After a three-month search, Michael W. Hamilton, a professor and Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Principia College, has been selected to serve as the Executive Director of The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity. Michael will assume this position September 2, 2014. Until then, Stephen Graham will continue to serve as Interim Manager of the Library.
Michael is replacing Lesley Pitts who is retiring. The Christian Science Board of Directors expresses their deep appreciation for all Lesley has done. She served as a member of the team responsible for the development and implementation of The Mary Baker Eddy Library; managed the Library archives from 2001 through 2005; and finally, as Executive Director, supervised all functions of the Library, including the archival collection and its exhibits and public programs. During her tenure, she enhanced the Library’s reputation within the wider academic community as well as expanded its connections with local charitable groups and neighborhood alliances.
Michael’s 20-year experience as a chaplain in the United States Navy, working with servicemen and -women of all faiths and backgrounds, and his ten years as a scholar and faculty member at Principia College prepare him well to lead the Library through its next phase of development. He holds advanced degrees from Boston University School of Theology and Princeton Theological Seminary, and is nearing completion of his PhD from the University of Illinois.
For more than a year the Christian Science Board of Directors and the Library Trustees have been working to bring greater clarity to the Library’s unique contribution to both the mission of the Church and the wider community. Primary effort will be placed on achieving greater global accessibility to the Library’s core collection, facilitating more research by scholars, encouraging broader use of the collection by church members worldwide, and developing programs and exhibits that communicate more deeply the relevance of the life of Mary Baker Eddy and her writings to the progress of humanity today.
Michael’s grasp of the Library’s potential is in clear alignment with the direction set forth by the Directors. Of the Library, he wrote: “I think of the Library as a multifaceted continuing ‘biography’ of Mary Baker Eddy and of the Christian Science movement. This biography is ‘written’ as visitors encounter the Library’s resources and as the Library nurtures public understanding of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.” Lyle Young, Chair of the Library's Board of Trustees, observes that "the Library is a primary vehicle for Boston and the global community to see Mary Baker Eddy in proper perspective as a leading world figure, one whose contribution to theology, medicine, journalism, and especially spirituality will be increasingly comprehended and appreciated. Michael will be a strong asset in fulfilling this vision of the Library."