Foundation establishes endowment fund dedicated to Stewart; Effort assures former executive director’s memory stays alive

The Elmhurst Heritage Foundation has introduced a dedicated endowment fund, established this year to honor the Elmhurst History Museum’s first professional executive director, Dr. Virginia R. Stewart.

Created by her husband, Alan, the fund is specifically earmarked to provide support for museum programs, specifically honoraria for speakers, historical reenactors, and musicians to benefit future generations of residents and visitors.

If you would like to support the foundation and museum through the Dr. Virginia R. Stewart Memorial Fund, please visit to help build a lasting legacy in Dr. Stewart’s memory. (Please be sure to indicate your donation should go towards the Dr. Virginia R. Stewart Memorial Fund at check out.)

More about Dr. Virginia Stewart

Dr. Stewart served as the Elmhurst History Museum executive director from 1981-1988, landing a number of competitive grants, growing and professionalizing the staff, and putting the museum on a firm foundation that continues to benefit the community to this very day. Under her leadership, the museum professionalized, grew, and prospered.

Stewart would go on to receive a PhD in History at Northwestern University and train a new generation of students in the museum profession. In later years, she continued to contribute her expertise to the Elmhurst History Museum, serving on the Board of the Elmhurst Heritage Foundation, writing our popular guide to local history, Visionary, and contributing research and content to our award-winning exhibition, By All Accounts: The Story of Elmhurst. She is greatly missed and left a wonderful legacy here at the museum.

About the Elmhurst Heritage Foundation

The Elmhurst Heritage Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was established by the merger of the Elmhurst Historical Museum Foundation (founded in 1992) and the City’s Historical Commission in 2007. The foundation’s mission is to stimulate broad-based support for local history, the Elmhurst History Museum, and the Churchville Schoolhouse through advocacy, education and fundraising. This citizen-based support group works actively in the community to support the Elmhurst History Museum and the Churchville Schoolhouse — two very important cultural institutions that allow residents and visitors to experience the unique history of Elmhurst. Through strategic planning, donor development, outreach, and essential fundraising, the Elmhurst Heritage Foundation will offer guidance and support to keep history alive for future generations.

Since its inception, the Elmhurst Heritage Foundation has planned and implemented several fundraising events and donor campaigns to make significant contributions to achieve these goals. Some examples of this support include:

•   Donations to complete renovation of the historic Churchville Schoolhouse;

•   A membership program to encourage community support;

•   Donation of history books to Elmhurst elementary schools;

•   Provision of transportation for student field trips to the Museum and the Churchville Schoolhouse;

•   Annual grants to enhance Elmhurst History Museum exhibits and programs and to support ongoing living history programming at the Churchville Schoolhouse.

For more information, visit