Originally minuted on November 15, 2023
Wally Evans has served as a tour guide at Arch Street Meeting House for many years, coming on a weekly basis to share his knowledge about the building, Quakers and history with visitors. This outreach is at the heart of the mission of the Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust. Tourists who meet Wally likely realize that they encountered an expert tour guide. What they don’t know is that they just met the person who worked the hardest over the past decade to welcome them to the property, given to Quakers by William Penn, which tells the story of Quakerism to visitors from around the world.
Wally Evans is a founding member of the Board of the Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust, which held its first meeting on June 18, 2013. Because initial terms were staggered, ASMHPT has been able to benefit from Wally’s leadership on the Board for ten years. According to the by-laws, it is now time for him to rotate off the Board.
The Trust is successful today in large part to Wally’s thoughtful planning and implementation. At the Trust’s second meeting on July 16, 2013, Wally was appointed Clerk of the Board, a position he held until two years ago. He guided the Trust through the initial Strategic Plan, the Resource Development Plan, the Interpretive Plan, the Marketing and Communications Plan, and the Master Space Plan. For this work, he engaged with the SNAVE Foundation which provided substantial financial support. The installation of outdoor exhibits in 2021 was a high priority for Wally. New signage welcomes people onto the property and into the meetinghouse when it is open for visitors. Wally championed the idea that even when the building is closed, people who stroll the grounds can learn something about Quakers from the well-designed exterior exhibits.
For the past two years, Wally has served as Treasurer and a member of the Executive and Resource Development Committees. As Treasurer, Wally was instrumental in improving the budgeting and reporting process.
Wally guided the Trust in planning for a capital campaign that will preserve the National Historic Landmark building, including a modern electric HVAC system and a fire suppression system. Design for new interior exhibits is underway to further improve the visitor experience. Wally helped to select the campaign consultants, Partners for Sacred Places, who work with religious properties nationwide to help preserve buildings and strengthen service to their communities. Wally now co-clerks the Steering Committee for the capital campaign, a position he will continue after he concludes his board service.
The Board of the Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust minutes its deep appreciation to Wally Evans for his sustained support for the mission of the Trust.