Truman Library Director Michael Devine to retire in May

02/12/2014 11:57 PM

05/16/2014 3:59 PM

Michael Devine, director of the Truman Library in Independence, on Wednesday announced his retirement.

Devine, who began at the library in 2001, will leave his post in late May.

“Serving as director of the Truman Library has been the highlight of my 40-year career in the management of historical programs,” said Devine, 69, adding that “when you get to a certain age, it’s time.”

The National Archives and Records Administration named Devine as Truman Library director in June 2001.

He then was serving as a history professor at the University of Wyoming as well as director of the university’s American Heritage Center. Before that, Devine had worked as the Illinois state historian and director of the Illinois State Historical Society.

When Devine arrived in Independence, the Truman Library was in the final stages of a $22.5 million renovation. Devine directed the construction of a new gallery preserving the working library office that former president Harry S. Truman maintained there.

He also supervised the completion of the White House Decision Center. There secondary-school students, as well as adults, from around the region engage in role-playing, grappling with the same major issues Truman confronted in a space designed to suggest the West Wing of the White House.

The library also began partnerships with area universities during Devine’s tenure, as well as with entities such as the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Little White House in Key West, Fla.

Devine and his wife, Maija Rhee Devine, have five grown children and two grandchildren.

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