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Museum Studies Director Pamela White to Retire After Over a Decade of Service

May 17, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Pamela White, Director of the Western Illinois University Museum Studies program, will retire from WIU Tuesday, May 31, after over a decade of service.

White studied English at Graceland University, received a law degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Kansas. She began her career at WIU as an adjunct instructor, teaching in the Museum Studies Program (MST) and eventually became full-time faculty. She was named director of the MST Program in 2015.

In that position, she worked to educate students about the history of museums, the various aspects of museum work, and bring to light different opportunities for employment. Additionally, White was able to build up the program by bringing in new faculty members to advance the MST program to greater lengths.

"Pam has been so welcoming to me, as someone whose experiences working in academia had until 2021 been exclusively in the United Kingdom,'' said Assistant Professor of Museum Studies Angela J. McClanahan-Simmons. "She's helped me navigate the Museum Studies program and has been very generous in encouraging me to develop teaching around my specialisms in material culture and ethics."

In addition to working at WIU, White served on many committees for her respected universities. Most recently, she became a member of the Art Advisory Committee for Renew Moline, working with them on their Public Art Plans for the future of the city.

"I spent over 20 years at the University of Iowa in their museums, as well as teaching, but WIU is where I have found my greatest fulfillment, as a teacher and a museum professional," said White. "It has been a wonderful experience. I have had great students and wonderful colleagues."

Following retirement, White plans to remain active with her two greyhounds, volunteer at the Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption Center and spend time with her grandchildren. Additionally, White hopes to return to England in the Fall or Spring of 2023 to continue her passion for all things English and has aspirations for writing a book focused on legal issues surrounding museums and their collections.

"I wish the faculty, staff and students of WIU all the best toward great success, thank you," said White.

A small reception was held for White on Monday, May 9, on campus. White's colleagues and friends came together to share some stories of her journey at WIU and congratulate White on her next journey.

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