Celebrating a Monument Maker

Alumni Association Executive Director Amy Eichhorst with Lisa Anders MBA ’95, moderator Sheri Parks and Wanda Alexander ’81, president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors.

Alumna Shares How She Helped Bring New Museum, Memorial to Life
By Lauren Brown

The new national museum of African American History and Culture has more than one kind of historical significance to Lisa Anders MBA ’95.

As vice president of business development at McKissack & McKissack, a construction management and infrastructure firm, Anders oversaw construction of the Smithsonian Institution’s museum that opened in the fall.

She shared her experiences helping that project come to life—including placing a Pullman railcar and nearly 37,000 other artifacts—during a Feb. 8 talk with nearly 100 alumni.

“It wasn’t that long ago that slaves were building the Capitol,” she said earlier. “Now an African American-owned firm like McKissack & McKissack is working for profit to build the African American museum on the Mall—within eyeshot of the Capitol.”

The event at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, called “Bridging Our Past, Constructing Our Future,” was sponsored by the University of Maryland Alumni Association and the Robert H. Smith School of Business’s Office of Diversity Initiatives to celebrate Anders’ achievements as well as Black History Month.

In the discussion, moderated by Sheri Parks, associate dean and associate professor in the College of Arts and Humanities, Anders talked about the career she built on her bachelor’s degree in history and her Smith MBA. The Washington native returned to D.C. to supervise the day-to-day construction of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Next up will be planning former President Barack Obama’s presidential library in Chicago.

“We were honored to co-host this event, as it provided an opportunity to both showcase a talented alumna, Lisa Anders, and bring alumni together to learn about the creation of two national treasures,” says Amy Eichhorst, executive director of the Alumni Association.


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