Happenings at the Museum


Dr. Francoise Bonnell Receives a medal

Dr. Bonnell was presented with the Samuel Sharpe Medal on Friday, 9/25. She spoke of how she came to be an ordnance officer and what a wonderful opportunity it was and how that career path allowed her to meet the love of her life, Charles Bonnell. 

Farewell to Dr. Francoise Bonnell, AWM Director

Dr. Bonnell, long time director of the Army Women’s Museum, was celebrated for her great successes in preserving the legacy of Army Women. She was honored at a luncheon prior to her last day as the AWM Director on August 21, 2020. Dr. Bonnell’s long list of accomplishments were cited, with significant emphasis on the 2018 reopening of the museum after an expansion and complete renovation of the Galleries. Dr. Bonnell, along with her staff, guided this project from concept to execution over a 4 year period that included seeking funding, developing the new look and working with FAWMA on our fundraising campaign. The Grand Opening was a huge success with many General Officers speaking and was highlighted by large crowds eager to see the new exhibits. Since the Grand Opening, Dr. Bonnell has launched a Virtual Tour as she recognized many people were unable to visit the museum in person but were deeply vested in the history of women in the Army. The virtual tour has been praised by many.

Dr. Bonnell has accepted a position with the Fort Monroe Authority as Director of the Casemate Museum. Dr. Bonnell will also be responsible for specific educational/outreach activities. The Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, created to preserve, protect, and manage Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort after the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) closure in September 2011. We look forward to following Dr. Bonnell’s achievements at the Fort Monroe site as we know she will have many ideas on all fronts.

New transport at the Army Women’s Museum

We would like to thank Bill Bonnell, Retired Army, Vietnam War veteran, and a FAWMA supporter for many years, for donating a scooter to be used at the museum. Visitors will greatly benefit from its use, especially since the gallery area is much larger than it used to be.

Live Studio

On May 5, 2020 St Rose of Lima School in Massapequa participated in a program with Jimmy Price. The student learned about the important roles women played during WWII and how they were instrumental in the victory. (Post from St Rose’s Instagram page).
Collections manager, Ron Bingham explaining COL Hallaren’s WWII uniform with Jimmy Price.
Ron and Jimmy preparing the studio to video “A Museum Minute” about COL Mary Hallaren’s wartime service and Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Virtual Staff Meetings

Museum staff staying connected during COVID-19

Excellence in All They Do at the Army Women’s Museum

In 2019, US Army Women’s Museum staff, under the outstanding leadership of Education Director, Mr. Jimmy Price, conducted 18 live-broadcast programs for over 600 learners of all ages, and that hard work has recently been noticed! The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) has awarded two of AWM programs their “Value Seals of Alignment.”

The program “Island of Integration: The Desegregation of the U.S. Army” earned CILC’s Value Seal of Alignment for Life Long Learning, Global Learning, Authentic Learning, and Diverse Learning, giving it a perfect 4 out of 4. One recent user evaluation for this program said, “This was one of the best classes we have ever taken through CILC and we will be using them again!”

Another museum offering entitled “100 Years Ago: An Exploration of America’s Role in WWI” also won CILC’s Value Seal of Alignment for Diverse Learning and Authentic Learning. According to the center, “Programs that align to CILC’s four core values are recognized for quality and awarded these seals, based on recognition by our Value Ambassadors, Staff, and members’ feedback.” This coming year the museum staff will build upon the successes of previous years with even greater achievements as they continue to reach students around the globe with this amazing educational tool.

If you are interested in arranging museum programs for your organizations please visit their website and use the contact button or give them a call. https://awm.lee.army.mil/

The Army Women’s Museum REACHING Outside Its Walls.

Virtual Tour is Live!

We are pleased to announce that through your donations FAWMA has been able to fund a virtual tour of the museum. This is especially meaningful since we know that many of you love the museum but are unable to travel to see it in person.

Right after the new year, the staff of the Army Women’s Museum worked with a contractor and a few volunteers to film a 360 degree virtual tour of the museum. Seen here is a member of the tour production company directing three soldiers for a shot in the museum’s “21st Century Army” gallery. Once complete, we will be providing a link for you to check out the tour and the special items that will be featured from the Museum’s collection that are not included in the current exhibits!

AIT Trainees

On 30 August, over 530 AIT trainees from 16th Ordnance Battalion toured the museum. Rotating through in groups of 100, the soldiers received a brief orientation on Army women’s history before embarking on an exploration of the new exhibits. The newly-renovated galleries proved accommodating for such a large group and many soldiers had their curiosity piqued, asking numerous questions and voicing how much they enjoyed everything they experienced in the museum.

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