Story and images provided by Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History
After nearly eight years of service, Ammie Bryant will step down as the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History’s Museum Director at the end of June.
“We, of course, are sorry to lose Ammie’s leadership at the Sheerar, but look forward to building on her successful tenure,” said Museum Board of Trustees President Pat Jaynes. “We are excited to explore new opportunities to build on her record, a record that began with the Sheerars’ gift to the Stillwater community in the 1970s and continues into the twenty-first century. The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret our community’s history. Ammie Bryant has enhanced that mission during her eight years with us. We expect to maintain and build on what Ammie has provided for us and the Stillwater community.”
Bryant joined the staff of the Sheerar Museum in August of 2008. She was the first full time Director in the Museum’s 41-year history. Originally hired as the Museum’s part-time office manager, Bryant was quickly promoted to full-time Museum Director. Since she became Director, the facility’s usage statistics have steadily grown and when comparing numbers from 2008 to the present, visitation has more than doubled. Contributions have also increased.
During her tenure, Bryant oversaw the renovation and redesign of the Museum’s long-term exhibits, funded through a grant from the Buel J. Staton Charitable Trust. She has mentored dozens of university student-interns to research, develop, and install exhibits each year. Under her direction, the Museum continued the popular Cool Classics Summer Concert series which will be held for the tenth season this July. Bryant also worked to develop and nurture community partnerships with many different organizations including: the Stillwater Public Library, OSU Edmon Low Library, Special Collections and University Archives, Town and Gown Theatre, and the Oklahoma WONDERtorium.
In 2014, the Sheerar Museum kicked off its 40th anniversary year of collecting, preserving, and presenting Stillwater’s history and culture with an award from the Oklahoma Historical Society recognizing the Museum as the 2013 Outstanding Local Historical Museum in the state of Oklahoma. Later that fall, the Oklahoma Museum Association recognized the Sheerar Museum and Oklahoma WONDERtorium as the Outstanding Education and Outreach Program in the state of Oklahoma for their partnership in presenting “How Oklahoma Began.” This spring the two organizations continued their partnership in presenting this outstanding program for the third year. Since joining the Museum staff, Bryant has worked to modernize the Museum’s business practices, technology, and equipment as well as implementing the standards and ethics of the professional Museum field.
The Museum’s Board of Trustees search committee have guided the process of selecting a new Museum Director with Bryant’s participation in the search. Bryant plans to assist in the transition period as well. “I am looking forward to passing the torch to the next leader and supporting the Museum as a patron,” Bryant said. “I can’t wait to watch the Museum continue to grow and thrive as a steward and caretaker of Stillwater’s rich history and culture.”
A special reception honoring Ammie Bryant and her service to the Museum will be hosted by the Museum’s Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 5pm at the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History.
The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is located at 702 S. Duncan St in Stillwater. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 11am-5pm and weekends 1-4pm. The Museum is closed Mondays and Holidays. Telephone: 405-377-0359. The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more details about the Museum, its exhibits and programs, or renting the Museum’s auditorium, visit www.sheerarmuseum.org.