Monmouth grad named executive director of Springsteen Archives

Dawn Furnas//October 11, 2022//

Monmouth grad named executive director of Springsteen Archives

Dawn Furnas//October 11, 2022//

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Who is more qualified to oversee the Boss’ archives than a fellow Grammy winner? How about one who also is the founding executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles? 

The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University named Robert Santelli as its executive director Oct. 10, a new position for the archives, according to a representative. He will oversee the archives and create programs, exhibits and collaborations with music museums and universities around the country, according to the organization. 

Patrick Leahy, president of Monmouth University and Springsteen Archives chair, said in a statement, “I am thrilled to have Bob officially join our team as we develop our partnership with Bruce Springsteen to house his archives here on campus, and to expand our programs in American music, for which there is such a tremendous history here in New Jersey and especially at the Jersey Shore.” 

Bob Santelli stands in the Prudential Center during construction of the Grammy Museum Experience in 2017. Click here to read the story. – PATRICK DODSON

In addition to his aforementioned achievements, Santelli is a music historian, producer and educator and the author of more than a dozen books on American music, including the New York Times best-seller “Greetings from Asbury Park: The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.” 

At Oregon State University – an affiliate of both the Grammy Museum and the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music – Santelli produces the American Strings series and lectures on popular music and the music industry. 

Also on his résumé, Santelli: 

  • Was one of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s original curators and vice president of education and public programs; 
  • Served as head of Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle (now called the Museum of Pop Culture); 
  • Created the Grammy Museum’s public program series “An Evening with…” and developed more than 50 exhibitions;
  • Served as an executive producer of the PBS series “In Performance at the White House” and worked closely with First Lady Michelle Obama to present more than a dozen music education programs at White House during the Obama administration. 

“I’m honored to serve my alma mater and join Archives Director Eileen Chapman as one of the caretakers of Bruce Springsteen’s incredible legacy,” said Santelli, a 1973 graduate of Monmouth, according to the university. 

“The opportunity to bring the Archives and Center for American Music onto the nation’s cultural and educational landscapes is a rare opportunity that I deeply appreciate,” Santelli added. 

Jon Landau, Springsteen’s longtime manager and vice chair of the archives, gave Santelli his seal of approval, saying “Bob Santelli, with his Jersey Shore roots and music history background, is the best person to oversee the Springsteen collection, and to create a vibrant center for American music education and experiences. Bob was at The Stone Pony in the early ‘70’s when Bruce started playing there, writing reviews for the Asbury Park Press, and has been a good friend ever since.”