Illinois State Museum Interviews

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Illinois State Museum Interviews

Bruce McMillan - Illinois State Museum

Bruce McMillan, after earning a Ph.D. in Anthropology, began his career at the Illinois State Museum in 1969. He advanced quickly and became director of the State Museum in 1977. He stayed in that position until 2005, guiding the institution through a major expansion. During his tenure it grew from two to six facilities, and developed a reputation for excellence in interdisciplinary research and innovation in exhibits and education. The Museum's Research and Collections Center and the Dickson Mounds Museum were examples of the excellent work being done during McMillan's tenure, as were many of the projects, studies and initiatives conducted during his many years at the helm.

Dr. Bonnie Styles - Illinois State Museum

Dr. Bonnie Styles became the Associate Curator and Chair of Anthropology at the Illinois State Museum (ISM) in 1977. She subsequently became a full Curator of Anthropology, later the Director of Sciences, then Associate Museum Director of Science and Education, and finally ISM Director from 2005-2015. During her directorship, Dr. Styles oversaw innovative outreach and education programs, as well as the opening of new exhibits, including the Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum children’s gallery. Ultimately, Governor Rauner directed the ISM’s parent agency, the Department of Natural Resources, to close the museum in 2015 amid the state’s budget impasse, ending Dr. Styles’ directorship.

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