Tusculum 225 Exhibit created by students earns Award of Excellence from Tennessee Museum Group
A special project undertaken by students and their professor to recognize Tusculum University’s 225th anniversary has earned an award of excellence from the Tennessee Association of Museums.
The state association recently honored the university for the Tusculum 225 exhibit at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library. The well-designed exhibit, unveiled during the 2018 Old Oak Festival, highlights the history of Tusculum in words and artifacts from its origins in 1794 as Greeneville College.
“We are grateful for the recognition Tusculum received because our student team invested considerable time and paid attention to detail as they developed an exhibit that proudly showcases multiple facets of the university’s history,” said Dr. Peter Noll, associate professor of public history and museum studies. “As the university begins celebrating its 225th anniversary, we are thrilled to supplement this special period in our history with a first-rate exhibit that shares our story with the Tusculum family and the community.”
Noll and Dollie Boyd, Tusculum’s director of museums, noted Tusculum did not receive any special consideration for the award because students were part of the process. Instead, judges evaluated the students’ work using the same criteria for professional exhibits at much larger institutions, they said.
The Tusculum 225 project was the result of the work students completed in two classes – Exhibits 1 and Exhibits 2 – during an academic year. The exhibit touches on three main themes – the changes in student experiences on campus, the university’s engagement with the broader community and Tusculum’s connection with national and international events.
Tusculum’s history is detailed in word through eight panels that span about 25-30 years each. Other items in the exhibit include a softball jersey from the late 1990s, aerial photos of the Greeneville campus from 1955-80, a beanie and crown from about 1950, a telescope from about 1840 and the Greeneville College charter.
The students who worked on the exhibit were Laurel Adkins, James Ducker, Katie Estes, Landon King, Jonathon Nicholson, Josh Renner, Alex Rollison, Lilli Wallace and Cole Wilt. Six remain as Tusculum students, and the other three have graduated.
“This was an exciting endeavor that will enable visitors to the museum to more fully understand the rich history of Tusculum,” Noll said. “We look forward to building on the success of this exhibit so we can expand our knowledge of the university. We encourage more people to contribute their stories and items that reflect how Tusculum has helped shape our region and impacted students’ lives.”
For more information about Tusculum, please visit www.tusculum.edu. To learn more about the museum and the exhibit, please visit https://youtu.be/EE6O5FkmSwI.