New museum exhibit and lecture series highlights 50 years of U of G history

Guelph, ON, Tuesday, January 6, 2013 – Beekeeping, the Branion Plaza cannon and fake poop will all come together as part of an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the University of Guelph. The exhibit, organized by students in U of G’s Museum Project courses, will be on display at the Guelph Civic Museum from now until the anniversary celebrations in June.

Guests may don a beekeeper’s outfit, check out the Gryph mascot and the “cannon,”. Also on display will be the “robo-gut”, a lab assembly by Prof. Emma Allen-Vercoe, Molecular and Cellular Biology, that makes synthetic feces for studying gut bacteria. Touch screens will feature videos of other University research projects.

It has taken more than a year to put together the exhibit, said Sue Bennett, director, university and community relations, who teaches the museum project courses. “We’ve had three courses, so different students were involved throughout. In the first course, they researched potential ideas. They interviewed people and designed the plan and model for the exhibits in the second course, and in the last course created the exhibits in studio,” she said.

The students, who are all in arts programs, learned about the University, said Bennett. “They found out about our history in arts and also about our scientific achievements, such as our work with zoonotic diseases — diseases that transfer from animals to people — or with DNA barcoding. They also learned about the University’s work in international development. I think in some cases they were surprised at how much the University has done.”

Those lessons will be valuable in their careers, she said. “They now know the process and all the jobs that go into creating an end product and about all aspects of arts administration. I liked seeing them understand how to make history come alive, bringing meaning to the University and showing what we have done in the past.”

“Even if you never attended the University, U of G and the community have always been intrinsically engaged and connected with each other. We share common goals, including developing community, health and wellness, and the environment, and each have a focus on food. This exhibit will show how the University and the community have worked together to change the world.”

Better Planet Lecture Series

Thursdays, January 9 and February 13, March 13, April 10, 7 p.m.
Admission by donation

Experts from the University of Guelph explore themes related to the Better Planet Project:  environment, health, community, and food.

January 9

Dr. Beth Parker
NSERC Industrial Research Chair
Guelph’s Groundwater: Understanding our Local Water Supply

February 13

Dr. David Ma
Associate Professor
Omega-3 Acids and Breast Cancer Prevention

March 13

Dr. Evan Fraser
Associate Professor; Canada Research Chair in Global Human Security, Population Growth, High Energy Prices, Climate Change and the Challenge of Feeding Nine Billion

April 10

Dr. Maurice Nelischer,
Director for Sustainability
Gown in Town: How the Campus and Community Interact

Guelph Civic Museum is located at 52 Norfolk Street, Guelph.  For Fourth Fridays, Museum hours are extended from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and admission is free. For more information, call 519-836-1221 or visit

Media contact

Val Harrison | Coordinator of Public Programs, Guelph Museums
Community and Social Services, City of Guelph
519-836-1221 extension 2773