Article Date: January 31st, 2010
Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, retired astronaut and current President and CEO of The Museum of Flight, spoke of the connections between future and past when she addressed the AKCHO annual meeting, which was held at the Museum on January 26. Dunbar recalled something her Scottish grandfather once asked her — “How can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?” — and said those words have guided her in her current position.
With that, Dunbar launched into an engaging historical tour through the technology of flight, beginning with mythical Daedalus, and continuing through Leonardo, the Wright Brothers, Robert Goddard, Bill Boeing, and on up to the present.
Dunbar detailed the development of The Museum of Flight, which receives half a million visitors annually, and has the largest aviation library on the West Coast.
She noted that while 120,000 of those annual visitors are youths, she is concerned that the United States is falling behind in technology. The U.S. annually graduates 60,000 engineers, Dunbar said, while India graduates four times that many, and China ten times that number.
She said that the Museum has a dual mission — not only to celebrate the past, but also to inspire the future.
Attendees at the annual meeting also heard a presentation by Jim Kelly, executive director of 4Culture, on that agency’s support of heritage and historic preservation activities throughout the county, and on future prospects for funding.
There were also updates from Todd Scott with the King County Historic Preservation office, and from AKCHO board members on the HB 1386 task force, the brand-new King County Collects web site and book project, the fast-approaching deadline (February 15) for nominations for the 2010 AKCHO Awards program, and the programs and meeting sites slated for AKCHO’s meetings in 2010.
The service of immediate past president Deb Kennedy and her fellow officers and board members was recognized with great appreciation, and the introduction of the 2010 AKCHO board was received with enthusiasm by the membership.
Members of the 2010 AKCHO board.