MacMurray Archive Collection Officially Heads to Jacksonville Museum

By Benjamin Cox on September 17, 2020 at 2:59pm

From L to R: Heritage Culture Center Board Member Jon Clancy, MacMurray Alumni Foundation Secretary Sharon Mather, (seated) MacMurray Alumni Foundation Treasurer Larry Kuster, Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard, Heritage Culture Center Board Chairman David Blanchette and Heritage Culture Center Board Member Diane Hollendonner. Behind Mayor Ezard are Heritage Cultural Center Board Members James Pisell and Laura Marks.

MacMurray College’s archives officially has a new home. In a brief ceremony outside of the Jacksonville Area Museum on East State Street, Mayor Andy Ezard, Heritage Cultural Center Board Director David Blanchette along with members of the board, and MacMurray Alumni Association Secretary Sharon Mather and Association Treasurer Larry Kuster formally signed the agreement to transfer the archive to the city of Jacksonville.

Blanchette says that the project has been in the works since MacMurray College announced it’s closure in March: “I’m very pleased to be signing this agreement today, which is a 10-year agreement between the City of Jacksonville and the MacMurray Foundation which will guarantee that the artifact collection at MacMurray College has a good home, is curated properly, and people will have a chance to see it by both people who are alums and people who are interested in the college as well as any aspect of Jacksonville history. We have been working on this agreement ever since MacMurray announced plans to close. I would like to credit a former board member, Lynne Phillips, the archivist at MacMurray College for setting the process in motion. It’s just a pleasure to be here today to be able to put pen to paper and know that the collection is going to have a new home here at the Jacksonville Area Museum.”

Blanchette says that area residents will be able to get a sneak peek of the progress of the museum’s construction on October 10th.

Mayor Ezard says he’s glad that the archive collection is staying in its home of Jacksonville: “These are the small victories that we can take and attempt to move forward. We certainly don’t want to forget what MacMurray College has meant to this community. This is a great step as far as keeping things together and having MacMurray always in the eyes of Jacksonville. I look forward to this museum opening up, and I think it is going to be a win for everybody. I know the city takes what the Heritage Cultural Museum and the momentum you have going with having this museum opening up with great pride. It’s really cool to be a good partner with MacMurray College and the Heritage Cultural Center Board.”

The city and the alumni association will now combine funds to help store and display the collection for its first display at the sneak peek. The museum is supposed to fully open sometime in early to mid 2021.