UW-W celebrated the creation of Old Main Lane Friday, April 12 with a display. The project took years of support and collaboration to complete, as faculty, staff, students and alumni all played their part in providing memorabilia and stories to be shared with the Whitewater community on the second floor of the University Center (UC).
“This has been a project that we have been working on for at the least three and a half to four years,” said Kim Adams, one of the assistant directors in the UC. “[The hall] originated from a LEAP Team.”
The LEAP Team (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) consisted of five staff members and one student from UW-W. They wanted to start looking ahead for project ideas for the sesquicentennial, and the team decided on a gallery that could portray Whitewater’s history as well as celebrate Warhawk pride.
“When we looked at that [hallway], many people said, ‘That’s kind of off the beaten path, will you really accomplish your goal?’,” Adams said. “Our goal was to make this a destination for people to want to come and view the various photos, artifacts and videos. Slowly but surely, we began to see it become that destination.”
Students, parents, faculty, staff and community members have made their way to the exhibit to learn more about the campus culture, history and community. With interactive videos and readings, it is easy to become immersed in all the information that the campus and Whitewater community has generously offered.
“Alumni especially really enjoy coming back and looking through all the older photos,” Adams said.
The alumni of UW-W have been one of the biggest groups to provide photos and memories for display in Old Main Lane. From their personal belongings to photos they took as students and faculty members, they have been able to play a large role in the creation and viewing of this project.
“The Old Main Lane display is an amazing physical demonstration of the love of this institution,” said Jan Bilgen, UW-W alumna. “We can’t move forward helping students succeed without acknowledging the rich history of how we have learned and grown as an institution.”
The celebration consisted of various speeches and speakers, from Adams herself to Interim Chancellor Dr. Cheryl Green. Many alumni and students came to show their love and support for the project, as well as reminisce on their times here.
Eight members of the chamber singers kicked off the celebration by performing the new UW-W Alma Mater, along with a slideshow of old and current photos of UW-W, put together by Samantha Pinchard.
“[There was] one photo of a marriage proposal on the football field, and I think that just really sums up [Warhawk pride],” said Stephanie Lutz, a UC administrative assistant.
Although the celebration is over, you can still view Old Main Lane at any point in time to learn more about your community’s history. Located on the second floor of the UC, years of hard work are on display.