‘Blue Star’ Families to Receive Free Admission to UA Museums

The Alabama Museum of Natural History in Smith Hall is one of five UA museums participating in the Blue Star Museums program.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Active duty military members and their families can enter University of Alabama museums free of charge beginning Monday, May 28 as part of their Blue Star Museums program.

The Blue Star Museums program is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America.

The program will begin its ninth year and will run from Memorial Day through Labor Day (Sept. 3).

Active duty military and their families will receive free admission to the Alabama Museum of Natural History, Moundville Archaeological Park and Gorgas House. Admission to the Warner Transportation Museum is regularly free, so Blue Star families can take guided tours for just $1 per person.

UA Museums are participating in the program for the first year.

“Most of us personally know Blue Star Families,” said Dr. Bill Bomar, executive director of University of Alabama Museums. “One of my favorite Blue Star Families happens to be descended from former UA President Josiah Gorgas and his wife, Amelia, whose lives are commemorated at our Gorgas House Museum.

“Four great, great, great, great, great, great, grandchildren – all under age 10 – of Josiah and Amelia came and visited recently with their mom while evacuating from a hurricane,” Bomar said. “I personally witnessed the challenges this mom faces with her four young children while their dad is deployed. The absolute least we can do for families like this is let them enjoy our museums free of charge. We are excited to participate in this wonderful program.”

Admission to the Bryant Museum will be free of charge to both active duty and retired veterans. Additionally, the Bryant Museum will honor each military member with a free copy of “All of Us Fought the War” and “When Winning Was Everything.”

The Bryant Museum is participating in the Blue Star Museums program for the seventh year. In 2017, 746 community members took advantage of the Blue Star program at Bryant Museum.

“The Blue Star Museums program gives the Bryant Museum a chance to say ‘thank you’ to those who serve and their families,” said Ken Gaddy, director of the Bryant Museum. “One of our student employees is in the Army Reserves and has recently returned to school from active duty. Through her, we are reminded of the sacrifices, not only by those in uniform, but by their families. We are especially glad to be able to offer copies of the books as an added tribute to veterans and active military.”

For more information about Blue Star Museums programs, visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

Source

Ken Gaddy, director, Paul W. Bryant Museum, 205/348-9357, kgaddy@ua.edu; Dr. Bill Bomar, executive director, UA Museums, 205/348-7551, bbomar@ua.edu

Contact

David Miller, UA Strategic Communications, 205-348-0825, david.c.miller@ua.edu

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.