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Museum photos will hang at Cal U

| Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007

If you've ever thought of visiting the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., but hate the thought of driving there, you might want to consider a drive to California University of Pennsylvania early next month.

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, an organization whose goal is to enable people from across the country to enjoy collections from the world-famous museums, will be stopping at the university on Sept. 6 to present the American Indian exhibit "Booming Out: Mohawk Ironworkers Build New York."

Tim Buchanan, executive director for special initiatives at the university, said the exhibit is one of three Smithsonian-sponsored events planned for the 2007-08 school year. It depicts how the significant contributions of the Mohawk tribe helped to develop the nation's infrastructure.

Buchanan said the university has tried for several years to bring the program to its campus but was unable to meet the Smithsonian's security standards.

"My colleagues and I worked very hard to meet the standards so that collections from the Smithsonian could be exhibited here," Buchanan said. "We're working together to develop a cultural partnership to bring Smithsonian collections directly to the people who want to enjoy them."

Buchanan also pointed out how the multi-cultural atmosphere at the university, along with its location, makes the campus an ideal place for the exhibits. Buchanan said the campus is within a 24-hour drive for half the population of the United States, because Route 43 connects it with several outlying areas.

"This region is a cultural beacon," Buchanan said. "What better place is there to put these educational opportunities?"

In addition to the exhibit, the grand opening also will feature a presentation by one of the United States' most influential American Indian women, Buchanan said.

La Donna Harris, a board member for the National Museum of the American Indian, will deliver a lecture focusing on the core values of the Commanche Indian Nation and how it coincides with the university's values of integrity, civility and responsibility. Five days before the grand opening of the exhibit, Buchanan said, Harris will be delivering the same lecture in Bolivia.

In addition to Harris' presentation, university Executive Vice President Joyce Hanley said a curator from the Museum of the American Indian will be giving presentations to guests who visit the exhibit, which will be on display on the third floor of the Louis L. Manderino Building on campus through September.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for people in the region to see exhibits from the Smithsonian," Hanley said. "I'm very pleased with the relationship we've had with them."

Two days after Harris' presentation, another internationally known figure will visit the university. Hanley said international leadership consultant Steven Covey, author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," will speak to students, faculty and staff about his experiences and the importance of building relationships.

"Typically, he speaks in very large cities and venues," Hanley said. "We're honored that he has agreed to come to our school and speak to members of our community."

Hanley said Covey is working on a new book and plans to devote a chapter of it to California University of Pennsylvania.

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