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Bicentennial Celebration Web site launched

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Miami University launched the official Bicentennial Celebration Web site - www.muohio.edu/bicentennial - on Sept. 17, highlighting special interactive features during a presentation that also focused on the significance of September 17, 1885, in Miami's history.

The Web site celebrates Miami's 200 years of making history and includes historical facts, a calendar of events and information using modern-day technology. The site provides a countdown to Feb. 17, 2009 - the official kickoff of the Bicentennial. Google Earth Miami, unveiled today, allows visitors to take a historical, virtual tour of Miami's campus. Designed by Miami's IT services, the computer-generated tour begins with Miami as it appeared in 1809 and leads the visitor on a digital journey through campus as it evolved over the last 200 years.

"The Web site is designed around the Bicentennial Celebration's five main goals and serves as the information hub for events and information. It celebrates Miami's achievements, reflects on the past, looks into the future and provides a place for community engagement and participation," said Todd Pashak, of university communications and project leader for the Bicentennial Web site.

The Web site features a history portal, developed by Miami University library staff, containing more than 16,000 digital objects including photographs, advertising tradecards, newspapers, manuscripts and videos, all from the collections of University Libraries.

Visitors to the site can participate in a trivia contest by answering questions developed from information found within the Web site. Entries with the correct answers will be entered into a drawing and are eligible to win prizes from Miami's bookstore.

Curt Ellison, professor of history and American Studies, presented "September 17, 1885: A Turning Point in Miami's History." In 1885, Miami reopened after being closed to students for 12 years due to a financial crisis after the Civil War. Ellison says the reopening marked a turning point for Miami, paving the way to today's form of a liberal arts education.

"The old school of pedagogy moved from a rigid interpretation of doctrine to a new school of pedagogy that opened the doors for the discussion of ideas," Ellison said.

A video version of Ellison's presentation soon will be available on the Bicentennial Web site.