Murray State celebrates centennial with campus exhibit

The exhibit, titled “1922,” came together with help from faculty and students in Murray State’s Introduction to Public History classes.

Murray State is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a centennial exhibit at Wrather West Kentucky Museum on campus.

An opening night reception on Thursday, April 21, featured remarks from Murray State University President Bob Jackson and special guest speaker Melvin Henley. Henley is a Murray State alumnus, retired Murray State faculty member and former state representative.

“I’m grateful to university libraries as a whole,” Jackson said. “I am grateful for the staff and faculty and all those involved at Wrather Museum. [They] house exhibits that many never get to see unless they come to Murray. There are unique exhibits of military heroes and political figures.”

The exhibit celebrating Murray State’s centennial is in the Wrather West Kentucky Museum on campus. (Murray State photo)

Henley received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics in 1962. He also received his PhD in physical chemistry in 1964 from the University of Mississippi. He served as the Kentucky State Representative for the 5th District from 2005 through 2013.

“When I came to Murray State [Training School] in 1941 in the first grade, the enrollment was 1,032 students,” Henley said. “I have either served as a student or a faculty member under every president from James H. Richmond through S. Kern Alexander. I have personally met every college president of this institution including Dr. John W. Carr and Dr. Rainey T. Wells.”

The event also featured Cris Ferguson, Interim Dean of University Libraries, and Jordan Smith, executive director of Governmental & Institutional Relations. The closing remarks were given by Dr. Sean “Jeff” McLaughlin, Murray State’s Special Collections and Exhibit director.

McLaughlin said the exhibit, titled “1922,” came together with help from faculty and students in Murray State’s Introduction to Public History classes. The exhibit portrayed the 1920’s history of Murray and Calloway County with a recreated speak-easy on the main floor of the museum.

“I get the students to work on the art creation and I am very proud to lead the people that I have,” McLaughlin said. “I have found that if you want to encourage creativity, say no as little as possible.”

The event was hosted by the University Libraries and the Office of Development and was sponsored by Murray’s Town and Gown.

McLaughlin said Wrather Museum is scheduled to undergo renovation this summer.

Murray State celebrates centennial with campus exhibit

WKMS

This story first ran on WKMS, the public radio station at Murray State University.