Dear Museum Community,
In May of this year, I unexpectedly became President of the Board of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. The Bylaws of the organization made it clear: the Vice-President becomes President upon the death or resignation of the person in the top position. Thereafter, the Board will hold elections each December.
I knew when Pat Wand, Former MPCE President, died in April that I could never match – nor would I even try to imitate – her leadership style. The Museum had already begun several initiatives, ranging from the appointment of our first Director, Dr. Zack Klim, to updating our membership and collections processes. Pat would not wish for the Museum to pause or change direction at this critical juncture.
With support from other dedicated team members, I will carry on the Museum’s legacy. I truly believe in the Museum’s worthy cause — a cause worth our time, our money, our objects and stories, and the passion we share in telling the world about the Peace Corps’ impact—on volunteers, and on the people we served.
Zack and I share significant experience in higher education. As Development Dean for Los Angeles Community Colleges, I managed grant-writing efforts involving dozens of stakeholders successfully soliciting millions of dollars. I also served on non-profit boards, including agencies that support refugees from Africa.
I plan to put my experience to work as we launch the Museum’s new Customer Relations Management (CRM) database, expand the size and expertise of our Board, attract new volunteers, submit grant applications, improve the MPCE website, and formalize our partnerships with key collaborators.
I celebrate, with deep gratitude, the donations made to the Museum in Pat Wand’s memory. These gifts allowed us to achieve our goal of $120,000 for the 2023 fiscal year, and to set a higher goal for 2024. Our strategic plan will be finished by next December, preparing us to move onward into the future with clear direction and community-driven vision.
Thank you all for your ongoing support. I’ll close with an invitation to support the Museum in new ways as I have. Consider joining our leadership team, become a sustaining member, or volunteer on one of our teams. Write to us with your suggestions or donate here.
Onward and upward!
John Rude, Ph.D. – President, Museum of the Peace Corps Experience