Throwback Thursday – Augenstein Alumni Center Museum

This week we’re at the Augenstein Alumni Center at the Western Kentucky University campus in Bowling Green. While the Alumni Center was completed just a few short years ago, there’s a small museum area inside that celebrates the university’s rich history.

On the first floor of the Augenstein Alumni Center, visitors will find the information desk and campus maps, along with meeting space for special events. But at the back corner by the main staircase, visitors notice a few large display cases filled with WKU memorabilia and pieces of its past, all donated by university alums. The three cases were donated by Kreis and Betty McGuire, Kris and Todd Wilkerson, and David and Miki Wiseman.

There’s a nod to the founding of the university and the history of its major sports with pieces of original gear and equipment. Visitors can see one of the earlier versions of the Big Red mascot. It looks a little different now, but that’s what happens when you age 40 years.

The famous Hilltoppers 1950s pop vocal group also gets some playing time in this mini museum. Originally formed in 1952, the band included three students, Jimmy Sacca, Donald McGuire and Seymour Spiegelman. In 1954 they added a fourth to the group, Billy Vaughn. The group was active on the pop charts until 1957.

Visitors will notice some of the original layouts for The Hill with aerial views of the campus when it was just beginning to sprawl. There are even some pieces from its Western Kentucky Teachers College days.

There is no admission fee to stop in at the Augenstein Alumni Center and see the quick WKU history. University alums are encouraged to come by and take a step down memory lane.