracy; and
- Serve as an education center that, through various programs, reaches out across the country to further the Medal's ideals among all Americans, especially our nation's youth.
Located at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on the eastern shore of Charleston Harbor, the museum's waterfront location is near the Ravenel Bridge. This site offers an ideal complement to historic Charleston on the west side of the harbor, which is consistently rated as one of the top tourist destinations in the world and welcomes between four and five million visitors each year. The museum will add a world-class, state-of-the-art facility to the area's rich array of historic and cultural attractions.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, whose membership consists of the living Medal recipients, has designated this as the sole national Medal of Honor Museum. Members of the Society serve on the foundation's board and comprise a steering committee that will review all museum exhibits and programs to ensure they are consistent with the Society's mission. Their interest is not in a monument to themselves, but rather a learning center that focuses on sending important messages to our youth about patriotism, leadership and courage.
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SOURCE National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation