Letter from the President
Life's Turning Points
By Charles F. Bryan, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer
Several months ago, I was asked to list five or six turning points in my life. Turning points meaning decisions I made or things that happened to me after which life was not the same. It's an interesting exercise that helps put your time on earth in historical perspective. You can rank your turning points in order of importance or chronologically. I readily came up with five, including the most recent, my being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
Another one of my turning points was when Cammy and I took a chance on coming to Richmond eighteen years ago. I was both excited and nervous then about what lay ahead at the Virginia Historical Society. But there was no way I could have known that my time at the VHS would turn out to be such a rewarding experience. Never did I realize that this grand old institution would become the second love of my life. And never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would have my name attached to a wing of our headquarters building. I am both humbled and awed by the decision of our board of trustees to bestow such a signal honor on me.
What has made my time at the VHS such a great experience? I could list many things, but best has been working with a remarkable board of trustees and with my colleagues on staff. It has also been very gratifying to have the strong support of the more than eight thousand members of the VHS. Together we have made the Virginia Historical Society one of the premier historical institutions in the nation today.
I cannot adequately express my appreciation for having the new wing named in my honor. I do know, however, that what I have been able to accomplish is largely because of the remarkable group of colleagues with whom I have the privilege of working. Although the new wing bears my name, I accept the honor on behalf of every one of them.
Posted August 2006
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