University of Delaware
This display in Hullihen Hall lobby celebrates the University's rich, inclusive past and present.

Diversity exhibit

Hullihen Hall exhibit features historic diversity at University


11:17 a.m., Oct. 2, 2012--The University of Delaware’s campus is a melting pot of cultures, each with a unique story to tell. Hullihen Hall celebrates the University’s rich, inclusive past and present with a new exhibit in the lobby this year.

The exhibit program in the Hullihen Hall lobby began four years ago, as an initiative of the Office of the President.

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The three display cases in the lobby of Hullihen Hall will now represent the University’s cultural heritage as well as a snapshot of the campus’ current diversity. 

Lisa Gensel, coordinator for University Archives and creator of the exhibit, explained what the central case symbolizes to the community: “Diversity is texture, it’s color; a richening of things. For that reason the central case is very bright and textured.”

A collage of photographs, graduation stoles, fliers, posters, pins and letters -- representing the campus’ present -- in the central display case will be a fixed exhibit, while the two smaller display cases will rotate every two to three months, displaying a new historical theme about inclusion at UD. 

The two smaller cases will feature African American history, international students and programs, religious history and a look at gender diversity. The first display kicks off with the history of women at the University. 

“Women were the first diversifier at UD. The display highlights the physical, academic, and administrative community,” Gensel explained. A photograph of the first female graduating class is one of the items featured in this first glimpse at UD’s past, as well as a photo of Maxine Colm, the first female vice president for administration.

“The current exhibit is a joint directive by the Diversity and Equity Commission and President’s Office," said Ian Janssen, directorof University Archives and Records Management. "It is largely produced by the Archives in collaboration with many groups across campus, including Library Special Collections and the Office of Communications and Marketing.”

All of the items on display are reproductions so that the originals can be properly stored. “This was challenging to design because of the breadth of the subject,” Janssen said, adding, “Alternating cases and topics in a portion of the exhibition enables us to cover these strories in greater depth and maximize use of space."

“So far we have gotten a very positive response, and people are excited to see the contents of the cases change,” Gensel expressed.

Article by Sarah E. Meadows

Photos by Evan Krape

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