Reunion Hall brought the past into the present and even provided some people the opportunity to think about their futures. Inside one large tent, eleven program partners organized presentation areas that featured information about their institutions: the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, 1994 Tribal Colleges, Michigan State University, Mississippi State University, Montana State University, Texas A&M University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of California, Davis, University of Hawai‘i, University of Maryland Archives, and University of Missouri. Presentations included images of beautiful campuses and college life, historical photos, iPads linked to homepages, and even a game to test your cowbell-ringing skills. Alumni from land-grant or public universities, as well as employees of the USDA, were invited to leave their mark at the Festival by sharing their experiences and memories on colorful note cards that were posted for everyone to read.
The centerpiece of Reunion Hall was an historical timeline highlighting the accomplishments of universities and the USDA over the past 150 years. Visitors wandered around the six-foot-tall rectangular installation to discover how world events influenced universities and the USDA and how these institutions impacted the world. You can browse through these interesting facts and photos with our virtual timeline on this Web site.
Located just a few feet from the timeline, history became tangible with George Washington Carver’s original Jesup Wagon, loaned to the Festival by the USDA. One of the pioneers of agricultural extension, Carver used this Jesup Wagon as a school on wheels that traveled from town to town in the early twentieth century.
Reunion Hall was one of the fortunate few tents in the Campus and Community program that was not affected by the violent storm that blew through the area on Friday evening, June 29. When the neighboring Family Activities tent was damaged in the storm, its displays and activities were incorporated into Reunion Hall. The final results reflected the great resourcefulness and cooperative spirit of our program team and partners.