LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. - The Southeastern Jurisdiction Commission on Archives and History is pleased to announce Mrs. Nancy Watkins as the new Director of the SEJ Heritage Center at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
For several years, interim director Art Swarthout has overseen operations at the SEJ Heritage Center while the SEJ Commission on Archives and History searched for a new Director. Mrs. Watkins, who began work in mid-May, will be working part-time as Director, spending half her time at Lake Junaluska and the other half in Atlanta, GA, with her husband, Rev. Roy Watkins, the pastor of Mt. Zion UMC.
“As a life-long United Methodist, Christian born and raised in the North Georgia Conference, Lake Junaluska has always held a special place in my heart. I was attracted by the opportunity to combine my skills as an archivist, my love of this place, and my concern for the preservation of its history and the history of The United Methodist denomination as a whole,” says Watkins. “Another major factor that attracted me to this job was the opportunity to work with the truly exceptional staff that is already in place at the Heritage Center.”
Watkins is already having a positive impact as Director of the Heritage Center, working with the Heritage Center staff on several projects. She has already begun making preparations for the future of the SEJ Heritage Center, including the establishment of displays commemorating Lake Junaluska’s Centennial in 2013. As time progresses, she hopes to increase the visibility of the Heritage Center, both at Lake Junaluska and on a broader scale through the use of print and online media.
“I hope to do everything possible to assist with the ministry of memory that is vital to our lives as United Methodists committed to spreading God’s word,” Watkins says.
One of Watkins’ goals is to assist the Lake Junaluska administrative offices and SEJ agencies with records management and preservation of their historic records. An initial project that Watkins and the SEJ Heritage Center staff are beginning is the process of making the Harry Denman papers, which is one of the most significant manuscript collections in the archive, accessible to researchers.
From 1999-2009, Watkins served as Assistant University Archivist at Emory University. She also served as Chair of the North Georgia Conference Committee on Archives and History. In addition, she was a member of the SEJ Commission on Archives and History and is a current member of the General Commission on Archives and History.
The SEJ Heritage Center is located on the lower level of the Harrell Center at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, North Carolina. For more information and hours of operation, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/museums/.