KEARNEY — With a wealth of information available, Diane Mendenhall wants Nebraskans to have access to the history — and the future — of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“We’re in the Information Age where there’s so much information coming at people,” she said. “There’s so much to absorb that it’s easy to get lost in that wealth of information. Our 150th anniversary is an opportunity to showcase these tremendous points of pride.”
To better explain the state’s major university, an exhibit featuring eight panels of information will make a stop in Kearney for five days today through Monday at the Buffalo County Fair. Admission to the exhibit is free.
“We’re hoping that through the exhibit we create an awareness of what the institution is doing for the state, being the land grant institution, teaching and research is what the university if all about for the people of Nebraska,” said Mendenhall, associate to the chancellor for external engagement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Hopefully, this will create more awareness and it reaches more people.”
In turn, Mendenhall hopes the people of the state will feel the impact that University of Nebraska-Lincoln has on the entire state.
“We created this exhibit to highlight this deep and wide impact that the university has had on its people,” she said. “We narrowed it down to eight panels with 21 stories with a handful of photos and captions that tell short stories themselves.”
One example is a story about Gladys Henry Dick, a physician born in Pawnee City who with her husband, George F. Dick, co-developed an antitoxin and vaccine for scarlet fever in 1923. She earned a degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in zoology in 1900.
While the exhibit explains the historical aspect of that medical treatment, it also highlights current work.
“The exhibit is a look backwards at our rich history, but it is also a look forward into the university and the tremendous impact that the university has on the state,” Mendenhall said.
The university created the exhibit as part of the celebration of N150, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of UNL.
“We’re not just celebrating our past and throwing a party,” Mendenhall said. “We’re celebrating our past and really looking forward to the next 150 years. What can we do for the state and our people? Nebraska is different and the people of Nebraska are different. They have so much pride. We feel that we can do that better than anyplace in the country.”