Newswise — After a rigorous review process, Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex has achieved a significant milestone: accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums.
The accreditation means that the Mayborn Museum meets national standards and best practices for U.S. museums and remains a member of a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence. The museum has shown itself to be a good steward of its resources held in the public trust and committed to a philosophy of continuous institutional growth, according to AAM.
The Mayborn Museum joins a list of only 3 percent of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums in the United States to earn AAM accreditation. It is one of 47 accredited museums in Texas and 170 university museums nationwide.
“The accreditation from our peers in the museum industry validates that the entire team at the Mayborn Museum demonstrates professional excellence daily that aligns with our important mission of engaging our community and inspiring lifelong learning,” said Charles Walter, director of the Mayborn Museum. “I commend the entire dedicated staff who have been working for years to achieve this honored distinction.”
The accreditation review noted that through strong support by Baylor University, the Mayborn has done an excellent job creating a robust sense of community via outreach activities, community collaboration and ongoing use of data collection and analysis. This distinction also serves future museum leaders because the Mayborn is a learning laboratory for students of the department of museum studies in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.
To earn accreditation, the Mayborn Museum first had to go through a lengthy and rigorous process that included core document completion and verification and a year of self-study, then a site visit by a team of peer reviewers.
“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”
This is the first time that the museum – in its current iteration – has received accreditation. The Strecker Museum, the forerunner of the Mayborn, had a long history of national accreditation.
Among the recent museum milestones was hosting the traveling exhibit “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” which attracted 53,166 visitors during its seven-month run. More than 122,000 people visited the museum and the exhibit from June 1, 2018, to Jan. 6, 2019, a 30 percent increase compared with the same period the previous year. Visitors to the exhibit included people from across Texas, 47 additional states and travelers from Denmark, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Museum officials anticipate ending with a record-breaking 190,000 visitors for the period from June 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.
ABOUT THE MAYBORN MUSEUM COMPLEX AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Located on the Baylor University campus, the 143,000-square-foot Mayborn Museum Complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas with walk-in dioramas, including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology and natural history. In addition, two floors of hands-on discovery rooms encourage learning for all ages. Visit the museum online at www.baylor.edu/mayborn.