Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Foundation for the National Archives Mourns Loss of Long-Time Supporter Sue Gin McGowan

Sue Gin McGowan

From our friends at the National Archives...

The Foundation for the National Archives, the non-profit partner of the National Archives and Records Administration, deeply mourns the loss of long-time supporter and Board Member Sue Gin McGowan, who passed away on Friday. McGowan and her late husband were tireless partners in the Foundation’s efforts to engage and reach young people, and the professionals and parents who teach them. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and Foundation Executive Director Patrick M. Madden will represent the institution at McGowan’s funeral tomorrow in Chicago.

”Sue Gin McGowan’s passing is not merely a loss for the Foundation and our family of supporters, but to the country,” said Madden. “She was a global citizen who was passionate about the intersection of history and civic engagement. She understood how educational experiences focusing on our country’s history inspire audiences of all ages.”

The 290-seat state-of-the-art William G. McGowan Theater is a critical component of the National Archives Museum. The theater is named after her late husband and was made possible with a five million dollar donation to the Foundation. The theater allows the Archives to offer important year-round programming, such as lectures and panel discussions, book signings, films, workshops and symposia on a variety of topics. The expansion of the National Archives to both UStream and YouTube in recent years increased online viewership and audience reach, placing the William G. McGowan Theater in the digital world as a resource for civic learning.

“Sue, whose business and civic connections helped us expand our reach beyond Washington, D.C., has been an enthusiastic and unfailing ambassador for the work of the Foundation and for the Archives,” said Foundation board chair A'Lelia Bundles. “We will miss not just her passion, but her kind manner.”

Mrs. McGowan’s generosity through the support of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, has left an indelible mark, providing support for free educational programming to diverse audiences from across the nation and the world and helping the Archives share with the more than 1 million annual visitors from around the world the historical significance and modern relevance of the records of our democracy.

In addition to her leadership on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Mrs. McGowan was an active collaborator on programs and initiatives. The annual “McGowan Forum on Women in Leadership” and the “McGowan Forum on Communications,” which Mrs. McGowan regularly attended, offer a unique exploration of the junction of communication, technology and government that is inspired both by the McGowan’s lifelong work and the vital role of the National Archives in all three arenas.

The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. The Foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world.

The family requests donations be made to the Sue Gin Memorial c/o the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, 1140 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, 60607 or through mercyhome.org/donate.