(Courtesy of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
John N. Pearce was awarded emeritus status at the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, 2011.
He was named Director of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, Director of the James Monroe Presidential Center, and University Liaison for the Enchanted Castle Site Emeritus.
Pearce began his career at Mary Washington in 1984. His 27 years of service to the university included positions as a professor in the department of historic preservation and as director of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, the James Monroe Presidential Center and the Center for Historic Preservation.
Pearce also directed the Germanna site of the Enchanted Castle, home of the royal Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood. In addition to teaching courses in the historic preservation department, he played a key role in developing the department’s museum studies curriculum.
An expert on the life, times and influence of James Monroe and decorative arts, Pearce became director of planning and programs at the James Monroe Museum in 1989, and he was named director of the museum in 1996.
During Pearce’s tenure, the museum expanded and enhanced its programs, increased its scholarly activity, improved its facilities and strengthened connections to the University.
He has held memberships in several campus committees, including faculty affairs, special programs and exhibit spaces.
Within the community, Pearce also served on several boards of directors of history and preservation organizations, including the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, the Memorial Foundation of Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc. and the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation.
A recipient of several fellowships, Pearce was named a Winterthur Fellow and a National Society of Interior Design Fellow at the National Trust Summer School in England. In addition, he received the Governor of Maryland’s Award and the Trustee of America Award at Mary Washington.
His articles have been published in numerous publications, such as the Dictionary of American History, the Encyclopedia of World Art, and the Local History Encyclopedia. He is the author of “American Painting 1560-1913.”
Pearce earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Yale University and a master’s degree in early American culture from the University of Delaware.