Gettysburg Foundation President and CEO Matthew C. Moen, Ph.D., is stepping down from his position effective July 31, 2020. The Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors was notified of his decision late last week.
Matthew C. Moen, Ph.D.
"Pandemics have a way of rearranging life priorities, both professionally and personally," said Moen. "I spent thirty-one years in higher education and more than three years in Gettysburg. It is the right time to hit the pause button, relocate westward and finish writing my eighth book, an academic satire set in Maine, before deciding whether to start a new chapter in my career."
"Dr. Moen is a model of courtesy in a sometimes world of chaos. He brought calmness where there was turmoil in conversation and discussions,” said Gettysburg Foundation Co-chair Barbara Finfrock. “Ever the gentleman, Matt's quiet voice could be heard. I wish him well, with relaxing days ahead as he leaves Gettysburg physically. Part of him will always remain."
Moen served as President and CEO of the Foundation since 2017. During his tenure, the Foundation completed the $1 million conversion of the George Spangler Farmhouse into the Kinsley Leadership Center, raised $547,000 in one evening at the inaugural Gettysburg Gala, developed plans and funding for the conversion of the Rupp House History Center into a children's museum, and continued to improve visitor experiences with a new state-of-the-art website and additional "green initiatives" at the already LEED-gold certified Museum & Visitor Center.
“On behalf of the entire Gettysburg Foundation including our Board of Directors, the staff, and our thousands of donors, we thank Dr. Moen for more than three years of excellence in leadership, professionalism and dedication. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him continued success in his future endeavors,” said Gettysburg Foundation Co-chair, Craig Bashein.
Currently, the Foundation is working with TimeLooper out of New York to convert the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad StationTM into a virtual reality, projection-mapping visitor experience, expected in 2021, and is working with the National Park Service to complete the Spangler Trail and Little Round Top battlefield rehabilitation projects.
"I've respected Gettysburg as a blend of a massive battle, the site of the most significant speech by any American president, and a symbol of the greatest democratic experiment the world has ever known," said Moen. "It has been so satisfying assembling an excellent management team, working with a distinguished group of Americans serving on the Foundation Board of Directors, meeting some of the thousands of donors and Friends of Gettysburg, and learning more about the Civil War battle, Eisenhower National Historic Site and the National Park Service mission."
With public education a priority, Moen conceptualized and launched Gettysburg Revisited, an educational series of lectures and events connecting the lessons of Gettysburg with key issues and questions facing our democracy today. He personally traveled more than 28,000 miles in an effort to reach new audiences with this broader, more inclusive message about Gettysburg.
Inspired by the post-battle healing and gradual conciliation that occurred in Gettysburg, along with Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address, Moen addressed audiences at more than 35 colleges and universities, service clubs and historical societies. He represented the Foundation at an international battlefield and museum conference in Gdansk, Poland. He also authored a companion blog.
Outgoing Foundation Board Chair Eric B. Schultz said, “Always an educator, Matt’s leadership brought new focus to the Foundation's mission of preservation and education. It was through his vision and passion that we launched Gettysburg Revisited to highlight stories of inspiration that arose from the battle, to spread President Lincoln’s message of humility and civility, and to reinterpret Gettysburg for a new generation.”
“Behind the scenes,” Schultz added, “the Foundation launched an improved ticketing and scheduling infrastructure, substantially grew our fundraising team and results, and continued to strengthen and diversify our Board of Directors. Matt leaves the Foundation in a strong position, ready to move forward as the impact of the pandemic eases.”
Moen said he hopes the Museum & Visitor Center will be safe to reopen to visitors before he departs.
"The pandemic shut us down almost nine weeks ago," Moen said. "And we will not reopen until health and government officials give us the green light, but I hope that day arrives before I go for the sake of our employees and visitors, and for the larger Gettysburg community."