Farewell . . . And Hello

Farewell . . .

It is always sad to say, “Good-bye.”  I never do –  I always say, “I will see you later” – and often, I do.  On August 15, we said good-bye to our Executive Director of just over five years, David Gagnon.  It seems like he just arrived.  In five years, Dave accomplished quite a lot for the Maria Mitchell Association.  Under his leadership, we expanded programming, grew our internships, created brand new programs, and reached an ever growing audience.  Dave always had a smile on his face, was always willing to roll up his sleeves and get dirty – literally – and to be a cheerleader for the MMA and the hard work of the staff.  We thank him for everything that he has done for the MMA – and most importantly for YOU – and we wish him the best in his new endeavors – and more time with his first grandchild!

. . . And, Hello!

And then you have a brand new face in your midst – though this face is familiar to many!  Today, we officially welcome Jason Bridges as the MMA’s Interim Director.  He has already been hard at work catching up with staff, listening to what we have all been working on, and rolling his sleeves up to help out.  We may be quieter at the MMA due to the ongoing COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic, but that has not slowed our research, the work that goes on in and around our sites and buildings daily, and the programing that we are now able to offer you following the guidelines of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  And Jason is jumping in, assisting, and bringing some new ideas to the MMA table.

These times remind me of a Girl Scout song – “Make new friends but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.” (Oh yes, I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout.)  But really, as the Mitchell House curator, I have to provide you with a Maria Mitchell quote – what sort of curator would I be?  So with that, from Maria:

We have therefore a circle whom we call friends, giving a name to the whole, which perhaps in its singular occupation might be used for the combination. Out of the whole circle we may make up a single friend. We love them all but we love the union of all better.  – Maria Mitchell

While Dave is on to new things, he will still be a part of us and the MMA.  Jason will add to that in his time with the MMA and with all of us.  The union of what they bring to the MMA and all of us, makes the MMA stronger and better and builds upon both of their guidance so that we can make sure the MMA gives you – and the land, sea, and sky of Nantucket – all that you need to appreciate and protect the world around us.

JNLF