F Street House Reception Honora New Head of Folger Shakespeare Library

On Feb. 24, the English department cosponsored an event with the Office of the President honoring new Folger Shakespeare Library Director Michael Witmore, who assumed the position in July after the retirement of GW Prof. Emerita Gail Kern Paster. Pres. Knapp and Diane Knapp opened the F Street House to about three dozen invitees, including Jim Leach, the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

After an introduction by Pres. Knapp and brief remarks from English Chair Gayle Wald, Witmore–the author of two monographs and many articles on Shakespeare and a former Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison–addressed the group, noting that one of his goals as Folger Director is to make the Library’s resources available to as many people as possible. Programs such as the GW Folger Seminar, which allows GW undergraduates access to rare books and other manuscripts, is part of this vision.

Folger Director Michael Witmore

Witmore told the GW group that more than half of the world’s population will encounter a Shakespeare text in some form in their lifetime. As one of the world’s leading Shakespearian archives, he said, the Folger has unique opportunities and responsibilities.

We wish Witmore all the best in his tenure, and look forward to ongoing collaborations with the Folger.

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