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July 5, 2002

Southern California couple endows new history education chair, McCluney named to post

Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., long-standing friends and supporters of Colonial Williamsburg, have endowed a new history education chair at the foundation. Richard L. McCluney, vice president in charge of productions, publications and learning ventures, will become the first Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker Vice President for Productions, Publications and Learning Ventures.

McCluney’s responsibilities include: oversight and distribution of educational media; book publishing; broadcast, consumer video and audio production; the Internet; and computer-based media. He also oversees the Teacher Institute, the Electronic Field Trip series and the Learning Resource Center at the foundation’s Visitor Center.

“Kitte and I are enormous fans of Colonial Williamsburg because of its strong educational focus and, in particular, its emphasis on strengthening history education,” said Mr. Baker. “We hope our gift will enable the foundation to sustain its excellent programs in American schools and homes. These kinds of educational ventures fulfill the vital goal of explaining the relevance of American history directly to our nation’s young people.”

As leading foundation donors, the Bakers are members of Colonial Williamsburg’s National Council, a group of supporters who work to secure the foundation’s financial support, and the Raleigh Tavern Society, the foundation’s leading donor society. Their gifts to the foundation total more than $6 million. A recent gift of $1 million to the Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg, the foundation’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign, and other planned gifts will be used to fund the newly endowed chair. Additional gifts from the Bakers have included funds for the restoration of the orientation film, “Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot,” a gift in Mrs. Baker’s honor for planned preservation that is recognized by a plaque in one of the rooms at the Williamsburg Inn, and generous support for the Teacher Institute.

“The technology of the 21st century makes it possible for us to share the 18th-century experience of Colonial Williamsburg with both national and global audiences,” said Colin G. Campbell, Colonial Williamsburg president and chairman. “Royce and Kitte Baker’s vision and generosity will help us achieve our goal of reaching future generations of Americans and teaching them the significance of their nation’s heritage.”

McCluney, who joined Colonial Williamsburg in 1983, has received national and international awards for writing, direction and cinematography. He has more than 100 major documentary, film, motion picture, television and musical recording credits. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the College of William and Mary and pursued graduate study in television and film production at Boston University’s School of Public Communication.

Media Contact:
Sophia Hart
(757) 220-7272