BISMARCK — The board tasked with building and overseeing the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library will add two new trustees at a meeting in Washington.
Chevy Humphrey and Murray Sagsveen will become the 10th and 11th members of the board on Thursday, Feb. 6. Humphrey has served since 2005 as the president and CEO of the Arizona Science Center, a museum in downtown Phoenix. Sagsveen is a North Dakota native and longtime attorney who has provided legal counsel to the library foundation since it started. He also previously worked as the chief of staff for the North Dakota University System from 2013 to 2015.
Board chairwoman Cathilea Robinett said Humphrey's success with the science center makes her "a leader who is in the arena." She called Sagsveen "our living institutional knowledge," who paid the initial registration fee to start the foundation.
Humphrey and Sagsveen join a board that already includes:
- Melani Walton, a philanthropist and Dickinson State University alumna, who is married to Rob Walton, an heir to the Walmart fortune.
- Kermit Roosevelt III, an author and law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who is the great-great grandson of Theodore Roosevelt.
- Stephen Dow Beckham, a historian and professor emeritus at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.
- Robert Lauf, a senior advisor to North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who has thrown his weight behind the project.
- Robinett, the president of California-based media and research firm e.Republic.
The board also dined with Burgum, first lady Kathryn Burgum and North Dakota's congressional delegation on Wednesday in the nation's capital, according to its meeting agenda. NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott was also a guest at the board's Thursday meeting, according to the agenda.
Potential sites for the library will be a topic of discussion Thursday. The site will almost certainly be near tourist town Medora and the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park on the western edge of North Dakota, but trustees plan to narrow the possibilities for an exact location down to two or three by the end of May. The board then plans to select a firm to design the project and the site by mid-September.
The board aims to build a library and museum that explores Roosevelt's life and legacy through the lens of the 26th president's core values of conservation, leadership and citizenship, according to a project brief released in December. Roosevelt spent parts of three years hunting and ranching near Medora before his career in national politics took off.
State lawmakers approved a $50 million endowment for the project if the library foundation can raise $100 million in private donations by the beginning of the 2021 legislative session. Foundation CEO Ed O'Keefe would not say how much the board has raised so far.