Inside look on the Georgia Southern Museum

James Wagner

The Georgia Southern University Museum is a place where collections and research come together to foster a teaching environment and where exhibits come to life to provide educational outreach.

Located inside of the Rosenwald building on Sweetheart Circle, the museum has been providing the campus and the community with fun and educational exhibits since July 1980.

Brent W. Tharp, Ph.D., has been the director of the museum since July 2000 and he and his small staff of student workers oversee and run the museum.

The museum has a section for their permanent exhibits and one for their changing exhibits which the museum changes once a semester.

The museum is funded in part by the university and is free for students because of a portion of the funding is paid for by the student activities fee. There is a $2 entry fee for non-students.

The museum also receives funds from the revenue generated from the gift shop located inside the museum, grants, memberships and sponsorships.

The permanent exhibits feature the Hall of Natural History of Whale Evolution and 80 million years of natural history from around the coastal plain.

The Mosasaur, a 78 million year old fossil skeleton, hangs inside of the Hall of Natural History as well as a fossil of a Vogtle Whale that existed 40 million years ago and is named after Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle.

“We are a fantastic resource that is free and right in your own backyard,” Tharp said.

The current exhibit is “Victory from Within: The American Prisoner of War Experience” and will be featured in the museum until June 1.

This exhibit tells the stories of American POWs from the American Revolution to the present. The exhibit tells about how the POWs were captured, prison life, freedom, and the return home. Several video screens accompany the exhibit too so that visitors may hear the testimonies of some POWs and look at visuals.

“We want our students to not only be visitors but be curators and contributors to the exhibits,” Tharp said. “We wish that students would enjoy and appreciate the museum before they graduate.”

The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2-5 p.m.