Museum Opens New WWI Exhibit


Three people cut a red ribbon to open an exhibit
Wayland Baptist University trustee Dr. Les Griffin (center) is joined by former Director of the Museum of the Llano Estacado, Rodney Watson, and Elva Hipolito, administrative assistant of the museum, to cut the ribbon on a new WWI exhibit.

PLAINVIEW – Former director of the Museum of the Llano Estacado, Rodney Watson, was throwing out A+ grades Monday afternoon, complimenting the students who worked on the new World War I exhibit that opened Monday afternoon as part of the World War I Symposium at Wayland Baptist University.

The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences planned the exhibit in conjunction with the museum as part of a week-long celebration leading up to Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11 and the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.

Watson, who retired in June, returned to help cut the ribbon, along with Wayland trustee Dr. Les Griffin and Elva Hipolito, the administrative assistant for the museum. Watson said opening the exhibit was something he has wanted to do for 16 years.

“I started a list of things I wanted to do (as director),” Watson said. “There were three things on that original list. All but one I accomplished, and that one was to do a military exhibit to honor our veterans.”

When professors Tom Ray and Dr. Rebekah Crowe approached the historical commission last spring about creating an exhibit, Watson was excited to be a part of it. Watson said as the time to put the exhibit together approached, it was students who played a major role in developing the project.

“The students began to go through everything and start to separate what was World War I and what we had that would work for the exhibits,” he said. “These guys did an amazing job. For no more hours than they had to be here working on it, I’m pretty darned impressed. If you’re asking me what their grades are, it’s an A+.”

The exhibit features memorabilia from the WWI time period and will be displayed for at least six months. The Museum of the Llano Estacado is located adjacent to the Jimmy Dean Museum on the corner of 8th and Smythe St. on the Wayland campus.

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