Dr. V. Ann Tippitt, Director of The Schiele Museum of Natural History, was recently given two prestigious honors. The longtime leader was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine on the same night that The Schiele’s lobby was officially named The Dr. V. Ann Tippitt Lobby.
Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved The Order of the Long Leaf Pine for “persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities”.
Senator Brad Overcash read the award aloud during the ceremony and led the crowd in a rousing version of the official North Carolina toast: "Here's to the land of the long-leaf pine!”
On the same evening, Gastonia City Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. David Kirlin announced that The Schiele Museum’s newly updated lobby would be named in honor of Dr. Tippitt.
“This was a surprise,” Dr. Tippitt said during the ceremony. “It’s been delightful and heartwarming to receive this honor and for all of you to be here with me. Thank you.”
What makes her so special is her love for people and her love for learning.
She found her place at The Schiele when she joined the staff in 1988 and was able to combine her passions there.
Once she came to the Carolinas and The Schiele, she found home.
Over the last 35 years, she has served as the Curator of Collections, led The Schiele’s programs, exhibits, and planetarium, and has served as the Executive Director since 2005.
She is an active member in many museum-affiliated organizations such as the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Directors Association, Southeastern Museums Council, and the North Carolina Museums Council (NCMC).
Dr. Tippitt led the charge for the museum’s accreditation from the AAM in 2004 and re-accreditation in 2019.
She remains a steadfast advocate for lifelong and creating an experience at The Schiele that inspires a quest for knowledge in every visitor.