The National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum (NMHF&M) in Leadville, CO completed its nationwide search for a new executive director with the appointment of Dr. Stephen L. Whittington.
Whittington brings more than 20 years of experience in leading successful museums, as well as an impressive background in academics, publications and community involvement. Most recently the Director of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC., Whittington is also Director of the Teozacoalco Archaeological Project in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Chairman of the NMHF&M Board of Directors, Paul C. Jones, said, "We are very pleased to have someone of Dr. Whittington's caliber as our next executive director. He brings to our organization sound knowledge and expertise in museum management." Jones continued, "We believe Dr. Whittington's capabilities will take the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum to the next level of national recognition in order to achieve our goal of telling the story of mining, its people and its importance to the American public. We welcome Dr. Whittington as a key member of our organization."
A native of Denver, CO, Whittington has spent much of his career on the East Coast, serving as a director on the boards of several state and regional museum associations, including an appointment by the Governor of Maine to the State Museum Commission. Earlier in his career, he was involved in geology fieldwork, interned at a geological museum, worked as a paralegal on a case involving the uranium industry and now welcomes the opportunity to move back to Colorado and into the mining industry. Whittington will assume his responsibilities at the NMHF&M in early March.
In addition to his post at the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, Whittington is an adjunct associate professor of anthropology there. He has also done archaeological research in several Latin American countries. Prior to his engagement at Wake Forest University he served as director of the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine, was project coordinator of the College of Health and Human Development at Pennsylvania State University, assistant curator of collections at the Wyoming Historical & Geological Society in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and he has served in several other related positions. Whittington holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in anthropology from Pennsylvania State University and an A.B. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He is active in the Society for American Archeology and the Association of Academic Museum & Galleries among other professional organizations, and he has authored and reviewed numerous technical publications.
Whittington and his wife Christine, a library director, have been married for 34 years and have two adult children, Daniel who lives in Denver, and Quinn who is attending Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, established by Joint Congressional Resolution in 1988, is the only federally chartered national mining hall of fame and museum, but is privately supported. Its support, activities, and focus are national in scope. Its mission is to "Tell the story about mining, its people, and its importance to the American public." The 20,000-square-ft museu, houses the 223 information plaques honoring the Mining Hall of Fame inductees as well as a comprehensive display of mining artifacts and information, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.