Dr. Jacci White, Professor of Mathematics, also works as the Director of the Honors Program. She has organized one of the Honors Program’s staple events that has taken place for the past eight years. Since Fall 2010, her second year working with the Honors Program with Dr. Patrick Crerand, she has taken students to Downtown Saint Petersburg for an event called Museum Day, then called Arts Alive, where museums waive their admission fees for the enjoyment and education of the public.
Dr. White knew about the event because she lives in Saint Petersburg and thought that visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, in particular, would be beneficial to Honors Program students because they feature works and artists that students learn about in their Honors 150 and 250 classes. The Honors Program provides transportation to the museums as well as lunch for the day, which Dr. White and students enjoy together by the water, taking in the scenery and often spotting dolphins. The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center is Dr. White’s favorite place to visit during the trip because she loves the intricate glassworks.
One humorous memory came to mind for Dr. White of an Honors trip in the past. They had planned to take students to Sunset Park in Hudson and had even called ahead. On the way, their bus driver had decided to take them on a “shortcut” that took them on old dirt roads and huge potholes, making for a bumpy ride on a rather large bus. When they finally arrived at their destination, it was closed to prepare for a festival the next day, and the closed fence around the facility prevented them from entering. The group set out exploring the area west of campus in search of a beach to visit, but they ended up settling for a small plot of sand at the end of a canal. In the end, there was fun and laughter to be had among them all.
Dr. White also fondly remembers one year when a group of kindhearted Honors students coordinated a birthday party for children living at the Salvation Army in Saint Petersburg. “It was fun to see the college students playing all the birthday games with the kids. I think some new friends were made that day,” Dr. White recalled.
Museum Day 2018 is Saturday, September 22. Free tickets to museums around the country, including a few in Tampa and Lakeland, are available to anyone interested at the Smithsonian Magazine Website
Madison Whatley, Social Media Intern for Arts and Sciences