NCDCR Names Umfleet as New Assistant Director of Tryon Palace

Lafargue set to retire in March, search for new director to begin soon after  

NEW BERN, NC – Feb. 13, 2015

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has selected LeRae Umfleet as Tryon Palace’s new assistant director. 

Umfleet has served as the interim assistant director of Tryon Palace since November after retiring director, Philippe Lafargue, returned to his native country of France. In the absence of an onsite director, Umfleet has overseen the day-to-day management of the institution, coordinating long-range planning of exhibits and programs, and organizing a review of collections management procedures and policies, all the while representing the institution at the department level and in the community.

“As a native North Carolinian and passionate historian I am thrilled to become the assistant director of Tryon Palace,” said Umfleet. “I look forward to using my experience to help cultivate the already robust support for the site while reaching new audiences and ensuring the Palace’s growth into the future.” 
A native of Bath, N.C., Umfleet comes to Tryon Palace as the former head of outreach and education for the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources’ Office of Archives and History. In that position, she led collection management activities for museums and sites within the department, coordinated statewide commemorations like the World War I Centennial Commemoration and led the Cultural Resources Emergency Support Team (CREST), among other responsibilities. She was also the team leader in expanding the exhibit “Face to Face: Civil War Sketches and Stories,” located at Tryon Palace’s New Bern Academy Museum. 

Dr. Kevin Cherry, Deputy Secretary of the N.C. Office of Archives and History and current Interim Director of Tryon Palace, said Umfleet was a natural fit for the position. 

“LeRae’s experience and outgoing personality make her the perfect fit for our needs at Tryon Palace,” said Cherry. “I have no doubt she will serve the Department of Cultural Resources and Tryon Palace well in her new role, furthering our mission of education, preservation and economic development through tourism.”

Umfleet is a seasoned historical interpreter and an award-winning historian. With an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Umfleet attended North Carolina State University’s Public History Program and earned a Masters in History from East Carolina University.

Lafargue’s retirement begins in March and a nationwide search for a new director will begin soon after.

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