By Reubin Turner
University libraries are a few of the many campus-wide organizations set to host homecoming events this Saturday in an effort to welcome back Baylor alumni. The Armstrong Browning Library, the Texas Collection and the W.R. Poage Legislative Library have all planned special exhibits and activities designed to celebrate Baylor alumni and the history of the University.
The Texas Collection, Baylor’s oldest special collections library which collects and provides access to the history and culture of Texas, has created a special exhibit for alumni which will run from 8 a.m. to noon. The exhibit will showcase digitized editions of the Lariat, the University’s student-run newspaper and the Round-Up, the University yearbook. John Wilson, director of the special collections library, says that the effort has taken over four years to complete with editions that date back to 1896.
“I think this is a wonderful gift we can give to alumni who may live as close as Dallas or as far away as New York.” He added that the online collection allows them to reminisce more frequently, rather than just at homecoming. The W.R. Poage Legislative Library also plans to welcome Baylor alumni by opening their doors this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to show their current special exhibit “Race for the White House,” which opened Sep. 20.
An exhibit that ran once in 2008, “Race for the White House” offers a glimpse into past presidential elections, while giving insight into the amount of work presidential candidates put into running a campaign. Mary Goolsby, a librarian at the library, says that acclaim for the 2008 exhibit was high, so the library decided to run it again due to the large volume of new presidential memorabilia received after the exhibit ran.
“We’ve received so many new materials including campaign items from past presidential elections including campaign posters, buttons, dresses and jewelry,” Goolsby said. She added that general reception from those within and outside the Baylor community has been good. “The closeness of the election this year seems to have piqued interest in the behind-the-scenes work of presidential campaigns,” Goolsby said. Signs will be located outside near the library to help alumni and others interested in viewing the exhibit locate the library. In addition to featuring its normal exhibits, the Armstrong Browning Library will also give visitors the opportunity to celebrate the 200th birthday of Robert Browning and the centurion celebration of A.J. Armstrong’s arrival at Baylor.
Rita Patteson, director of the Armstrong Browning Library, said the special exhibits, which can be viewed from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., will focus on the lives and works of not only Browning and Armstrong, but their families as well. Refreshments will be served in the newly dedicated Garden of Contentment.
“The Brownings and the Armstrongs have been major contributors to the University, and it is through this exhibit we hope to highlight their involvement,” Patteson said. The library will also host tributes to Armstrong on Sunday at 3 p.m., in which Dr. Scott Lewis, a Baylor alumni and graduate of the University of London, will discuss his recently written autobiography on Robert Armstrong.