The Seacoast Science Center (SSC) celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday, September 9 with a free community event attended by 4,000+ people, a proclamation issued by Governor Chris Sununu, and the unveiling of a sculpture honoring the Center’s founding president, Wendy Lull. The day capped off 25 weeks of special educational activities offered through the spring and summer, and included guests who were involved in the creation of the Center in 1992.
“It was a pleasure to see so many familiar faces here to celebrate the Center’s milestone 25th year,” stated Wendy Lull, President Emerita of SSC. “The beautiful sculpture created by Winter Holben Architecture and Design represents the teamwork of volunteers, staff and donors who made the Center what it is today. I hope that the sculpture’s colorful school of fish inspires community members to continue to support this great institution and its plans for the future.”
Jeffrey Rose, Commissioner of the NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, presented the proclamation from Governor Chris Sununu, declaring September 9, 2017 as Seacoast Science Center Day in New Hampshire. The proclamation recognized the Center’s huge impact as an educational institution, having welcomed more than 1 million visitors and reached over 200,000 school children via on-site, outreach and distance learning since its inception. The proclamation also lauded the Center as a “highly respected and mutually beneficial” partner of the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation from its location within Odiorne Point State Park.
SSC President Jim Chase thanked the Center’s original supporters and laid out a vision for the institution’s next 25 years. “We are going to recommit to making the Center a place of exemplary visitor experiences,” he declared. “We want to give visitors a reason to return year after year and season after season. We need to ensure that our exhibits and programs are compelling and visually dynamic. We will emphasize the inclusion of the cultural history of the Seacoast and of Odiorne Point State Park. We will advocate for science and critical thinking, working with partner institutions to advance important messages. The Seacoast Science Center has an exciting and bright future ahead and I am honored to build on the foundation created by Wendy Lull’s leadership and dedication.”
The Center’s 25th Anniversary Free Family Fun Day included six hours of live entertainment including three shows by the Octonauts, education stations, partner displays, history walks, games and refreshments. Thanks to many dedicated sponsors, the Center was able to offer all of these activities at no charge and even offered 25% off membership for that day only. Families came from as close as Rye and Portsmouth and as far as Washington, Utah and Colorado. A crew of nearly 100 volunteers and staff ensured that the day ran smoothly from the first performance by the Octonauts to the last cone of cotton candy handed out at 3 pm.