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September 20, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU graduate leads General Society of Mayflower Descendants

Walter Powell, a 1973 Slippery Rock University history graduate, is putting his studies to work. He’s been named executive director of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants headquartered in Plymouth, Mass.

The GSMD manages the Mayflower Society Museum House in Plymouth, the GSMD library, the “Corn Hill” site on Cape Cod, a website at and a publishing arm that produces the Mayflower Quarterly and the Silver Book collection, a series of books containing genealogy of Pilgrim ancestors.

Powell had recently worked as a historical preservation consultant for Stone Fort Consulting in Mission, Kan., and as a visiting history instructor and interim director for the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War at Shepherd University. He has worked on the Integrated Cultural Resource Management Plan for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, completing a federal rehabilitation “tax act” application for the historic Meade School building in Gettysburg, Pa., according to a recent story in the online

He has served as a visiting instructor in the Shippensburg University graduate program in applied history.

He brings more than 35 years experience in the field of museums, historic preservation and public history to the post.

From 1990 to 2007, Powell was the director of planning and historic preservation for the Borough of Gettysburg, Pa., where, he oversaw $3 million in restoration for the town’s 1858 Gettysburg Railroad Station and served as the borough’s historian and principal project liaison to the National Park Service Planning Team. The team directed a $7 million restoration and exhibit plan for the historic David Wills House, where President Abraham Lincoln completed the Gettysburg Address.

Powell was the first executive director of the Conococheague Institute for the Study of Cultural Heritage in Mercersburg, Pa.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.