Public History Program Makes History

October 19, 2005

Mary Baldwin University and The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library announce the establishment of a new undergraduate program in public history to begin in the Fall of 2006. The Presidential Library and the College will launch an interdisciplinary, internship-based undergraduate minor in public history. Designed to create working historians, the program trains students for careers in the field of public history.

Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox and Library Executive Director Eric J. VettelDr. Pamela Fox, president of Mary Baldwin University, and Dr. Eric J. Vettel, executive director of Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, signed a formal agreement October 19, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. in the Dolores Lecture Center at the Presidential Library campus. A reception will follow the ceremony. The public is invited.

Combining an academic degree at an accredited liberal arts college with hands-on presidential library and museum experience, Mary Baldwin students may expect to graduate with readily marketable skills in a specialized field. Public historians work at museums, government agencies, and at cultural sites, among others. They may consult and accept commissions to write histories, and research and direct film, radio, and television history productions.

“Students are the winners,” comments President Fox. “They get the personalized, hands-on education that is Mary Baldwin’s hallmark, plus the benefit of all the resources of the Wilson Library — especially the direct experience of working at the library with expert professional historians to guide them. This partnership is also good for the city of Staunton, adding yet another element to the amazing cultural and economic synergy.”

Dr. Vettel said, “The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is pleased to enter this formal partnership with Mary Baldwin University to promote public history. This collaborative project will do much to promote the study and learning of history.” The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library has also established formal partnerships with Princeton University and the University of Virginia.

The Dolores Lecture Center is located at the corner of East Beverley and North Coalter Streets in Staunton, Virginia.



Dr. Nancy Krippel, dean of adult and graduate studies at Mary Baldwin University, (540) 887-7266 or

Joel Hodson, director of education at The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, (540) 885-0897 or

Front page image: Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox and WWPL Executive Director Dr. Eric Vettel sign history-making agreement.

Inside image: Mary Baldwin faculty and WWPL staff look on at the signing.