Historic Oakland Foundation is happy to welcome our newest staff member, Sandy White. Sandy joined the Foundation in October as our new director of adult programs and volunteers, which means she’ll be organizing many of the Oakland Cemetery events you know and love and creating brand new favorites. Get to know Sandy a bit in the interview below:
What is your educational and professional background?
I received my bachelor’s in history from Vanderbilt University and my master’s in Museum Studies from The George Washington University. Most recently, I was the education director at the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, developing and managing tours, programs, and the museum visitor experience at their two museums, the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum and the World War II Home Front Museum.
What drew you to Oakland when you first applied?
I was intrigued by another opportunity to work in such a unique historic environment. After all, my last office was located in an 1872 lighthouse keeper’s house! I also loved Historic Oakland Foundation’s commitment to being a part of the community, from offering a variety of fun and engaging programs to simply being a beautiful place to take a break from the hustle of city life.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy going on neighborhood walks with my husband, Zach, and our big goofy golden retriever, Max. I also really love to cook. My shelves are filled with cookbooks and my Instagram feed is almost exclusively pictures of food. I love that cooking is a project with near-instant gratification!
What inspires you about your new role?
Oakland tells the stories of people—the residents of the cemetery and their fellow citizens of Atlanta. Finding the throughways of history and learning how people just like you and me would have dealt with their historical surroundings is such a great way to make history relevant. I look forward to figuring out exciting new ways to share those stories and the cemetery space with the public.
So far, what’s your favorite spot in Oakland?
This might be cliché, but I love the main gate. It’s not only imposing and impressive, but it is both literally and figuratively a portal to discover the past. How cool is that?