Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center Elects New Board PresidentDecember 13, 2006

The Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center has a new president. Attorney and Iowa Army National Guard colonel, Janet E. Phipps Burkhead, was elected to the position at the Annual Meeting of the Museum and Education Center Board on December 12, 2006. The park and center were established to honor and recognize Fort Des Moines as the U.S. Army’s first and only officer candidate class for African American men in 1917 during World War I and the establishment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in 1942 during World War II. Under her leadership, Phipps Burkhead will continue the work of the Museum and Education Center Board to enhance and expand the visibility of the memorial park as a premier destination stop for Iowans, tourists, students, and others, as well as to commemorate the two groundbreaking historic U.S. military programs. The 4.6 acres park was completed in 2004 featuring a sculpture by Richard Hunt which includes the names of 639 graduate captains and lieutenants from 1917 and the first 436 WAAC officers from 1942. The museum is filled with military and historical artifacts, photographs, period art, books, and other displays. “It’s an honor to be chosen to serve as president of the 2007 Board,” says Phipps Burkhead. “I look forward to working with the board members and the community to share the unique stories of how the first officer class of African American men during WWI and the WAACs during WWII served our country.” In addition to her duties to the board, Phipps Burkhead is also an attorney specializing in intellectual property litigation with the Des Moines-based firm of McKee Voorhees & Sease, as well as a Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard.

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