In January, Ozzie Ayscue of Exeter was elected president of its Board of Governors. The appointment follows two years of service on the board during which time Ayscue said he became increasingly motivated by the museum’s mission.
“The mission really resonated with me, especially the part about ‘encouraging and inspiring civic engagement today,’” he said. “It is vitally important to find clever ways to help people to slow down and gain a deeper understanding of the people, places and ideas of American Independence from all sides. With that base of knowledge, people will be more excited to engage in civic life in a constructive manner.”
He also expressed interest in the museum’s assets, which include a Broadside copy of the Declaration of Independence printed on July 4, 1776 and working drafts of the US Constitution with handwritten corrections.
“The potential for storytelling and enabling an intimate experience with these and many other amazing items are a huge opportunity for the museum,” he said.
While not an Exeter native, Ayscue said he is also excited at the prospect to give back to a town that helped lay the foundation for his future.
“I first experienced Exeter and New Hampshire as a 3-year boarding student at Phillips Exeter Academy,” he said. “I never imagined I would return here later in life, but I am glad I did.”
As for his role as president of the Board of Governors, Ayscue said his first goal is to support museum staff and the important work that is already underway. Some of this work includes the Traveling Trunk program, presented by Service Credit Union, and the planning behind the 3rd Beer for History.
“Beer for History is sponsored by Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts—and we are thrilled at this renewed partnership and the many partners who help advance our mission,” he said. “Our events and programs reflect a steady effort to enliven visitors’ museum experience so they come away with something a little deeper and different each time they visit.”
Home to a world-class collection of 3,000 historic artifacts, the museum welcomes more than 5,000 visitors annually and distinguishes itself with educational school programs and events that make history fun and relevant.
To learn more about the museum, which opens for the 2018 season on Saturday, May 5 with free admission for NH residents, visit www.independencemuseum.org.