MHS for the Media

Massachusetts Historical Society Announces Changes to its Board

Non-Profit Administrator, Attorney, Investment Counselor and American Literary Scholar Bring Significant Expertise

Boston, May 20, 2009—As the governing body, the Fellows of the Massachusetts Historical Society unanimously approved a new Chair of the Board of Trustees as well as the addition of three new Trustees at the Society’s Annual Meeting tonight. Trustee Bill Clendaniel will replace Amalie M. Kass in a 1-year term as Chair. Ms. Kass will remain on the board and join new Trustees Charles C. Ames, Westy Saltonstall, and Judith B. Wittenberg in a 4-year term beginning July 1, 2009. The term for MHS Trustee Arthur Hodges will end on June 30. He will be the only Trustee retiring this year.

Dennis Fiori, president of the Massachusetts Historical Society said, “Our new Chair and three Trustees bring a wealth of knowledge about the Boston-area cultural and historical community, and a record of strong support for its institutions. They are just the infusion of talent we need to successfully take on future challenges."

Bill Clendaniel has spent over 30 years managing private non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving and making accessible to the public the natural and cultural heritage of Massachusetts. In addition to his new duties as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Mr. Clendaniel is a Vice President of the Friends of the Public Garden, Boston; an Honorary Trustee of Mount Auburn Cemetery; a Corporate Trustee of The Trustees of Reservations and a member of its Historic Resources Committee; and a member of the Chairman’s Council and the Landscape Committee of Historic New England. In 2008 Mr. Clendaniel was awarded the Charles Eliot Award of The Trustees of Reservations, the organization’s highest honor, in recognition of his “commitment to the preservation of our natural heritage and for his ability – through vision, example and inspired leadership – to galvanize others to work for the protection and stewardship of the American landscape.” Mr. Clendaniel is a graduate of Williams College and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University before attending Harvard Law School.

Charles C. Ames is a retired lawyer who specialized in real estate investment and finance at the Boston firm of Hill & Barlow where he became managing partner from 1992 to 1996. After graduating from Harvard College in 1969 he taught mathematics at The Browne & Nichols School, served as its director of admissions, and started its lacrosse program. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School and worked as a law clerk for Judge Levin H. Campbell at the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. at the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Ames is a Trustee of Massachusetts General Hospital and Wheelock College and a member of the Board of Managers of the Shaw Fund for Mariner’s Children. In the Town of Brookline he has served as a Selectman and as Chair of the Advisory Committee and the Committee on Town Organization and Structure. He is a past Trustee of Concord Academy and the North Bennet Street School and a past chair of the Brookline Civic Association.

Westy Saltonstall is President of Eaton Vance Investment Counsel where he serves on the Management Committee. Mr. Saltonstall previously served as Director of Scudder Private Investment Counsel’s Boston office. He holds a Chartered Financial Analyst certification, a B.A. from Williams College, and is a Marine Corps veteran. He is involved in many industry and community organizations, including the Investment Counsel Association of America and the Boston Society of Security Analysts. He is also Immediate Past Chairman of the U.S.S. Constitution Museum and a Trustee of Newton Cemetery and Sailors’ Snug Harbor of Boston.

Judith B. Wittenberg is Professor Emerita of English at Simmons College, where she also served as Academic Dean of the Undergraduate College and Chair of the English Department. Her scholarly publications, which include two books and numerous articles and book chapters, are primarily in the field of American literature. A former American Council on Education Fellow in Washington, she spent five years as Associate Director of the New England Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and is currently a Trustee of the Davis Educational Foundation. Professor Wittenberg received her B.A. from Cornell University and Ph.D. from Brown University.

About the Massachusetts Historical Society

The Massachusetts Historical Society is one of the nation’s preeminent research libraries, with collections that provide an unparalleled record of the vibrant course of American history. The Society holds an extraordinary assembly of personal papers from three presidents–John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson–as well as accounts of the lives of thousands of ordinary Americans and their families. With millions of page of manuscript letters, diaries, and other documents, as well as early newspapers, broadsides, artifacts, works of art, maps, photographs, and prints, the Society offers a wide-ranging perspective on the United States from the earliest beginnings of the nation to the present day.

Since its founding in 1791, the Society has fostered research, scholarship, and education. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of our nation’s past and its connection to the present. Through fellowships for scholars, meticulous documentary volumes, seminars, conferences, teacher training programs, as well as lectures, tours, open houses, and exhibitions, the Society demonstrates that history is not just a series of events that happened to individuals long ago, but is integral to the fabric of our daily lives.


Media Contact:
Amy Schoenberg                   
Massachusetts Historical Society  
(617) 646-0554