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The White House Historical Association has established an endowed position, the Marlyne Sexton Chair in White House History, in honor of Marlyne Sexton, cabinet member on the National Council for White House History. The endowment will provide financial support for the Chair in perpetuity.

The National Council on White House History was established in 2017 and is made up of 115 members in 27 states and 62 cities who serve as ambassadors to the Association by supporting the Association’s non-profit nonpartisan mission in the areas of preservation, education, and providing public access to America’s Executive Mansion.

Chief Education Officer and Director of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History, Dr. Matthew Costello, will occupy the Chair while conducting research and writing on the White House. He will also oversee the Association’s education programs, historical research, digital library, public programming, and partnerships.

I am honored to hold The Marlyne Sexton Chair in White House History. This generous gift will be transformative for the Rubenstein Center’s educational initiatives, research and scholarship, and wider engagement with the public.

— Matthew Costello, Inaugural Chair

Matthew Costello

Costello joined the Association in 2016 as senior historian before being promoted to assistant director of The David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History in 2019. In 2023, the White House Historical Association named Costello as Chief Education Officer to oversee the Association’s education programs, historical research, digital library, public programming, and partnerships.

Passionate about history and education, Costello works closely with the president of the Association, Stewart McLaurin, while developing and implementing programs and initiatives that engage, inform, and inspire the public. Costello also serves as a leader and spokesperson regarding the Association’s educational resources and collaborations.

Matthew holds a doctorate and master’s degree in American history from Marquette University. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published two books – The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President and Mourning the Presidents: Legacy and Loss in American Culture. He was also the project lead for the Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood research initiative.

Marlyne Sexton

Courtesy of Marlyne Sexton

Marlyne Sexton is a Member of the Cabinet of the Association's National Council on White House History and is the owner of The Sexton Companies, one of the largest female-owned businesses in Indiana. Mrs. Sexton is actively involved with Best Buddies, a citizenship mentoring program, both nationally and locally as their Honorary Chairperson, as well as the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Prince of Wales Foundation, and in her time away from Indianapolis, produces Broadway plays and musicals.