retirement

Adrien Witkofsky, who is retiring as executive director of the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum, was recognized for her efforts during a Tuesday afternoon reception by Jack Gray, president of the museum’s board of trustees.

For more than six years, much of Greenville’s and Hunt County’s history has rested in the hands of Adrien Witkofsky.

Witkofsky, executive director of the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum, is retiring from the post after overseeing some significant changes at the institution. Her final day as executive director will be Saturday.

Tuesday, she was recognized for her efforts during a reception which drew a large crowd of her admirers.

Jack Gray, president of the museum’s board of trustees, said Witkofsky’s involvement began almost as soon as she arrived in Greenville in 1991.

Gray said Witkofsky visited what was then the Hunt County Historical Museum at its original downtown location.

“And almost immediately, she became the volunteer coordinator of volunteers,” Gray said, adding Witkofsky became a fixture at the museum, rising through the ranks to become executive director in 2000.

“That dedication and that passion has continued on ever since,” Gray said.

A slide show created by assistant curator Joyce Delgado highlighted some of the milestones which occurred at the museum during Witkofsky’s tenure, including the move to its current home along the Interstate 30 service road, the installation of the Audie Murphy statue and the creation of the Hunt County War Memorial.

“That still gives me goosebumps,” Witkofsky said the monument to the county’s fallen heroes during the wars of the 20th Century. She said the statue and the memorial helps attract hundreds of visitors to the museum, which also plays host to the annual Audie Murphy Days celebration each June.

“They come from all of the United States and all over the world,” Witkofsky said. “They tell us how much that effects them, that we as a community would do that. It has been a treat to meet the people of in the community, as well as Texas, and to represent the museum.”

Witkofsky recalled a recent visit from a father who brought his son to the museum. The father explained he had visited the museum downtown and, as Witkofsky had years before, fell under its spell.

“He told us it kindled a love of history, as well as the preservation which is so dear to us,” Witkofsky said.

Although Gray said it is possible Witkofsky will continue to do volunteer work at the museum, she has made plans to spend more time with her family. A search has begun for a new executive director.

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