Second act

Second act

Let’s look back

By Ellen Neiers, student-intern

Matthew Costello, Grad ’11, ’16, inaugurated a new career in Washington, D.C., in December — senior historian for the White House Historical Association. He was able to turn a childhood love of history into a full-time job. “I’m just someone who loves history and wants to share that passion with others,” Costello says.

Costello read any history book he could get his hands on while growing up. It was U.S. presidents like Abraham Lincoln, “a man ahead of his time,” and George Washington, “the person America needed at that time,” who drew him to the subject. These personalities of history and more motivate Costello to continue exploring and sharing that knowledge. “At the end of the day it’s about making our past more accessible to people,” he says.

Though fairly new at this celebrated post, Costello says the work already “encompasses a lot of creativity and many opportunities for learning.” He organizes a lecture series that covers a variety of topics. Focuses may range from an individual with White House connections to an anniversary or commemoration. He also responds to media requests, which can entail, “looking into what goes on during an inauguration or finding out more about presidential candies.”

For an upcoming luncheon with the French Embassy, Costello is researching the favorite foods and dishes of past U.S. presidents.

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