WAITE RAWLS BEGINS TENURE AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM OF THE CONFEDERACYJanuary 12, 2004
Museum of the Confederacy
1201 E. Clay Street, Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 649-1861 - FAX (804) 649-1460
S. Waite Rawls III
Museum of the Confederacy
S. Waite Rawls III has become the new Executive Director of The Museum and White House of the Confederacy, replacing Col. J. A. Barton Campbell, who has retired and returned to the museum's Board of Trustees. Rawls assumed the position Jan. 5 following a long career as an executive in the international investment and commercial banking industry. His parallel career in volunteering for historical and civic organizations includes long-term ongoing engagements as trustee of the Civil War Preservation Trust and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and member of the Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors.
Museum Board Chairman J.E.B. Stuart IV said of Rawls's appointment: "Waite possesses remarkable personal and professional attributes, as demonstrated by the sterling services he has rendered in all his demanding corporate and public/civic positions. We are quite confident that, with his considerable talents and energy, he will guide The Museum of the Confederacy through present-day challenges into an even more prosperous future."
Rawls, 55, a native of Franklin, Virginia, received a B.A. at Virginia Military Institute and was awarded an M.B.A. and J.D. by the University of Virginia. Among the positions he held in the banking, investment, and money markets fields were: Managing Director, Chemical Bank, New York; Vice Chairman, Continental Bank, Chicago; Executive Vice President, The Chicago Corporation; and Chief Operating Officer of Ferrell Capital Management, Greenwich, Conn.
Most recently he led a start-up technology company in the Washington, D.C. area. He has also been a visiting or adjunct professor at University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and Illinois Institute of Technology.
Rawls has served on many corporate boards and is a past director of the Public Securities Association and Chicago Risk Management Committee; he has also served on the Borrowing Advisory Committee of the U.S. Treasury and the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
When asked why he switched from a career in the financial industry to a nonprofit position with a museum, Rawls replied that he decided several years ago to follow his passion full-time. "The older I get, the more I've been saying it's history that makes my blood run--that's where my passion is," he said. Few who meet Waite Rawls can doubt that. His knowledge of Confederate history, just like his personal library of history books, is extensive.
As someone devoted to education and the study of history, Rawls has been active on many nonprofit boards. Prior to joining VMI's Board of Visitors, he was director of its Alumni Association and trustee of the VMI Foundation. Similarly, for the University of Virginia's Darden School, he served as a director and president of its Alumni Association and trustee of its Foundation. He has also served as director of the Landmark Preservation Council of Illinois, trustee of the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago), and trustee of The Seeing Eye. Since the mid-1980s, he has been director of The Camp Foundation and the College Orientation Workshop, an organization that sponsors rigorous academic summer programs for inner city teenage boys.
Having been on the job only a few days, Rawls is not yet ready to announce his goals for the museum, but he has expressed the desire to draw public attention to the last remaining documents and artifacts from this critical period that may be stored in attics and basements across the country. "In 20 years, these are going to be lost to future generations," he said. "We urgently need to help families conserve, preserve, and display this important material."
Rawls brings an infectious enthusiasm to his new position at The Museum of the Confederacy. "It's got the best Confederate artifacts in the universe," he said. "Priceless military objects, art, books, manuscripts, flags, you name it. It's staggering when you walk around the place to see what treasures are preserved here."
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