UMW alumna Holly Irwin of Herndon will mingle with presidential descendants, historians and former White House staff at this week’s Presidential Sites Summit in Washington, D.C. She is among 15 college students and recent graduates awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious national conference gathering to share ideas and celebrate the White House and its rich history.
“This is an amazing opportunity, which I couldn’t pass up,” said Irwin, a historic preservation major and museum minor who graduated last May. “I want to learn as much as I can from the top experts in this field.”
The four-day conference convenes historians, world-renowned speakers, journalists and leaders from presidential sites and libraries for a historic national gathering to share ideas and celebrate the White House and its rich history. Among the speakers are Lynda Johnson Robb, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson; Susan Bales Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford; and Clifton Truman Daniels, grandson of President Harry S. Truman.
The winning students were selected after submitting personal statements about their interest in attending the summit. The students will be recognized during the Presidential Sites Summit.
“We are excited to welcome these outstanding students to Washington and the President’s neighborhood, the place that ties us all together,” said Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association that sponsors the summit.
The association was established in 1961 to support the vision of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy who envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. Supported entirely by private resources, the association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House.
Irwin said she is committed to a career dedicated to historical preservation and museum work. While at UMW, Irwin interned at the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library after receiving the Albert J. Bowley scholarship that promotes education related to the nation’s fifth president and benefits the preservation of the museum. She also served internships at the Tudor Place in Georgetown and the Cornerstone Community Partnership in Santa Fe, New Mexico.