Larry Murray

Larry Murray, who is currently the director of vehicle services at the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, will be the next executive director at Patriots Point. Provided. 

One of the state's busiest tourist attractions has found a replacement for its top director.

Larry Murray, an Army veteran and a leader at the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, will be executive director at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, it was announced Wednesday. 

Mac Burdette, who has led the state-owned maritime museum for nine years, announced in January that he would retire at the end of June. 

The job opening drew more than 250 applicants. A search committee of Patriots Point board members reviewed the submissions and narrowed the pool down to a few finalists.

The full board interviewed the candidates and voted on their selection Tuesday.

Murray has worked with the state Department of Motor Vehicles since 2012, first as a liaison with elected officials and then, since 2016, as director of vehicle services. He also served 27 years with the Army, including service in Afghanistan. 

In a written statement about the selection, board chairman Ray Chandler described Murray as a "distinguished veteran" and an "accomplished civil servant."

Mac Burdette executive director Patriots Point (copy)

Mac Burdette, the executive director at Patriots Point, is retiring from the position next month. Provided. 

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Chandler also credited much of the museum's success in the last decade — including a development agreement for the 60-acre Patriots Annex complex which Chandler said could be "possibly the greatest thing to happen to Patriots Point since its inception" — to Burdette's leadership. 

Before Burdette joined Patriots Point, he was Mount Pleasant's town administrator for 25 years and was an Army Reserve officer. He was chosen from a pool of 44 applicants in the fall of 2010. 

At the time, the museum was looking to pay off a large state loan, complete maintenance work on its star ship and put together a long-term business plan. 

The waterfront museum maintains three historic vessels: the World War II-era Yorktown aircraft carrier, the Laffey destroyer and the Cold War-era Clamagore submarine. Several hundred acres of surrounding land, including the Patriots Point Links golf course, are also part of the state-owned complex. 

Murray's start date has not been determined yet. Burdette's pay as director is $126,880, according to state records. 

Reach Emily Williams at 843-937-5553. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and employment. She also writes the Business Headlines newsletter, which is published twice a week. Before moving to Charleston, her byline appeared in The Boston Globe.