Emily Dickinson Museum Names Cullen Murphy and Betsy McInnis to Board of Governors

November 18, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Cullen Murphy and Betsy McInnis have been elected to the board of governors of the Emily Dickinson Museum, it was announced today by Polly Longsworth, the museum's chair.

“Cullen and Betsy are great additions to the museum's board of governors,” Longsworth said. “Their talents augment the effectiveness of an already strong small board. Betsy brings long experience helping community institutions thrive, while Cullen's management skills and literary steeping in Dickinson 's beloved Atlantic Monthly fit the museum well. We all look forward to working together.”

A 1974 graduate of Amherst, Murphy was elected to the Emily Dickinson Museum board on June 23. He has been the managing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, a general interest magazine, since 1985. He is the author of the magazine's monthly column, “Innocent Bystander,” in which he once suggested that a revised edition of the Bible might be well served to substitute Dickinson's poems for the Book of Psalms. Founded in 1857, the magazine is devoted to politics, literature, science and the arts, and has a current circulation of 500,000. During Murphy's tenure, The Atlantic, which is about to move from Boston to Washington D.C., has been a finalist for 65 National Magazine Awards, winning 13 times.

For 30 years, Murphy has written the syndicated comic strip Prince Valiant, which appears in some 350 newspapers worldwide. Author of three books, including Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage (1992), with William L. Rathje, he currently has two other books in progress.

In addition to his work with the Emily Dickinson Museum, Murphy is a member of the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a member of the boards of trustees of Amherst College, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the American Society of Magazine Editors, vice president of the board for the Massachusetts Foundation of the Humanities, member of the advisory board for the Boisi Center for Religion in American Public Life at Boston College and on the board of judges for both the Richard J. Margolis Award of the Blue Mountain Center and the Michael Kelly Award.

A native of New Rochelle, N.Y., Murphy grew up in Greenwich, Conn., and was educated at Catholic schools in Greenwich and Dublin, Ireland. He resides in Massachusetts with his wife, Anna Marie, and their three children.

Betsy McInnis is a former marketing executive who applies her business background to developing innovative programs and strategies in the non-profit sector. McInnis has worked in publishing, education, cable television and financial services. Named October 27, she is the 10th person voted to the museum's board.

Some of McInnis's career highlights include assignments with American Express in New York, London and Paris, where she marketed the American Express Card to some of France 's finest restaurants. She has also been a vice president at Citibank, as well as a vice president of marketing at Katherine Gibbs Schools, where she directed a successful turnaround and repositioning of the school during its ownership by Macmillan.

Her extensive non-profit work includes serving as president of the board and interim managing director of the Alliance Francaise de Houston, a French language school and cultural institution in Houston, Texas. She has been a board member of the Alley Theater, the Friends of the School of Music of the University of Houston, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Houston and the Gladney Center for Adoption (Houston Chapter). McInnis is on the advisory board for Family Outreach of Amherst, a human services agency dedicated to helping families in crisis; the Amherst Town Committee for International Studies; and Round the World Women. She is also active with the gala committee for the Fine Arts Center of the University of Massachusetts and with fundraising for the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies.

A native of Chicago, McInnis lives in Amherst with her husband, Bruce, and daughter Micki.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, comprising the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, two historic houses in Amherst, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. Merged into a single museum in 2003, both properties are owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. For more information please, visit the Emily Dickinson Museum.

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Peter Rooney
Director of Public Affairs
(413) 542-2321
prooney@amherst.edu