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New leader takes reins at Bong Center


The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center welcomes new executive director, Hayes Scriven. The Nerstrand, Minn., native started at the center March 6, replacing Robert Furhrman who had been at the reins for the last 10 years.

A 2005 University of Minnesota Duluth graduate, Scriven spent his senior year at the center as an intern. He assisted in the development of the "Holidays on the Homefront" exhibit.

Scriven credits his time at the center for developing his love of local history.

"When I was interning here, I fell in love with the personal stories I was researching. I felt a connection and a better understanding for the area," Scriven said. "I knew after that internship that I wanted to work in a small museum, to preserve and document local history."

After graduating, he spent the next 11 years as executive director of the Northfield Historical Society.

The Bong Center's board reached out to local museum professionals in their search for a new director.

"Hayes' name continued to pop up in conversations so we knew we wanted to bring him in for an interview," said chairman Terry Lundberg.

He saw their vision and wanted to be a part of it, said board member Ryan Kern.

"During the interview process, we knew immediately that Hayes was the individual we wanted and couldn't wait to get him to Northland," Kern said.

Under Scriven's leadership, the Northfield Historical Society was awarded nearly $450,000 through the Minnesota Historical Society's Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant program. These grants facilitated the construction of an elevator and six ADA-compliant restrooms, and the installation of compact archival shelving at the society's downtown Northfield Scriver Building. The grants also have allowed the society to hire professional staff in order to complete several curatorial projects.

"I am very honored to be coming back to such a great organization," Scriven said. "The Bong Center is a very important part of the Northland, and I am very eager to help preserve and document the local military history.

"We have an amazing staff and board here and we are going to do great things."

The mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II and subsequent conflicts, and provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.