Walter “Mac” Woodward has been named the director of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, effective Jan. 1.
He succeeds Patrick Nolan, who retired from the position on Dec. 31, 2011.
“Dr. Patrick Nolan did a marvelous job of leading our museum for the past 19 years, building an excellent team and a solid foundation on which to build an outstanding program,” said Frank Holmes, SHSU vice president for university advancement.
“With his retirement, we felt fortunate to be able to appoint Mr. Woodward as his successor. Mac worked closely with Pat for more than 12 years,” Holmes said.
“His appointment provides the museum with leadership continuity, together with experience and genuine passion. Both men have been dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of artifacts depicting the life and times of Texas’s greatest hero, Sam Houston, for the benefit of the citizens of our state and nation,” he said.
Woodward earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Sam Houston State University in 1970. He later graduated with his master’s degree from the University of Houston’s Institute for Public History and attended the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
He was employed by the Sam Houston Memorial Museum in 1994 as a historical interpreter. A year later he was named the museum’s curator of collections.
In addition to his management, preservation and exhibition responsibilities as curator, Woodward has performed museum-related activities with other institutions including the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Texas Highways, and Institute of Texan Cultures, and assisted with the Department of Interior National Historic Landmark Report, among others.
He has made presentations to the Texas State Historical Association, The Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums, the Texas Association of Museums, and has served on numerous Sam Houston State University committees.
Woodward has been active in the Huntsville community, serving as project manager for several historic preservation endeavors, as a board member for numerous foundations and organizations, and committee member for several events.
He served four terms on the Huntsville City Council and was elected Huntsville’s mayor in December.
“I am proud and honored to be named the director of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum,” Woodward said.
“As the museum begins its second hundred years, I, along with the great staff, want to continue to build on Dr. Nolan’s efforts to enhance the museum’s role and importance as a proud member of Sam Houston State University community, Huntsville, and Walker County,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to tell the story of Sam Houston and the Houston family as we serve the people of Texas.”