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GSU 'Centennial Celebration' exhibit to open
100 years of GSU highlighted at museum starting Monday
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Georgia Southern University’s 100th birthday party will continue with a multifaceted series of museum exhibits and activities that offer a fascinating and insightful look at the past century.
    “Centennial Celebration” will open at the Georgia Southern Museum on Monday, Jan. 22.
    The exhibits use photographs, clothing and other memorabilia to tell the story of how First District A&M School was founded in 1906, and how “the college on the hill” eventually evolved into Georgia Southern University.
    In addition, the activities include a touching audiovisual presentation, and visitors can take a specially designed walking tour of the campus that spotlights a century of academic progress.
    “Georgia Southern’s story is a community story,” Museum Director Brent Tharp said. “The various exhibits, artifacts and activities that make up this celebration hold something of interest to visitors of all ages, whether they are alumni or not.”
    “Centennial Celebration” will formally open with a public reception on Monday at 5 p.m. During the reception, a specially commissioned Centennial painting will be displayed. The painting is the work of Steve Hein, the director of the University’s Center for Wildlife Education and an award-winning wildlife artist.
    The centerpiece exhibit is titled “Alma Mater, Dear: 100 Years of Student Life.” Located in the front gallery of the Museum, this display is based upon the research of University historian Del Presley, who authored “The Southern Century: Georgia Southern University 1906-2006,” the recently published history of the institution.
    “Alma Mater, Dear” utilizes first-person accounts, photographs and a variety of artifacts that let visitors experience Georgia Southern from the perspective of several generations of current and former students.
    In addition to class rings and letter sweaters, “Alma Mater, Dear” features the original center court circle from Alumni Gym, which opened in 1932 and served the institution in a variety of capacities until it was torn down in the 1980s.
    Sponsored in part by Willingway Hospital, the exhibit also includes a digital audio recording station that allows visiting alumni to contribute their own recollections of life at Georgia Southern. The recordings will be archived for future generations to enjoy.
    “Alma Mater, Dear” is complemented by an exhibit titled “A Century of Progress: 100 years of Innovation and Transformation.” Housed in the rear gallery of the Museum, this display focuses on the most significant scientific, technological, socio-political and artistic advances of the past 100 years.
    “A Century of Progress” also features interactive elements appeal to schoolchildren. Young visitors can use Morse code to send a message via the telegraph, create their own Picasso-style painting, conduct a scientific experiment, and explore the plethora of career options that are available to the college graduates of today.
    Meanwhile, “Southern Images: 100 Years in 100 Photos” is an audiovisual presentation located in the Museum hallway. A collaboration between the Museum and the University’s Zach S. Henderson Library, “Southern Images” features a series of historical photographs accompanied by a memorable musical score. The end result is a sentimental look back at the University’s first century.
    Finally, “1906 Origins: 100 years of Academic Advancement” enables visitors to take a leisurely stroll across the campus as they follow a series of 17 banners. Produced by current students and faculty, the banners highlight many of the important discoveries and achievements that have taken place in the classroom and the laboratory during the past century.
    The “Centennial Celebration” exhibits and activities will be open through Sunday, Sept. 2. Group tours are welcome and can be scheduled by calling the Museum.
    There is no admission fee for the Museum, which is located in the Rosenwald Building on Southern Drive. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
    For more information, visit or call (912) 681-5444.

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