ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. -- The St. Helena Island landmark for African-American history has a new executive director.

The Penn Center’s board of directors has named Michael Campi of Conway to the post. He has 30 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, mainly with youth groups.

Campi tells The Beaufort Gazette he’s the center’s first white director in about 50 years. He replaces Walter Mack, who retired last year after 26 years with the center, the last four as executive director.

The center was founded in 1862 as a school for freed slaves.

It was later a Jim Crow-era industrial school and a retreat center for leaders of the civil rights movement. Now celebrating its sesquicentennial, the center works to tell the story the African-American sea island culture and to protect that heritage.

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Information from: The Beaufort Gazette, http://www.beaufortgazette.com