news.yahoo.com: Exhibit: Ordinary Stuff Used for Extraordinary
|Author: BRUCE SCHREINER; Associated Press|
Date: Friday, September 13th, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — At first glance, a new museum exhibit in Kentucky seems to be an assortment of ordinary stuff: a hammer, shoes, scientific instruments. On closer inspection, these unassuming items achieved the extraordinary.
There's equipment used by explorer Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic; a film splicer from documentarian Ken Burns' editing room and dance shoes worn by Liza Minnelli in a Tony Award-winning performance.
Other items include a hammer used by former President Jimmy Carter to build Habitat for Humanity houses, Jay Leno's desk microphone for several years on "The Tonight Show" and lab equipment used by Nobel Prize-winning scientists.
It's a mish-mash of "ordinary tools that helped define a nation's greatness," WKU President Gary Ransdell said.
The permanent exhibit, called the "Instruments of American Excellence Collection" — opens Sept. 21 at the Kentucky Museum on Western's campus in Bowling Green.
The collection is the brainchild of Dan Murph, a country songwriter who lives near the WKU campus and in Nashville, Tenn.
Murph, the collection chairman, hopes the exhibit inspires visitors to pursue their own lofty ambitions.
"If the collection causes just one person to re-evaluate their career path or dream bigger or come up with a new idea or dare to try something they always wanted to try, then the collection is a total success," he said.
Murph approached Ransdell nearly two years ago with his idea for the exhibit. Soon, a small group of students and administrators was working with Murph on compiling a list of noteworthy people to contact for donated items to build the collection.
It didn't take long: Sculptor Raymond Kaskey sent an old wooden mallet used in some of his award-winning work. Then came another big catch — equipment used by Ballard, the famed underwater explorer, to help connect his command center with deep sea robots.
"That's the first item where we looked at each other and realized, 'OK this can work, this is possible,'" Murph said.
The response rate would be the envy of any solicitor. About three-quarters of those contacted have contributed, Ransdell said. The university spent about $125,000 to renovate and prepare the exhibit space.
Items range from scholarly to whimsical.
There's a bound copy of the U.S. Constitution that now-retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor kept in her chambers and lab tools used by Roger D. Kornberg, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
There are clown props from Hunter "Patch" Adams, a doctor and social activist who was portrayed in a movie by Robin Williams.
There's a studio microphone used by Sam Phillips to record the early hits of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn. There's a fiddle from Charlie Daniels, a customized baton from Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart and ballet shoes worn by acclaimed ballerina Sara Mearns.
There's a racket from tennis great Chris Evert, a skateboard from Tony Hawk, a soccer shoe from Mia Hamm and a golf club from Jack Nicklaus.
Murph's favorite item, though, is from someone who's not a household name.
It's an old pair of tennis shoes worn by award-winning teacher Rafe Esquith, known for getting extraordinary academic results from students at an inner-city school. Esquith said he believes teachers should always be on their feet tending to students.
"That kind of gave me goosebumps," Murph said.
Carter's hammer looks like "it's driven in 10,000 nails," Murph said.
"It changed what is expected of presidents once they leave office," he said. "They are no longer allowed to sit down and write their memoirs until the day they die. They are expected to get off the couch now and make a difference in the world."
The items signify the hard work that went into their endeavors.
"Sometimes greatness can be achieved with the simplest of instruments or tools, if you've got the mind, the heart and the spirit to put those tools to work," Ransdell said.
WKU Instruments of American Excellence: http://www.wku.edu/iae/
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Online Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Training Resources & Event Planning Services
Making a difference in the lives of others is vital to WKU seniors Cam & Chris Currin. Hailing from Nashville, these twin brothers came to WKU for different majors, but they work together to address an issue that is important to WKU and to the nation.
Katherine Crider of Dawson Springs was crowned WKU’s 2017 Homecoming queen on Saturday (Oct. 14).
WKU recognized its top volunteers at the annual Summit Awards. Distinguished Service Medals to recognize the service of the University’s top volunteers were presented to Julie Harris Hinson, James G. Meyer and Linda S. Miller.
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,