Virginia Living Museum earns AAM reaccreditation

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Virginia Living Museum earns AAM reaccreditation

Dec 21, 2011

Virginia Living Museum earns continuing national accreditation

The Virginia Living Museum has earned continuing accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM), meeting national standards and best practices for U.S. museums.

“We applaud the museum for pursuing both AZA and AAM accreditation,” AAM Accreditation Commission Chair Bonnie W. Styles said. “We further commend the museum on its educational programs that promote multi-generational and life-long learning.”

First accredited by AAM in 1976, the museum was also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 2009. It is one of only 13 institutions in the country accredited by the two national accrediting agencies.

A private non-profit museum and education center, the VLM uses exhibits and programs to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation.

"This is a great testament to the professional excellence of our staff and their commitment to ensuring that the VLM meets the highest standards in the country," said Charles Wornom, chairman of the VLM Board of Trustees.

"We are thrilled to attain this prestigious accreditation and are especially gratified for the recognition of our outstanding educational programming," said Page Hayhurst, VLM executive director.

AAM accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited by AAM. The VLM is one of 36 museums accredited by AAM in Virginia.

The two-year accreditation process included a comprehensive self-study and subsequent review of the museum’s operations by an Accreditation Commission visiting committee, which noted a consistent commitment to educational goals and high quality program design and exhibits.

“The strongest asset of the Museum is its dedicated, long serving staff, many of whom have ownership and pride in the Virginia Living Museum because they have built it from a small regional museum into a user-friendly, attractive, multi-dimensional experience that seems to have something to engage everyone,” reported visiting committee members Greta Brunschwyler, executive director, Briar Bush Nature Center, Abington, PA, and Dr. Beverly S. Sanford, executive director/CEO, Sciworks Science Center & Environmental Park, Winston Salem, N.C. “The Museum is a great regional asset, serving a wide variety of educational and quality of life needs. Its presence truly enhances the community profile.”

“Accreditation is emblematic of an institution’s commitment to public service and to overall excellence,” said Ford W. Bell, AAM president. “Attaining accreditation involves taking a hard look at yourself, allowing your peers in the field to do the same, and being judged to be superior in all areas.”

The Virginia Living Museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News. For more information call 757-595-1900 or visit


Media Contact: Virginia Gabriele


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