Photo courtesy Erik Jacquemyn.
Core Values: The Legacy of Roy L. Shafer
Former ASTC president and longtime ASTC advisor Roy L. Shafer died suddenly on July 29, 2005. He was 54.
Roy's science center career began in the 1960s, when he first volunteered at the Center of Science
and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio. He soon became an important figure at the museum, founding its camp-in
program and eventually serving for 13 years as COSI's president and CEO.
Roy was a member of the ASTC Board of Directors for 11 years (1985-1995), including two years as president. After
he started his own consulting firm, the Roy L Shafer Company, he became ASTC's organizational coach, helping the
association to develop its mission, strategic plan, and core values and objectives. In 1999, he received the ASTC
Fellow Award for Outstanding Contribution. In presenting the fellowship, ASTC president Jeff Rudolph said of him:
"Roy's unwavering sense of mission for our field is infused with progressive thinking and dynamic leadership, and
is always enriched with humor and caring for his colleagues."
Following his death, many of Roy's friends and colleagues offered testimonials to his impact on the field. "Roy had
such a clear vision and commitment.... He supported me wholeheartedly when I brought up the idea of a Science
Centre World Congresswithout his 'go' we would never have gotten there," recalled ASTC president Pelle
Persson, whose institution, Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, hosted the first SCWC in 1999. "We have lost a
great leader, but his memory will prevail."
"In the early 1990s, I was often asked to name the 'best' museums. I always included COSI because Roy created a
consistent vision of what COSI representedvisitor services," wrote another ASTC Fellow, Tom Krakauer, former
director of the Museum of Life and Science, Durham, North Carolina.
"I cannot imagine an ASTC conference, an ASTC Board meeting, or a Science Centre World Congress without Roy," added
Lesley Lewis, an ASTC board member and director general and CEO of the Ontario Science Centre. "I will always
remember his zest for ideas, his insights, his desire to make a difference (and he did), his warmth, and his
amazing ability to stay engaged with friends and colleagues even at a distance.... Roy's is truly a life to
All of us at ASTC extend our deepest sympathies to Roy's family, as well as our promise that we will continue to
uphold the core valuesstrength in collaboration, joy in experiential learning, and superior service to
membersthat he so skillfully helped us to articulate.
Bonnie VanDorn and Wendy Pollock