After a decade of devoted and transformative service, Beth Levinthal, executive director of the Hofstra University Museum, will retire from Hofstra at the beginning of the next calendar year. Nancy Richner, currently the Museum’s education director, will then assume leadership of the museum. This transition was announced by Dr. Gail Simmons, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. Levinthal said, “The Hofstra University Museum has been an extraordinary place to work, alongside my great museum staff and wonderful University colleagues. It has been a highlight of my career to serve remarkable students, the Museum’s members, artists, donors and sponsors, and visitors. During the past decade we have elevated the Museum’s central role as an educational and cultural hub for Hofstra University, our region, our nation and beyond.”
Under Levinthal’s leadership, attendance to Museum exhibitions has grown substantially, from 1,100 visitors in 2005/2006 to 30,300 in 2015/2016. In addition to expanding the role of the Museum within the academic life of Hofstra University for students and faculty alike, the Museum also initiated a number of community and school programs, including Art Travelers Through Time: Literacy and History through Art, Bethpage Federal Credit Union Global Explorations for Adults and Families, Second Saturdays, the Sculpture Art Caper and Outdoor Sculpture Exploration Backpacks.
As Levinthal’s successor, Nancy Richner brings years of award-winning museum education experience to her new position. Prior to joining Hofstra, she served as assistant director of education at the Museum of Modern Art and more recently as manager of community and public programs at the Nassau County Museum of Art. She is highly regarded throughout the museum and education fields, and among other enterprises is the founder of the Long Island Museum Educator Roundtable.
Karen T. Albert, current associate director of exhibitions and collections, will advance to the position of deputy director and chief curator. Levinthal added, “Karen is an exceptional curator and her expertise and understanding of the foundational role of a museum are tremendous assets. Clearly, the Museum and its expanding and evolving role within the University and in the broader community will be well served with Nancy and Karen at its helm.”