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WCU 150th Exhibition Lecture and Tour Series

Join us for the WCU 150th Exhibition Lecture And Tour
Join us each month for a live synchronous virtual tour and lecture of the WCU 150: History and Heritage exhibition. Lasting approximately one hour, Director Michael A. Di Giovine will be accompanied by student co-curators to present an overview tour of the exhibition room via Zoom. Guest speakers will join us each month to provide short lectures and Q&A on a specific topic.

Past Events

Click on each event title to access video recordings available on demand.

Making of the Exhibit and Special Collections

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November 17, 2021 | 7:00PM

University Libraries Special Collections holds many unique treasures, including hundreds of rare and culturally significant items. It also maintains a rich and ever-growing collection of items documenting the university's 150-year history. Many of these are in our special sesquicentennial exhibition, WCU 150: History and Heritage. Take a tour of the exhibition with Museum Director, Michael A. Di Giovine and student co-curators, where we will examine some of the most significant artifacts from our long history. Then join Special Collections librarian, Ron McColl, on an exclusive behind-the-scenes look "inside the vault", where he will show some of the rarest and most valuable pieces in the collection and discuss his process of caring for these important artifacts.

A Look at WCU’s Historic Music Program

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November 30, 2021 | 8:00PM

Since our founding, music has played an integral part in academics and student life. This year, the Wells School of Music will be celebrating its 100th Holiday concert! Join Museum Director, Michael Di Giovine, and student co-curator Kat Godfrey for an examination of some of the rich artifacts from our musical history, before moving to Asplundh Hall, where Dean Christopher Hanning and Holiday Program Director, Dr. Ryan Kelly will provide an engaging look back at a century of holiday music. Enjoy stories from alumni and examine our famed 1926 Skinner Organ. Did you know that one of the first people to play the Skinner Organ in Asplundh Hall was famed composer and West Chester resident Samuel Barber? We’ll close with an exclusive, up-close look at the Skinner organ as we take a trip down memory lane. This not-to-be-missed event is a perfect way to welcome in the holiday season!

A Conversation with Director of Athletics, Terry Beattie

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December 14, 2021 | 7:00PM

Shortly after our founding, baseball was introduced as the first known sport at West Chester, leading to a long and storied history of athletics at our beloved institution. Since 1899, West Chester has captured 18 team National Championships, and 159 PSAC Championships. But wins and losses are not the only way WCU athletics measures success. After an in-depth look at our athletic legacy with student co-curators, Aaron Stoyack and Sadie Patterson, join Director of Athletics, Terry Beattie, for an exclusive tour and conversation with anthropologist and Museum Director, Michael Di Giovine, to learn more about the past, present and future of WCU Athletics and how success in the classroom and in the community fuels success in competition.

The History of Architectural Styles at WCU

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January 12, 2022 | 7:00PM

West Chester University’s campus began with one building, but has evolved into a complex of structures in a variety of architectural styles that reflect the changing needs and tastes of our community. The growth of the physical campus mirrors our evolution from Normal School to University, the expansion of our curriculum, and the increasing variety of student activities. Explore our collection of architectural artifacts with Museum Director, Michael A. Di Giovine, followed by an engaging “stroll” through 150 years of our ever-changing campus with Anne Krulikowski, Associate Professor of History and author of the sesquicentennial history, We Serve:  West Chester University, 1871-2021.

History of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with Larry Dowdy

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January 18, 2022 | 7:00PM

Diversity, equity and inclusion is an integral pillar of West Chester University, as it aids in recruitment and retention, and contributes to a vibrant campus culture. Yet there were many hurdles to overcome in our institution’s 150 year history. Join Michael A. Di Giovine, Director of the Museum of Anthropology and Archeology, student co-curator Aaron Stoyack, and Lawrence A. Dowdy, former Executive Deputy to the President, in a discussion of how WCU righted historical injustices. A number of artifacts will be highlighted and stories of African American alumni shared. Dowdy will explain that, in spite of being denied on-campus housing, dining room privileges and other opportunities during the early and mid-20th century, African American alumni were triumphant. He attributes their success to their high-quality campus education and the bonds formed with their classmates.

WCU's History in Innovation and Education of Wellness Professionals

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February 2, 2022 | 7:00PM

Since our founding as a Normal School in 1871, Health Sciences has played a central role at our institution. Today, the College of Health Sciences boast a number of baccalaureate and graduate degree programs that train our students to be successful healthcare professionals. Join Museum Director, Michael A. Di Giovine for a short tour of the WCU 150: History and Heritage exhibition highlighting some of the prized artifacts and important milestones that speak to the development of the College of Health Sciences past and present, then join Dean Scott Heinerichs for an exclusive tour of the university’s state-of-the-art Immersive Learning Center in the new Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons (SECC), showcasing the cutting-edge learning environments we provide our students to ensure they are prepared to be successful in their future careers.

