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American Heritage Center Director Mark Greene to Retire

May 11, 2015
man sitting in chair by fireplace
Mark Greene

Mark Greene, who found his dream job when he came to Wyoming in 2002, will soon retire from his position as director of the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center (AHC). He will be honored at a public reception Thursday, May 28, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Visual Arts Building lobby.

One of Greene’s proudest achievements as AHC director is the emails he receives from researchers saying that they have never received the knowledgeable and helpful assistance that they received from the AHC. The accolades don’t stop with researchers. Current and former UW students, such as Ruline O’Neill, recognize the important contribution Greene and the AHC make to their education. 

O’Neill, a student in Lecturer Patty Kessler’s history class, says, “It (using primary sources at the AHC) actually helped me develop pride in my university, and it really showed me that our school takes pride in its collections and its students’ education.”

The AHC maintains UW’s manuscripts collections, rare books and the university archives. Many universities have primary source repositories, but few have repositories as extensive and significant as the AHC. More importantly, few universities have such repositories as welcoming and accessible to undergraduate and graduate students.

“Equally important, he has engaged school-aged students across the state through History Day activities,” says David Jones, UW vice president for academic affairs. “Mark has transformed the AHC into one of the best repositories in the world. He has made the AHC more accessible to scholars across our campus and the nation.”

Michael Strom, director of the Wyoming State Archives, appreciates such accessibility.

“The AHC staff has done extraordinary work to engage and assist a wide variety of researchers, from Wyoming History Day competitors, to UW students and scholars around the world,” Strom says. “In this way, and many others, the AHC has set the standard to which other archival repositories aspire.”

One of the AHC’s priorities is to use its collections to fulfill the university’s teaching mission.

“We work with faculty from across campus to develop subject-based projects for their classes using our primary source materials, and even assist in developing classes that are mostly based on our collections,” says Rick Ewig, AHC associate director. “These projects provide hands-on research experience in primary sources for the students.”

Myron Allen, professor of mathematics and former vice president for academic affairs, adds, “Mark brought to the AHC a clear and ambitious vision for nationally recognized excellence and, through hard work and intellect, he earned the faculty respect needed to accomplish that vision.”

Led by Greene, the AHC expanded its digital archives and significantly expanded its website.

“These accomplishments have allowed much greater and easier access to the center’s valuable collections via Internet by researchers and scholars at UW and across the country,” says Dave Foreman, chair of the AHC Board of Advisors.

Such strides and other professional accomplishments resulted in the AHC being named, in 2010, to the honor roll of outstanding archival institutions in the United States by the Society of American Archivists, the nation’s leading professional organization of archivists.

For more insights about Greene and his legacy at the AHC, visit

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