Letter from incoming NCPE Chair Robert A. Young

To all NCPE members,
I am taking a brief moment to reflect on the activities of the past few days and our extremely successful meeting and events in Savannah. First and foremost, I am honored by the opportunity to serve as your Chair. Thank you.

This year was one of the most successful course of events that I have experienced in my recent memory of the NCPE annual meeting activities. With more than 30 of the current NCPE member schools and programs present at the conference, it was indeed a great opportunity for each of us to reconnect at speaker sessions, affinity sessions, the college receptions, and, of course, our annual meeting.

Thank you for making NCPE the excellent organization that it is. I appreciate your perseverance and passion in making preservation education and research opportunities available to students, faculty, and practitioners and in keeping preservation relevant in contemporary society.

I specifically thank Lauren Bricker for her work as chair and her successful efforts to introduce the student scholarship program, the initiation of a NCPE sponsored conference series, and her efforts to broaden the venue for our collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in programming for student speakers and other cooperative initiatives.

I further thank Paul Hardin Kapp, Stephen Hartley, and Simeon Warren on their fine efforts with the field workshop series on the traditional craft skills that was begun last year in Indianapolis, fully got its legs this year, and is already on track for a session at the NTHP Conference in Washington, DC (November 2-5, 2015). I thank Trudi Sandmeier for her efforts with the membership committee, Andrea Livi Smith with her excellent work at keeping the NCPE website up to date and moving it to the cutting edge of current technology, Cari Goetcheus and Michael Tomlan for their herculean efforts to keep the NPS internship program the great success that is has been over the years, Steven Hoffman for his excellence as NCPE Secretary in keeping track of what we are doing in all our of assorted business meetings, and Ted Ligibel for his steadfast efforts in coordinating the development of the NCPE Archive at Eastern Michigan University.

I welcome Anne Sullivan from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to the executive committee and look forward to working closely with her in the coming years. I also anticipate drawing upon the skills and expertise of all of our membership to keep NCPE moving to further positively influence public opinion on preservation and the vitality and sustainability that it contributes to appropriate stewardship of the built environment.

I also welcome the University of Central Arkansas and Lamar Community College as the newest members of NCPE. With their certification, our membership count is now 59 schools and programs. With as many as four new members anticipated next year, NCPE membership will move past the 60 member threshold. I ask that if you know of any potential member schools or programs, please encourage them to inquire about or seek NCPE membership. While I see each level of education as equally important in the furtherance of NCPE goals, I especially encourage the expansion of our building craft education and community-based outreach education efforts.

The current turmoil in the local, state, and national electorate presents numerous challenges as to how various constituencies across the nation perceive preservation and its contribution to social, environmental, and economic sustainability and resilience. Conversely, these challenges present opportunities to find innovative new ways to expand our role in that conversation and implement educational outreach with the general public, community leaders, policy-makers and our elected officials. Therefore, please feel free to contact me with your ideas for initiatives, concerns about the direction of preservation education, and suggestions for ways to expand NCPE’s influence on the national opinion and legislative processes.

In closing, I look forward to an exciting year and building upon the excellence of NCPE and its member schools and programs.

With heartfelt gratitude,
Robert A. Young
Chair, National Council for Preservation Education