STAUNTON, VA.-The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum recently announced the appointment of Robin von Seldeneck as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation.  The appointment was effective as of July 1, 2015.  Don Wilson, the previous CEO, will continue to serve as President, but will be working limited hours on the Capital Campaign on a consulting basis and will no longer have any administrative responsibilities regarding the daily operations of the Library and Museum.  Ms. von Seldeneck joined the staff of the Library in 2009, having most recently served as Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).  In her new position, she will be responsible for directing the day-to-day functions of the museum in accordance with the Museum’s mission, objectives, policies, and priorities. 

Don W. Wilson, President of the WWPL, said “I am very pleased to make this announcement and have been working closely with Robin for the past several months to accomplish this transition.  I have the fullest confidence in her talents and abilities to manage the Presidential Library and to take it to new and higher levels of fulfilling our important educational mission.   We are honored that she has agreed to assume this new role.”

Ms. von Seldeneck has extensive managerial, educational, and museum experience.  In addition to her employment at the WWPL, she has worked at Stuart Hall School, Mary Baldwin College, James Madison University, and has experience as an independent educational consultant.  Ms. von Seldeneck is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College where she majored in both History and Political Science, and James Madison University where she received a Masters of Public Administration Degree.  She resides in Staunton with her husband and two sons.

In addition, Katherine Grayson Wilkins, granddaughter of Dr. Cary Grayson, Woodrow Wilson’s personal physician, was elected as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation.  She succeeds Dr. Michael D. Dickens who has completed two terms as Chair.  Katherine is the Advancement Officer for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership and has also worked as the Director of Development for Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that provides free mental health care to veterans, active duty service members and their families; and in the development office and Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation at Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC.  Katherine has also served on the boards of St. Albans School, Foxcroft School, and the American Connemara Pony Society. She currently is a member of the board of All Hallows Guild which supports the maintenance of the grounds of the Washington Cathedral. A resident of Washington DC , Katherine is married with three adult children and is a partner in her family’s Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville, Virginia. She received a B.A. in history from Yale University.
Ms. Wilkins brings a wealth of non-profit experience to the office and the Board is confident she will continue to provide the strong leadership that the WWPL has experienced under the guidance of Dr. Dickens for the past four years.

The WWPL also announced the election of five new members to its Board of Trustees.  Bernadette McCarron Kincheloe, President of Nash-Kincheloe & Associates of Roanoke, VA.; Laura Nordstrom of Middlebrook, VA., sales representative at Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals; Beth Scripps of Staunton, VA., formerly employed as the Preservation Planner/Research Historian with Frazier and Associates; Gregory B. Robertson, an attorney with Hutton & Williams LLP in Richmond, VA, and son of the late Richard “Dick” Robertson; and Emily Thomas Reed of Staunton, VA who recently finished a two year term as President of the Augusta Garden Club were elected to the Class of 2015-2018 Board of Trustees.



did you know?

Wilson was president throughout World War I. He sought a neutral position for the United States and even won reelection with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Nonetheless, actions by the Central Powers (notably Germany) threatened this neutrality. Following years of attacks on American shipping and citizens on the high seas, particularly the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, public opinion began to turn. The final straw came with the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, forcing the United States to declare war on the Central Powers in April of 1917, joining the war on the side of the UK, Russia, and France.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation