Frank Milligan, who has spearheaded the launch of extensive new public programming and the implementation of a new strategic plan for Morven Park, will retire as executive director of that organization at the end of November.
The announcement was made by Clark Davis, President of the Board of Trustees for the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, which operates Morven Park. Since Milligan joined Morven Park as executive director in January 2010, the number of visitors to the site increased by 84 percent.
“Frank informed the Board that he will be leaving Morven Park to devote more time to a book project and to spend more time with his family,” Davis said. “Frank played a key role in the completion of the Park’s new strategic vision, highlighted by a revitalized commitment to education and preservation, and numerous physical improvements to our historic structures and landscapes. His contributions to Morven Park are enormous.”
Milligan has been instrumental in orchestrating the site’s flagship education program, the Morven Park Center for Civic Impact. The Center, which educates for a healthy democracy, is focused on teaching youth and adults the civic skills needed to address challenges seen in Loudoun County and across the country. He also oversaw the construction of athletic fields to meet community demand as well as the current plans to renovate the site’s equestrian facilities.
“After 37 years in the historic sites business, I decided that it was time for a change,” Milligan said. “Three years ago I started researching a biography of a virtually unknown theologian of comparative religions, and it is now time to focus on this important work, and to spend more time with my wife and our rather large family, which is spread out all over North America.” He and his wife, Chris, expect to spend the winter in a warm locality before returning next spring to their native Canada. “I am reminded that while Chris married me for better or worse, that did not necessarily mean for lunch every day, so I will need to stay out of her way best as I can.”
The Board of Trustees is currently engaged in the process of hiring an executive search firm specializing in non-profit executive recruitment to launch a national search for a new executive director. “While we are certainly disappointed that Frank has decided to retire, we understand his desire to pursue his research and spend more time with his family,” Davis added. “We, of course, wish him all the best.”