The LGBTQIA+ Experience at WCU

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February 16, 2022 | 7:30PM

Join Jacqueline Hodes, Professor and Coordinator of Higher Education Policy & Student Affairs Graduate Program; Meg Panichelli, Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Social Work and WCU alumna; museum director Michael A. Di Giovine and student co-curator Julia Zahm for a thematic tour of the WCU 150 exhibition and discussion of the LGBTQIA+ experience at WCU. Since LGBTQA Services was founded at West Chester State College in 1975 as a precursor to today’s Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy, the University has worked to create an environment where the intersectional experiences of trans and queer people are celebrated, supported, validated and affirmed. Through artwork and artifacts on display in the WCU 150 exhibition, we will explore the struggles and affirming experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community and advocates at WCU.

Women's and Gender Studies: The Development of a Nationally Recognized Program

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February 22, 2022 | 7:30PM

Lisa Huebner, Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies and Past Chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women; Tess Benser (they/them), Assistant Director of Outreach & Engagement, Center for Women & Gender Equity; and Joan Woolfrey, Professor of Philosophy and current chair of Women’s & Gender Studies join museum director Michael Di Giovine and student co-curator Julia Zahm for a tour and discussion of WCU’s longstanding Women’s and Gender Studies program. As a Normal School, West Chester’s student population always included a significant number of women, but society was far from treating gender equitably; as society became more progressive, visionary faculty and students at West Chester State College created one of the earliest women studies programs in the country. Illustrated with a rich variety of artifacts and compelling stories from the WCU 150 exhibition, we will discuss the history of the program, and the ways in which the university continues to work towards equity in the treatment of women, people of all gender identities and sexualities, and under-represented groups.

History of Charter Day

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March 3, 2022 | 7:00PM

In celebration of the anniversary of the West Chester Normal School Charter, join John Villella, Vice President for University Affairs and Christopher Mominey, CEO of the WCU Foundation for a discussion with Museum Director Michael A. Di Giovine and student co-curator Aaron Stoyack for a historical journey of WCU’s evolution from a Normal School to the largest comprehensive public university in the Pennsylvania state system. After exploring engaging exhibits and never-before-seen artifacts, we will discuss the university’s strategies to meet the needs of students, the University, West Chester community, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

West Chester Student Experience: History of Student Life at WCU

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March 16, 2022 | 7:00PM

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, many colleges and universities have a broad educational mission: to develop the whole student. At WCU, extracurricular involvement has evolved from literary societies, special interest clubs and formal dances to a total “co-curricular” approach as the key tool in personal development.  With a rich collection of artifacts that speak to our unique student culture, join Museum Director Michael A. Di Giovine; student co-curator Chelsey Moore; Charlie Warner, retired student life director of 30 years; Cara Jenkins, current Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life; and Barrett McGee, Associate Director of Student Activities for an engaging conversation exploring the history of student life on campus.

Lofty Sentiments of Duty: A History of Military Service at WCU

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April 5, 2022 | 7:00PM

Our institution was founded less than a decade after the Civil War, on land occupied by Camp Wayne, a “Camp of Instruction” that, which trained nearly 1500 Union Army volunteers. They reportedly exhibited “lofty sentiments of duty” and “a high spirit of courage and patriotism” that continues to define WCU’s students’ legacy of military service. Join History Department chair Robert J. Kodosky and Museum Director Michael A. Di Giovine for a tour of the WCU 150 exhibition, focusing on our community’s engagement in the military and our initiatives to serve our veterans upon their return. Dr. Kodosky will bring these experiences to life by recounting the stories of those who came to exemplify the Legacy of Camp Wayne at West Chester University, a “Campus of Instruction” strong in the tradition of military service.

A Virtual Walking Tour of the University’s Sculpture Collection

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April 13, 2022 | 6:30PM

Since our founding in 1871, the arts have held a special place on campus, providing a dynamic outlet for student expression, elevating our minds, and enhancing our space. As our institution has developed into a comprehensive liberal arts university, the university dedicated itself to beautifying an expanding campus with public art. In the last 30 years alone, the university has acquired more than 40 outside sculptures. Professor Emeritus of Art and WCU Foundation Director John Baker and Museum Director Michael A. Di Giovine explore some of the prominent – and lesser-known – artistic gems that make West Chester University the idyllic and livable campus it is today, and student co—curators Aaron Stoyack and Maddy Maychak provide an overview of the rich diversity of arts that have made the university unique over time. They are joined by sculptors Rhoda Kahler and Richard Blake, who provide first-hand insights about their works highlighted on the walk and in the WCU 150 exhibition.

Creating an Environmentally, Economically, and Socially Sustainable WCU

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April 19, 2022 | 7:00PM

In 2013, West Chester University released its Climate Action Plan (CAP) to address the global climate crisis, foster resiliency and social equity, and bring concepts of environmental, economic, and social sustainability into our academics and operations. The CAP built on decades of activism, has guided our work for eight years, and will keep us focused on improvements to our natural and learning environments long into the future. Bradley Flamm, Director of WCU’s Office of Sustainability; Museum Director Michael A. Di Giovine; and student curator and Sustainability Leadership Award Winner Alden Ritchey tour the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology’s exhibition, Earth Day at 50: Lessons for a Sustainable Future as they discuss the commitments WCU has made to energy efficiency, carbon neutrality, zero waste practices, and preparing our students and employees to advocate for sustainability on campus and beyond. Then, Energy Projects Manager John Lattanze gives a special behind-the-scenes tour of WCU’s Geo-Exchange Pumphouse. 

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