26 million pages; 400,000 photographs; 16,000 artifacts; these are the holdings in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan., and they are the responsibility of Karl Weissenbach, Reinhardt Class of 1974. As director, he is in charge of maintaining, preserving and coordinating the holdings so they are accessible for research, museum exhibits, public programs and educational outreach.
“At the Eisenhower Museum and Library, it is my goal to create new partnerships and initiatives that continue to tell the story about President Eisenhower and his relevance in our country today,” he said.
Thirty Years in the Political Science Field
In the political science field for almost 30 years, Weissenbach began his career in 1979 running the research rooms at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. In 1991, he became supervisor of the Central Research Room before accepting the role of director of the Nixon Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Md. Weissenbach held this position until three years ago when he decided to move to Kansas to secure the director’s position at the Eisenhower Museum and Library.
Crediting Reinhardt for His Career Success
Weissenbach graduated from Reinhardt with an Associate of Arts degree, and then earned his bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington D.C. , but it was his time at Reinhardt that he gives the most credit for his career success.
“One of the joys of going to a college like Reinhardt is that you get that specialized encouragement from your professors who always push you to do more than you think you can do,” explained Weissenbach. “I got that push at Reinhardt College.”
"Reinhardt Has Special Meaning to Me."
Although he won’t “push” his children, Ben, age 14, and Anna, age 12, to go to Reinhardt, he hopes that by sharing his stories of his experiences at the College, it will gently persuade them to consider the place that means so much to him.
“Reinhardt has special meaning to me, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my time there,” he said. “One day I was jogging in Washington, D.C. wearing a Reinhardt T-shirt, and someone stopped me and said ‘I know exactly where Reinhardt is. Are you still in Georgia?’ I replied, ‘No, I am in Kansas.’ He looked at me puzzled, and I told him it was a long story, but it’s the story that will always have a special place in my heart.”
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