FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MANCHESTER, NH (February 18, 2015) – The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has pledged to be the lead sponsor of the America’s Credit Union Museum “Legacy” Capital Campaign to help ensure the rich history of the credit union system is preserved for future generations.
Located in Manchester, New Hampshire on the site where America's first credit union opened its doors in 1908, America's Credit Union Museum has been in operation since 2002. True to credit union philosophy, the Museum is a cooperative resource celebrating the credit union movement’s past, present and future. The Legacy Campaign is a three-year capital campaign with a goal of raising $3.3 million to create a new industry research center, add additional exhibit space, and provide renovations to the existing Museum building.
CUNA’s $1 million pledge would fund what will be known as the “CUNA Research Center.” The Center will be housed in the building next to America’s Credit Union Museum and will create a virtual experience that will provide credit unions, consumers, the media, lawmakers, regulators, and others the ability to delve into the history of credit unions. The new Center will allow every credit union the opportunity to tell its unique story virtually through the Museum. The Museum and Research Center will eventually be connected via a Sky Walk.
“Conserving and promulgating credit union history is consistent with our mission of supporting, protecting, unifying and advancing the credit union movement,” said Jim Nussle, president and CEO of CUNA, the nation’s largest credit union trade association. “CUNA is proud to participate in this project, which has the potential to ultimately preserve for future generations the roots and growth of the credit union legacy in America, particularly as we strive to achieve our system vision of ‘American’s best choice for financial services.’”
America’s Credit Union Museum Chairman, Michael L'Ecuyer, thanked CUNA for not only its financial pledge, but its partnership in preserving the tradition and history of the credit union system. “CUNA has long supported the preservation of the history of the credit union movement in our country. Through this generous pledge to the Legacy Campaign, the Museum will be able to continue telling the story of our heritage, principles and values and providing future generations a link to the rich past of credit unions in America.”
CUNA’s pledge puts the Legacy Campaign more than half-way towards its fundraising goal. America’s Credit Union Museum Executive Director Stephanie Smith will be focused on raising funds to fulfil the remainder of the goal. Stephanie stressed that supporting this campaign right now is crucial. “Credit union leaders are retiring from our movement every single day. With them is going the knowledge of the past and the stories that have shaped credit union values. We need the support of credit unions and credit union partners to help us preserve and protect the history and heritage that explains why credit unions are different and unique both in the communities in which we do business and in the eyes of our elected officials.”
The Museum’s Board and Staff is committed to evolving the Museum into a strategic planning destination, a beacon of the cooperative spirit of credit unions, and an ongoing entity that ensures the history of credit unions is told loudly and proudly for decades to come, said Smith. She said the new CUNA Research Center adds the virtual component which will allow that history to be accessed in a much more accessible way.
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About America’s Credit Union Museum
America's Credit Union Museum is located in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the site of the first credit union founded in the United States. The building was formerly a three-story, three-family dwelling belonging to Joseph Boivin, the manager of the St. Mary's Cooperative Credit Association. Boivin started the credit union with the help of Monsignor Pierre Hevey and Alphonse Desjardins. The first two floors have been converted into exhibit space about credit union history in the United States. The first floor pays tribute to the founding era of the credit union from 1908-1933. The second floor has historical artifacts beginning from 1934, featuring the Estes Park conference that created CUNA, and the 1934 Federal Credit Union Act which enabled credit unions to be established in all states in the nation. The third floor contains an 85-person capacity meeting and conference space. More information can be found at www.acumuseum.org.
With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves America's credit unions, which are owned by more than 100 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life. For more information about CUNA, visit www.cuna.org or follow @CUNA on Twitter. For more information about credit unions, visitwww.aSmarterChoice.org and follow @asmarterchoice on Twitter. Visit the CUNA Press Room for a full listing of media mentions, press releases and resources to stay informed on current events within the credit union industry.