Nursing department recognized in museum

In recognition of the new nursing building on campus, the UMHB Musick Alumni Center and Museum is displaying a new exhibit.

Upstairs in the collection is a room devoted to the history of the nursing program and the impact it has had on the campus.

The building also provides alumni the opportunity to revisit historical memories, current students to learn about their past, and prospective students to further consider the university as their future home.

Museum Curator Betty Sue Beebe has worked for 30 years as part of the Alumni Association. She was director of Alumni Relations for 22 years and worked with Alumni Development.

“I was going to retire in 2009, but then Dr. O’Rear became the new president, and since he had a family, he needed to live somewhere else. He approached me and asked if I would be the curator of the new UMHB museum. Since it would also be parttime for me, I agreed.”

Beebe started formulating museum ideas right away with help from current Director of  Alumni Relations Rebecca O’Banion and the Director of the Bell County Museum, Stephanie Turnham. She also gathered an alumni committee. Planning began in  June 2009 until the museum opened in May 2010.

“I love museums,” Beebe said. “I had several ideas at first. I wasn’t shopping for just anything. I was looking for things that would portray certain topics and would show what is most significant about our history. When the university was giving away furniture in the past, I asked them to save it. And now that furniture is our show dorm room.”

Before this center, the collection was located in two rooms in Wells Hall. Alumni started collecting memorabilia in the mid-`40s because they wanted to have some kind of historical display.

This lasted until the `60s when the museum rooms were needed for classrooms. Everything was packed and stored until there was an opening at the Mabee Center in the `70s.

In 1993, everything was packed up again so there could be expansion. When the new center opened in 2010, things were bigger than ever.

Beebe said no day is ever the same working at the      museum.

“Usually the first thing I do is walk through the rooms to make sure everything looks good. Then after that, it all depends. I look up history facts, like someone’s great-grandmother who went here, for alumni or look up sources for students doing an independent study or research projects.  I’m always looking for information on inventory items, visiting with alumni, and of course, giving tours. And I’m always looking for more     stories,” Beebe said.

The Alumni Center hires student workers to work in their offices. No day is ever typical for them either.

Finance and accounting double major Taylor Barnard said, “My favorite thing about working at the alumni office is interacting with the different people that come in and discovering more about the history of our school. As you walk through the building and read about the different people that invested their lives in the school, you begin to get a better understanding of the pride that comes with being a Crusader.”

Sophomore nursing major Amy Kester agrees. “I absolutely love working here. I think it’s great we have this center and museum so students know about the history and understand that the university changes more and more.”


Author: Jenna Magness

Bio info coming soon!

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