Annual Meeting of Members
On September 21, Mystic Seaport held the 83rd Annual Meeting of Members, which is an opportunity for our members to hear reports on the state of Museum and to celebrate the milestone years of longtime members. The Meeting was opened by Chairman of the Board Richard R. Vietor, who welcomed more than 300 members who were present. Chairman Vietor gave his sincere thanks to every member of the staff, to the trustees, and to all the volunteers for their efforts and contributions over the past year. He also gave a report on the recent trustee retreat, where the primary focus was on the completion of the Charles W. Morgan restoration and the need for a new state-of-the art exhibition facility to better display our Collections.
Trustee Peter Gleysteen gave his treasurer’s report for the 2011-2012 fiscal year that ended April 30. He stated the Museum is on firm financial ground with no debt, a responsible annual draw on the endowment, and a budget that keeps us in the black.
As part of my annual president’s report, I highlighted some of the accomplishments and highlights of the past year. Specifically, we had an encouraging uptick in attendance, we introduced new and innovative exhibits, we addressed some important areas of deferred maintenance on our grounds, and we created a range of new and varied programs for our members and the visiting public. With a degree of personal excitement, I also reported on the progress of the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan. As of last week the re-planking was over 50 percent complete, and it now has reached a height only accessible by a second level of scaffolding. That being said, this extraordinary work is remarkably accessible to the public, and we hope you come and see it.
J. Barclay Collins, the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, presented the slate of trustees to be elected to the Board. Through verbal vote of the Members, ten trustees were elected, or re-elected. Many thanks to our new and current trustees.
It is important for you to know our Board of Trustees continue to show outstanding leadership to the Museum. At their September meeting, they agreed to commit and additional $1.9 million of their own funds to the Charles W. Morgan restoration. I hope you would consider joining them in their support of this most important Mystic Seaport initiative.
We were particularly pleased to announce that the Thompson Family Foundation has pledged an additional $1 million to the Gallery Quad project. This gift adds to the legacy of the late trustee Wade Thompson, who recognized and supported the Museum’s decision that there was a strategic need to augment our winter operating model and improve our exhibition capabilities with a state-of-the-art facility. The key components of the new Gallery Quad, centered around what is now Anchor Circle on the Museum’s north end, will be a new 5,000 square foot exhibition hall, a new ticketing and visitor’s welcome area utilizing the core of the G.W. Blunt White Building, new retail areas, and a new small boat hall. We are enormously grateful to the Thompson family for their generosity and continued support of Mystic Seaport.
We completed this section of the meeting with our annual remembrance of our recently-deceased members, trustees, volunteers, and staff.
Alexandra Alpert, Director of Membership and Volunteer Services, then led the recognition of milestone members . This year our milestone members ranged from 20-year members to one 70-year member, Bill White, who joined Mystic Seaport when the Museum was only 13 years old! We ended the afternoon with special behind-the-scenes tours for our members created by our staff and volunteers. Congratulations to all of those milestone members and thank you for your dedication to Mystic Seaport.