STAUNTON, VIRGINIA—The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum announced June 28 that its President and CEO, Don W. Wilson, will give a talk, "Presidential Libraries in the United States: National Treasures or Modern Pyramids?" at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas, this Thursday, June 30, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Wilson is a Kansas native, from nearby Clay Center, Kansas, and began his extensive career with Presidential Libraries as Historian and Deputy Director at the Eisenhower Presidential Library from 1969 to 1978. Dr. Wilson later served as the first Director of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library in Michigan, Archivist of the United States, and Director of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, before his work with the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. As Archivist of the United States, Dr. Wilson oversaw all of the federal Presidential Libraries.
Dr. Wilson’s trip to Kansas continues the Presidential Library’s initiative to engage other Presidential Libraries and historical sites in partnerships. He also plans to give his talk on this topic at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum later this year on a date and time to be determined.
Dr. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from Washburn University in 1964 and his Masters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1972 in American History from the University of Cincinnati. After his service at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, he worked as Associate Director of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin from 1978 to 1981 and as the first Director of the Ford Presidential Library from 1981 to 1987.
In the summer of 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed Dr. Wilson as the seventh Archivist of the United States. He was confirmed by the United States Senate, and held the position until 1993. As Archivist, Dr. Wilson oversaw the National Archives and Records Administration, which has custody of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation. From 1993 to 1999, as the Executive Director of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, Dr. Wilson was responsible for the establishment and development of that presidential library, which opened in 1997. During his service at these presidential libraries, Dr. Wilson served as a history professor at Kansas State University, the University of Michigan, Washburn University, and Texas A&M University.