Dr. Betsy Bennett has served as the director of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh for the past 22 years and last week announced her plans to retire at the end of this year. She just led development of the Nature Research Center, a $56 million 80,000 square-foot expansion that opened this spring to rave reviews and is already experiencing record-breaking attendance. She is truly an inspiration as an incredible leader and visionary. What I have to admire most about her are what I call the three P’s: her patience, passion and persistence. We all know people who have been in the same job for 20 years who simply show up, get the work done and collect a paycheck. Not Dr. Bennett.
Betsy is inspiring in both what she has accomplished, and also longevity. It’s amazing that she did this for more than two decades and continues to push herself (and others). She did not give up; she was able to see the vision come to reality. When she announced plans to retire, she told her staff “part of me will always be at the museum.” Pretty cool stuff, and every one who knows her realizes this is true.
My daughter Lindsay attended summer camp at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for several years and loved it, until she outgrew it. In this seemingly endless heat wave we have been experiencing, I have been fantasizing about going to camp. I worked as a camp counselor one summer in New Hampshire, and it is a great memory. I think we should have summer camp for adults. Instead of being in my office, right now I could be sitting in a wet bathing suit making a handy lanyard to hold my keys, and planning for tonight’s campfire. What about you?
Here’s hoping you are finding ways to stay cool and inspired.