Academic exhibit kicks off inauguration

As Family Weekend rolls around, the inauguration committee prepares to unveil its first official inauguration event—”Innovation and Impact.”

The exhibit, sponsored by the academic division, will take place in Irwin Library Nov. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. and will highlight Butler University’s connection to the community.

“The academic division was invited to come up with a vehicle to celebrate and display innovative things that have been happening in our academic programs in recent years, with a particular emphasis on community engagement,” said Mary Macmanus Ramsbottom, chair of the committee in charge of creating the exhibit.

At Irwin, there will be three components that make up the whole exhibit.

Special collections
The first display visitors will see is from the special collections of the library. The display will discuss Butler’s history and founder Ovid Butler’s vision of the school as an inclusive institution. The information and presentation all come from the university’s archives.

“I do not know a lot about Butler’s history, so I think I’ll go see it,” freshman pharmacy major Liana Tzanetakos said. “Hopefully I can learn something from it.”

The exhibit will also include displays from each of the university’s six academic colleges and academic programs, including the core curriculum, Center for Global Education and Center for Citizenship and Community.

The displays will use video and media displays to demonstrate how the groups relate to the community. Some of the videos will have captions and others will be heard with the use of earphones.

Some of these exhibits will also use photographs, posters and printed material to relay their message. Ramsbottom said this is beneficial because people who want to spend a short amount of time at the exhibit can still learn something.

“If somebody wants to spend a fair amount of time at any individual exhibit they could do so because they can listen to all the videos and materials,” Ramsbottom said. “If some people just want to pass through quickly, they will be able to get something out of it as well with these passive displays.”

Darlene Waddell, who represents the College of Education on the committee, said she thinks the exhibit is a great way to demonstrate Butler’s connection to the community.

The COE’s exhibit will present the college’s work with the Indianapolis Public Schools’ Lab School 60 and Shortridge Magnet High School.

“I think the exhibit will draw in the community and showcase Butler’s academic side,” Waddell said. “I hope the community will see that we can still have dreams and to use their imagination to reach them.”

To go with the inauguration’s theme of “Imagine the Possibilities,” Ramsbottom said the committee decided to set up a kiosk with a computer, where visitors can suggest new possibilities for Butler.

The ideas will be given to President Jim Danko after inauguration events end.

Once visitors enter their suggestions, they will be able to view them as they run on the screen on a continuous loop.

Ramsbottom said there are plans to make the kiosk movable so it can be placed in other venues on campus for people to express their opinions.

“I really like that idea,” junior marketing and Spanish major Ali Harre said. “I think that shows the university is really serious about taking student opinions with regards to campus and our future. I am definitely going to go write something on it.”

Ramsbottom said she hopes community members learn more about how Butler’s academic division works and its community involvement.

“I think a lot of the activities on display may be known to students in a particular major, but it is a rare opportunity for this information to be accessible to the public in an entertaining way to see a full range of activities,” Ramsbottom said. “Another theme one sees is how much collaboration across colleges happens naturally when there is a focus on experiential education.”


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