Interim director named at Panhandle-Plains
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By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Carol Lovelady, a prominent Amarillo volunteer and philanthropist, will serve as interim director of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon.
Lovelady steps in for Guy "Cliff" Vanderpool, who left in April to take a position at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, as Panhandle PBS exclusively reported.
"My grandmother came to Amarillo in 1901, so I have a natural interest in and love for the Texas Panhandle," Lovelady said. "I think the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is a magical place, and we need to let everyone know that."
Lovelady, who'll assume her new duties May 16, said she first joined the PPHM board of directors in the 1990s, then served as its president from 2010-12. She currently serves on the museum's long-term strategic planning committee.
Her roots in Amarillo are deep: She's the daughter of former mayor L. Ray Vahue and community volunteer Helen Vahue. A former journalist and public relations director, she has worked for the Amarillo Globe-News, the former High Plains Baptist Hospital and, as we were known at the time, KACV-TV. She has volunteered for Llano Cemetery and Presbyterian Home for Children, among other organizations.
“Carol is an exceptional person. Her love for community, philanthropy and volunteerism makes her the perfect fit as the museum’s interim director,” said West Texas A&M University President J. Patrick O’Brien in a news release. “We are thrilled to have her on board, and I know she will do an exceptional job in leading the museum until a permanent replacement is found.”
While serving as PPHM board president, Lovelady spearheaded the museum's expansion of its Pioneer Town, the first in a series of renovations.
As interim director, she said she hopes to make other expansions happen, as well.
"We have a lot of people with a lot of knowledge (at the museum)," Lovelady said. "I want them to get out and share that knowledge and enthusiasm with our community."
A search committee has begun work finding a permanent replacement for Vanderpool, the release said.