Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas Science and Natural History Museum reopens after extensive renovations

Kennedy Weatherby
A child learns about the different kinds of fur on animals on the patio outside the Texas Science & Natural History Museum on Sept. 23, 2023. The museum had it’s grand re-opening event after being closed for 18 months for renovations.

After being closed for renovations for over a year, the renamed Texas Science and Natural History Museum reopened Saturday. 

The museum, previously known as the Texas Memorial Museum opened in 1939, now it has new interactive exhibits about Texas history. More than 4,000 people attended the opening ceremony. 

“This is part of an ongoing effort to make the campus more vibrant, and a place where students, faculty, staff, the community, alums, parents — everybody — wants to be,” UT President Jay Hartzell said during the ceremony’s ribbon-cutting. 

Associate Director Pamela Owen said she encourages University students to visit the museum and she hopes the relationship between the museum and the campus community will continue to flourish. 

“Come here and be curious and ask questions, especially for the students that don’t find themselves on (this) side of campus,” Owen said. “It’s their museum to take advantage of — we’ve been closed for so long.”

The College of Natural Science allocated part of their budget to help restore the museum. CNS Dean David Vanden Bout said he looks forward to what the collaboration will do for the college’s public engagement. He hopes the work in the museum inspires students in their own scientific pursuits. Many exhibits contain discoveries or work from UT researchers and alumni. 

“We have been trying to expand the ways in which we’re bringing both the science discoveries that are happening in the college out to the public, as well as the joy and excitement about the discovery of science to people in Austin,” Vanden Bout said.

The museum is debuting a new gallery next year, Science Frontiers, featuring rotating research exhibits from across the University. 

“With our new support and this expanded staff, we are able to do so much more, not only at the University but across the community and across the state,” Owen said.

Marine science junior Dani Zanabria said they are most excited to explore the dinosaur exhibits. 

“It’s another place to visit, it kind of enriches the community and the environment as a whole,” Zanabria said. 

UT students, faculty and staff can visit the museum for free with a current ID.

“We are just beginning,” managing director Carolyn Connerat said during the commencement ceremony. “This museum did not go extinct, we are evolving.”

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