Jule Collins Smith Museum announces acceptance into elite group of American museums

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art Director Marilyn Laufer was joined by Auburn University President Jay Gogue today to celebrate the museum’s recent accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national industry recognition for museums. With accreditation, the museum joins an elite group of 6 percent of museums in the nation. The announcement comes as the museum looks forward to launching its 10th anniversary celebration in October.

Doug Jones, an AAM board member and director of the Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Fla., presented Laufer with a framed certificate commemorating the museum’s accomplishment. Tommy Chase, vice president of the Jule Collins Smith Museum’s advisory board, also participated in the event and offered congratulations to those who helped the museum reach its goal.

“We are a better museum for having gone through the accreditation process,” said museum Director Marilyn Laufer. “Our tagline ‘Art Changes Lives’ developed out of that exercise and led us into a full year of internal self-study for our accreditation application.”

Laufer said accreditation opens doors for collection loans and prestigious traveling exhibitions from other top tier institutions across the nation and that it also carries significant weight with public and private funding agencies and individual donors.

“The road toward full accreditation really began for the museum two years ago when we joined the Museum Assessment Program and were asked to review everything from our mission statement to how we identified and engaged our audiences,” Laufer said. “This has been a rigorous and all-consuming endeavor for our staff, advisory board and members of the university administration who were encouraging and supportive as always.”

“Professional accreditation has been a goal of the university staff and advisory board since the museum opened 10 years ago,” said assistant director Andy Tennant. “We are proud to be able to make this announcement during this exciting crossroads for the museum.”

“Accreditation assures the people at Auburn University that their museum is among the finest in the nation,” said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. “As a result, the campus and community can take considerable pride in their homegrown institution, for its commitment to excellence and for the value it brings to the region.”

The museum will celebrate 10 years of serving the Auburn and East Alabama community on Oct. 4 with a ticketed reception on the museum grounds for “Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition” and the annual free Family Day Oct. 5.

For more information about the museum, go to www.jcsm.auburn.edu.

(Contributed by Charlotte Hendrix.)

Contact: Charlotte Hendrix, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, (334) 844-7075 (charlotte.hendrix@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)