Lynn Bassanese '75 Named Director of FDR Presidential Library and Museum

Marist College

Lynn Bassanese ’75 has been appointed director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. The Roosevelt Library is the premier research center in the world for study and research of the Roosevelt era, containing more than 17 million pages of documents including the papers of President and Mrs. Roosevelt and many of their associates.

Bassanese’s career at the Roosevelt Library began more than 40 years ago. While attending Marist, she answered an ad on the College’s placement office bulletin board for a part-time archives aide at the library, which is just two miles north of the Marist campus. The following year, she became a full-time office machine operator at the library, copying for researchers and microfilming collections while continuing to pursue her undergraduate degree part-time. She resigned from the library in January 1976 after earning her bachelor’s degree in history and starting a family in 1975.

Four years later, she returned to the library as an intermittent sales clerk in the museum store. From there her titles included sales operations manager, public affairs specialist, archives specialist, archivist, acting facilities manager, director of public programs, and deputy director. She has served as acting director of the library since February 2011.

Bassanese was instrumental in the design and construction of the site’s Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center, which opened in 2003, acting as the contracting officer’s representative for the project. She serves in the same capacity for the library’s current $35 million renovation project and leads the team designing new permanent museum exhibits scheduled to open on June 30, 2013. She has received three Archivist Awards for Outstanding Achievement.

She has been married for more than 40 years to John Bassanese ’71, U.S. Navy, retired. They have two sons.

In May 2012, Marist awarded Bassanese its Distinguished Alumna Medal, the highest honor presented to a Marist graduate. Marist presents the award to individuals who exemplify the College’s ideals: excellence in education, the importance of community, and dedication to service.

Bassanese continues to foster ties between Marist and the library and has worked extensively with the College to redesign the library’s Web site, which is hosted by Marist. The library and the College have been working together on a major project that will digitize 350,000 pages of microfilmed records and make them accessible on the library’s Web site. Marist is one of only six colleges and universities nationwide to be affiliated with a presidential library.

The Roosevelt Library is America’s first presidential library, and the only one used by a sitting president. Conceived and built under President Roosevelt’s direction and opened to the public in 1941, it is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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