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Rockefeller gift to support lecture series for U.S. Marshals Museum

The U.S. Marshals Museum has received a $100,000 gift from Mrs. Lisenne Rockefeller, wife of the late Lieutenant Governor, to fund the Winthrop Paul Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Series.

The three-year series will welcome leaders from the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of the U.S. government to Fort Smith to speak about the marshal’s rich history as it connects to each branch. A schedule has not yet been set for when the series will begin.

“The U.S. Marshals Museum is committed to education and honoring the heritage of the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency,” said Robert A. Young III, chairman of the U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation. “Mr. Rockefeller was an avid supporter of law enforcement throughout his life and this gift allows that legacy of support to continue.”

From the time of their establishment in 1789 forward, the work of the marshals and their deputies has been to enforce laws created under the Constitution and protect our system of justice. It is an agency that, from the outset, has reached across the three branches of government and continues to occupy a unique place in our system of governing in the United States.

“This museum will serve to perpetuate our respect for the men and women who risk their lives in service to this country each and every day,” said Mrs. Rockefeller. “We are honored to support them through such an important institution.”

Guest speakers will address and reflect upon the relationship between the U.S. Marshals and their branch of government. Each program will be free and open to the public. In addition, podcasts of the lectures will be made available to broadcast media, universities, and other educational outlets and the public.

Groundbreaking for the U.S. Marshals Museum, which will include 20,000 square feet of exhibition space and will be located on the riverfront in downtown Fort Smith, is set for Sept. 24, 2014, to coincide with the 225th anniversary of the creation of the service in 1789. The U.S. Marshals Service is the oldest American federal law enforcement agency and was established by President George Washington.

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In January 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service selected Fort Smith as the site for the national museum. The cost to build the museum — including exhibit work — is estimated at around $53 million. Although the announcement was made in 2007, formal fundraising activities did not begin until the latter part of 2009.

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