Jax Museum Director Named IL’s Top Young Museum Professional

By Benjamin Cox on April 23, 2024 at 8:59am

The Jacksonville Area Museum manager has been named the state’s top young museum professional.

McKenna Servis has received the Russell L. Lewis Jr. Young Museum Professional Award during the 125th annual meeting of the Illinois State Historical Society.

The Young Museum Professional Award is given annually to a person under the age of 30 and recognizes him or her for outstanding achievement in the museum profession. The criteria for choosing the award winner includes, but may not be limited to, leadership in the field exemplified by holding office or serving on a committee of a professional organization; presentations at workshops or conferences; publications; contributions to research in an area of expertise; and creativity and vision as it relates to his or her current position. The award was presented by the Illinois State Historical Society on Saturday, April 20 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield.

Jacksonville Area Museum Board Chairman Allan Worrell said in a press release that Servis has been a perfect fit for the local museum: “McKenna is most deserving of this recognition and we are thrilled for her. It is another example of how well the Jacksonville Area Museum is thought of in public history circles.”

Servis was nominated for the award by David Joens, the director of the Illinois State Archives.

Servis says the nomination and win has been an honor: “It was an honor to be nominated for this award, let alone receive it. Achievements like this are not earned alone. I share this award with my family and the Jacksonville community. It is a privilege to serve Jacksonville and its surrounding communities by sharing their stories.” 

The Jacksonville Area Museum uses original artifacts, storytelling exhibits and the building itself, as well as items from the MacMurray College Foundation and Alumni Association collection, to show people of all ages and backgrounds why the Jacksonville community has been and continues to be one of a kind. The museum is located in the old Post Office building at 301 E. State Street, and its regular schedule is Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. There is no admission fee but a donation of $5 is suggested to keep the museum operating.

The museum will begin construction this summer on a major expansion project that will greatly increase its exhibit space and offer an even more innovative and engaging visitor experience. The expansion is possible thanks to generous donations to the Jacksonville Area Museum Foundation, the museum’s private, 501-c-3 fundraising organization.

To learn more about the museum visit: http://www.jacksonvilleareamuseum.org/.