It’s been a season of change for the Gilcrease-TU family. Former TU President Steadman Upham passed away at the end of July from complications following surgery. Not more than two months later, Duane King succumbed to cancer and died in mid-September.
As we grieve the loss and leadership of these two individuals who had a powerful influence and impact on Gilcrease Museum and The University of Tulsa, there is still a wonderful optimism about the future of both institutions.
I’m pleased to report that Susan Neal, former chief operating officer for Gilcrease Museum, has been tapped to be its new executive director. Susan has served as TU vice president for public affairs, research and economic development since May 2010.
Susan has more than 30 years of experience in management as well as government and community relations. She also served two terms on Tulsa’s City Council after which she served on the management teams of Mayors Kathy Taylor and Dewey Bartlett.
Susan will also oversee operations at the Helmerich Center for American Research as executive director. Providing leadership for both the museum and research center will enable the continuation of the scholarship and programming underway at the Helmerich Center as a complement to the museum’s exhibition schedule and education programming.
Susan’s passion for the legacy of Thomas Gilcrease and his gift to the city and her desire to see the museum transformed into a destination that becomes an economic driver for Tulsa is evident.
Please join me in welcoming Susan to the role of executive director. We are eager to celebrate Gilcrease’s success under her leadership.