Mary Clark Ormond continues to be a history-maker as the third recipient of the Aurora Historical Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Having retired from the Society’s board of trustees in 2023, the board recently recognized Mary for the impact she made not only at the organization but Aurora at large through the generous and frequent contributions of her time, talent, and treasure.
Mary is no stranger to public service, having arrived in Aurora in 1975 to serve as the head librarian for the Aurora Public Library. She has been involved with numerous community groups and projects, including being co-founder of the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame, founder and president of the Fox Valley Garden Club, scholarship committee chair of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley (formerly the Aurora Foundation), president of the Tuesday Garden Club, the Aurora Public Library Foundation, president of AURORAFEST, the arboretum project at West Aurora High School, among others.
Mary was elected to the Aurora Historical Society board in 2010 and served as president from 2012 until 2023. During Mary’s tenure on the board, she organized and curated many successful events and new traditions as well as writing press releases and giving interviews furthering the Society’s mission of Giving The Past A Future.
“I don’t know if there will ever be a bigger cheerleader for the Aurora Historical Society,” said current board president Greg Probst. “Mary’s contributions will be felt for generations to come at this organization,” Probst continued.
Mary joins past recipients Fred B. Graham, Jr. and Richard A. “Dick” Haussmann.
Graham, the inaugural recipient, received the award in 1992, having been active with the Society for more than thirty years and served as a volunteer, board member, and officer, including president. An antiques expert, Graham served as the Society’s curator prior to the hiring of any professional museum staff. In his later years, Graham was the Society’s chief archival researcher.
Well-known in the community, Haussmann received his award in 2001, just before his passing. Haussmann was involved with the Society for nearly thirty years, serving on the board and served as both treasurer and president. After Haussmann’s board service concluded, he continued his service as a faithful volunteer at events. Haussmann was a staple at the Old Second National Bank, local theatre troupes, and as the voice of the Aurora American Legion Band. An avid collector and historian, some of his collection of Aurora Silverplate remains on display within the Aurora Story exhibit.
In continuous operation since 1906, the Aurora Historical Society is one of the oldest institutions in the Chicagoland area. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Society relies on public support to give the past a future by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and presenting the rich, diverse history of Aurora.