February 16, 2012, volume 2, number 12

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To the William Paterson University Community


As many of you know, The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park was officially dedicated on November 7, 2011 by the United States Department of Interior. This was an historic moment for Paterson and northern New Jersey. As a historian, I am pleased to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson (www.hamiltonpartnership.org), a non-profit organization that was critical to the commissioning of the Park and that is now working with the National Park Service to identify and develop its programs. Over the next few years, the National Park Service will create a common vision for the park’s first general management plan in collaboration with the city of Paterson, community organizations and educational institutions.

Along with sister institutions of higher education, William Paterson University has been asked by the Great Falls National Park Federal Advisory Commission to conduct forums and comment on possible themes implicit in the Park's mission. The new Park (www.nps.gov) is home to one of the largest waterfalls in the nation and provided power to new industries that built the industrial revolution in the United States. I have asked Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Acting Dean of the College of the Arts and Communication, Stephen Hahn, to serve as a point person to organize and coordinate our efforts. Over the last several years, Steve has helped to nurture these relationships through the formative stages of the National Historical Park by organizing informational programs and attending meetings sponsored by the Hamilton Partnership and other organizations in the community.

Steve will be communicating shortly to explain the request of the Commission and their outline for a process. He will share key questions the National Park Service has presented to the panel of experts. He will be scheduling forums focused on particular questions to receive input and suggestions. At the same time I hope that we will all be working to identify interests the University may have in the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park as an opportunity to participate in an exciting project in public history and civic engagement.

If you have particular interests or expertise in areas relative to the Park, please contact Steve (hahns@wpunj.edu or 973-720-3156) so that we can approach these opportunities as a mutually informed and supportive community of students and scholars.

Thank you, and please join me in welcoming Steve to this role.


Kathleen Waldron

William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road, Wayne, New Jersey 07470     973-720-2222     president@wpunj.edu