On October 24, 2014, the University of Wyoming dedicated its newest building: the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, now home to the UW Alumni Association, Admissions, Career Services and the UW Foundation. It contains office and collaborative space for these units as they support and promote the university.
However, the best feature of the building (in my humble opinion) is the McMurry Family UW Legacy Hall. It prominently features an interactive timeline that tells the history of the university though static and digital displays. I’ve spent the last year curating these exhibits, researching the university’s history in the University Archives and at the American Heritage Center, among many places. The static and digital exhibits are a collaboration between the AHC and the UW Foundation and will continue to be changed and updated. We’ve also collaborated with a design company, which has created the display technology for the timeline. It’s a prime example for how digital technology can enhance historical research and content and bring it to the public in an engaging and interactive way. Furthermore, the partnership with the Foundation has also taught me some interesting lessons in historical perspective, writing for a wide and mostly non-academic audience, and the dramatic differences between marketing folks and historians.
The Legacy Hall also houses a display about distinguished leaders and alumni, and a permanent exhibition highlighting the impact of Wyoming’s energy industry.