James Cleveland Named 2022 Volunteer of the Year
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce James Cleveland as volunteer of the year for 2022. Jim was selected by the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s board of directors from among the Museum’s corps of more than 150 active volunteers for this honor.
Jim has been a Friends member and a volunteer since 2012. His son, who was a member at the time, introduced him to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
“Jim is always ready to assist with any Museum project or program,” says Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania director Patrick C. Morrison. “His upbeat, helpful and friendly manner is recognized and appreciated by his fellow volunteers, Museum staff and our guests. With his skills, experience and dedication to the work here, particularly in the library and archives, Jim serves as a role model for all of us.”
“I enjoy my interactions with people, and I have learned so much at the Museum,” Jim says. “This is a very pleasant environment where there is important work to be done in so many areas. Because volunteering is so flexible, just about anyone can find a way to contribute and take pleasure in what they are doing.”
Jim still has his original model train set, which he won as the second prize in a coloring contest in the 9th grade. He says that, in this case, he was specifically hoping to take second place. He fondly recalls seeing the Train of Tomorrow, an American demonstrator train built as a collaboration between General Motors and Pullman, during its barnstorming tour of the United States in the late 1940s. In addition to his interest in trains, Jim is an avid and long-time collector of stamps and coins.
An electrical engineering graduate of the University of Virginia, Jim spent four years in the U. S. Army ordnance division. He retired after a 42-year career with Westinghouse Electric and Schindler Elevators working in computer systems and production control. A native of Washington, DC, both of Jim’s parents worked for the FBI, his father as an agent and his mother as one of J. Edgar Hoover’s secretaries. He and his wife Loretta have eight adult children and a dozen grandchildren. They reside in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Jim will be formally recognized as the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s volunteer of the year by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission at a ceremony in Harrisburg in the spring and during the Museum’s annual Members Day banquet at The Wyndham Hotel & Resort in Lancaster on Saturday, September 24, 2022.