Centennial Elementary School
The University of Southern Indiana will dedicate a renovated 1876 wooden model of Centennial Elementary School, the University’s founding location (1965-1969), at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 16.
The dedication ceremony will be held in the Ruth M. Kleymeyer Hall of Presidents, located on the fourth floor of the David L. Rice Library, where the model will be on permanent display.
A gift to USI from the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science, the model was built in 1876, the year Centennial Elementary School opened. That same year, the model was exhibited in Philadelphia at the first World’s Fair held in the United States. The model was donated to the museum by Centennial School Principal Guy Nicholson in 1947.
Evansville native and retired Air force Brigadier General Gene Thweatt carefully restored the model over a 30-week period, volunteering 500 hours of his time. Materials for the restoration were generously underwritten by Robert C. Roeder ’71, a graduate of USI and Centennial School.
When USI was founded in 1965, 412 students attended classes at Centennial School. Approximately 10,500 students are enrolled today.