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Long-Time Museum Executive Director Retires

Museum of Texas Tech Executive Director Gary Edson leaves after 25 years of service to the university.

Written by Sally Logue Post

Edson will continue his current position until the end of the fall semester. His future plans include working with the international museum community and writing on topics related to museology.

After 25 years, Long-time museum executive director Gary Edson will retire at the end of the fall semester.

Gary Edson announced this week that he will retire as executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech University. He also will leave his position as director of the Center for Advanced Study of Museum Science and Heritage Management.

Edson has been at Texas Tech for 25 years and director of the museum for 24 years. The museum has experienced major growth during his tenure. Of particular importance was the addition of the Diamond M Collection and Gallery, renovation of the Devitt Wing and opening of the Explorium, Davies Southwest Indian Art Gallery, the Changing World Gallery, African Art Gallery, Pre-Columbian Art Gallery and Taos-Southwest Gallery.

Three major additions to the museum during Edson’s tenure were the acquisition of the Lubbock Lake Landmark, the construction of the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium and Sculpture Court and the new addition to the Natural Science Research Laboratory.

“During Gary’s 24 years as executive director, the museum has grown to international prominence,” said James Brink, associate vice provost of Heritage Consortium for the Natural and Historic Southwest. “Thanks to Gary’s direction, the museum science and heritage management degree programs are two of our strongest post-graduate academic areas.”

Under Edson’s leadership the museum gained accreditation by the American Association of Museums. Of the 17,500 museums in the United States only approximately 800 are accredited, making the museum one of the top five percent of museums in the United States.

Edson also held the position of professor of museum science and in that role was actively involved with lecturing at national and international workshops and symposia. He was an active member of the International Council of Museums and was elected to the Executive Council of that organization for two terms. He was recognized worldwide for his work with museum ethics and wrote a book that is generally viewed as a primary information resource on that topic.

Edson will leave the museum and Texas Tech at the end of the fall semester. He plans to continue his work with the international museum community and to write on topics related to museology. An international search is planned for a new executive director.

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Museum of Texas Tech
Museum of Texas Tech

The Museum of Texas Tech University was established in 1929.

It consists of the main Museum building, the Moody Planetarium, the Natural Science Research Laboratory, the research and educational elements of the Lubbock Lake Landmark, and the Val Verde County research site.

The museum also offers master’s degrees in Museum Science and Heritage Management and a wide variety of educational programs for the general public.

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The museum is located at Fourth Street and Indiana Ave. Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed on Monday.

For more information, contact David Dean, director of Museum Information Services, (806) 742-2442, david.dean@ttu.edu.

To request special assistance, contact the Museum Education office at museum.education@ttu.edu or call (806) 742-2432.

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