Mayborn Museum Becomes First Smithsonian Affiliate in Central Texas

November 17, 2022
Mayborn Smithsonian Affiliation

Museum joins network of more than 200 affiliates in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Panama

Contact: Molly Noah, Mayborn Museum, 254-710-1251
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WACO, Texas (Nov. 17, 2022) – The Mayborn Museum has announced its new status as a Smithsonian Affiliate, joining a network of more than 200 Smithsonian Affiliates in the United States, Puerto Rico and Panama. The Mayborn, located on the Baylor University campus, is one of 13 affiliates in Texas and becomes the Central Texas connection to the Smithsonian and its many resources.

“Smithsonian Affiliates are collaborators on many Smithsonian strategic priorities, adding local content, context and expertise to help tell a fuller story,” said Myriam Springuel, director of Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliations. “Including the Mayborn in our Affiliate network provides greater access to the rich history and culture of Central Texas, and we look forward to creating experiences that align those stories with national initiatives at the Smithsonian.”

Smithsonian Affiliates represent the diversity of America’s museum community – size, location and subject – and serve all audiences. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the Mayborn will have the opportunity to collaborate on unique, public programs and workshops, professional development opportunities, co-develop youth programs, host traveling exhibitions, borrow artifacts and co-host public lectures by Smithsonian scholars.

“As the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Central Texas, we are excited to inspire a deeper understanding of our world and how it can be changed for the better,” said Mayborn Executive Director Charlie Walter.

As part of the first phase of collaboration, the Mayborn is bringing the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Youth Action and Leadership Program to Waco. The initiative works with local schools to empower young people to act on environmental issues. With support from the Smithsonian, the Mayborn will develop young people’s leadership skills with the goal of inspiring climate-literate leaders in Central Texas. Earth Optimism Youth Action and Leadership for Sustainable Communities is funded in part by a Jeff Bezos gift to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.


The Mayborn Museum Complex celebrates the natural science and cultural history of Central Texas. This 143,000-square-foot building on the Baylor University campus sparkles with numerous vibrant exhibits and compelling hands-on activities for the whole family to enjoy over and over again. For more information, contact the Mayborn Museum at 254-710-1110 or visit


Smithsonian Affiliations establishes and maintains the Smithsonian’s long-term relationships with museums, educational organizations, and cultural institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Panama. Through Smithsonian Affiliates, millions of people experience the Smithsonian in their communities and have access to the Smithsonian’s educational programs, exhibitions, scholarship, and collections. More information is available at


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.