July 9, 2021

WCU’s Museum Prepares for Sesquicentennial Exhibition

150th artifactsArtifacts from the University’s archives, the Alumni Association, and other sources are being curated for an exhibition that opens with the official launch of WCU’s Sesquicentennial Celebration on Friday, September 17.

Michael A. Di Giovine (left), director of the University’s Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology and an associate professor of anthropology, is overseeing students in the museum studies program as they research, catalog, and prepare pieces for inclusion.

Among the artifacts gathered for the exhibit are a 101-year-old West Chester Normal School pennant, athletic memorabilia, media including the precursor to The Quad student newspaper, and artifacts from student organizations. Rising seniors and museum studies minors Aaron Stoyack (center), a history major, and Ashley Wallen (right), a graphic design and animation major who’s also minoring in art history, are among the students working on the exhibition.

The Sunrise Rotary Club, some of whose members are WCU alumni and retired faculty, got the first public glimpse into the sesquicentennial exhibition when representatives from the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration committee took the show on the road in June.

John Villella ’76, M’82, Vice President for University Affairs and Chief of Staff, gave the Rotary Club a brief history of the various eras of the institution, from Normal School to State Teachers College to State College to University. He took questions from the audience and recognized members who were affiliated with the University. Brigid Gallagher ’12, assistant director of alumni engagement in WCU’s Office of Alumni Engagement, brought a few yearbooks to show the University’s evolution.

Villella and Mary Beth Henley, director of events for the WCU Foundation, are co-chairs for the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration committee. Sunrise Rotary member Joe Kienle ’72, M’74, former president of the WCU Alumni Association and co-chair with Gallagher of the Sesquicentennial outreach subcommittee, arranged and facilitated the event.

Visit the WCU Sesquicentennial Celebration webpage for more history and videos, plus upcoming events and special features.

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