Local historians celebrate national award

Local historians celebrate national award

Published: September 24, 2010.

(Left to right) Dr. Dennis H. Cremin
and Dr. Bob Sterling stand in
front of a display for the
award-winning exhibit.

Lewis University’s Dr. Dennis H. Cremin was among those recognized Sept. 24 by the American Association of State and Local History when “The Soaring achievements of John C. Houbolt” exhibit received an Award of Merit. For four years, he served on the exhibit committee at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. He eventually became a volunteer exhibit consultant.

Cremin, associate professor and director of the Lewis University History Center, commented, “We are all pleased by the national recognition for this spectacular exhibit. The Houbolt exhibit opened on July 17, 2009 to great fanfare and is a permanent addition to the Joliet Area Historical Museum.”

He continued “the exhibit tells the story of Houbolt, a Joliet native, who attended local schools and went on to become a NASA scientist. Here is a local youth who flew his model airplanes at what became Lewis University. He also attended Joliet Junior College. Clearly talented, he conceptualized the lunar module concept that made it possible for the United States to land on the moon.”

Tony Contos, Director of the Joliet Area Historical Museum said, “Dr. Bob Sterling deserves much of the credit for the exhibit. Back in 2006 he had this idea to tell the story of Houbolt. As we all learned, he was the man who proposed the lunar orbit rendezvous concept, which was a key to the moon landing in 1969. Sterling met with the museum staff, the Houbolt family, and even went before the Joliet City Council to gather support. It took a number of years, but the exhibit demonstrates that dreams can be realized.”

Cremin, who served on the exhibit committee from its inception and served as an exhibit consultant, concluded, “We all worked hard on this exhibit. The award is a testament to the collective efforts of Bob Sterling, the museum staff and Board, the City of Joliet, exhibit consultants, and a civic mindedness of Houbolt family.”

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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