• Bear heading museum for the Man behind the Mouse

    Walt DisneySome 17 million visitors visit Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom each year, while another 12 million or so head west to Disneyland. Combined, that’s a total larger than the population of Texas, so chances are good that you or someone you know is headed to see Mickey this summer.

    Baylor grad Richard Benefield, however, is taking things a step further; the 1976 music graduate (who also earned a master’s from Baylor in 1980) is the director of the Walt Disney Family Museum, opening this fall in San Francisco. The new museum will tell the story of Mickey Mouse’s creator through an incredible array of personal objects and artifacts, from never-before-seen home movies to Disney’s Academy Award for Snow White. (This New York Times article tells much more about the museum.)

    Prior to working for Disney, Benefield was deputy director of the Harvard Art Museum, one of the largest and most valuable collections of art in the U.S., from 2002-08. He also is an accomplished musician, having followed up his Baylor education by earning the first doctor of musical arts degree ever awarded by the New England Conservatory of Music, and has taught on the music faculties at such schools as Baylor, Boston University and Providence College.

    Sic ’em, Richard!

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