Penn Center director resigns, cites personal obligations

Michael Campi
Michael Campi

Penn Center executive director Michael Campi has resigned after less than a year on the job, the organization announced Tuesday.

Campi cited personal obligations in his resignation to the center's board of trustees, according to a news release. Attempts Tuesday to contact Campi for comment were unsuccessful.

A day-to-day coordinator, who was not named in the release, has been appointed from the center staff but was not available for comment, said director of history, art and culture Victoria Smalls.

Information about a search for a new executive director will be announced within the next 30 days, she said.

Smalls said Campi had family obligations that made it necessary for him to be closer to Conway, where he's from.

Campi was selected to lead Penn Center last summer after it searched about a year for a new director. Former executive director Walter Mack retired after serving the center for more than 26 years.

The 151-year-old Penn Center traces its roots to a school for freed slaves founded in 1862. The center was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974.

It also served as a community center and was used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a retreat for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Today, it has a museum and focuses on education, cultural awareness and community-building.

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