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For more information, contact Glenn Opie, chair for Committee to Honor Jack Kilby, 620-793-5455

March 23, 2012
Story by: Michael Dawes, King Content PR

Kilby Sculpture Unveiling To Be Evening Celebration on April 28

When “The Gift” sculpture is unveiled late next month at Jack Kilby Square in downtown Great Bend, it will be at night. Special lighting will illuminate three bronze figures, which are the centerpieces of the Jack Kilby Memorial Plaza.

The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. on April 28 and the unveiling is expected to happen around 9 p.m.

“We wanted to have this event at night as a way to showcase the Kilby sculpture under special lighting designed by lighting architect Gary Gordon,” said local attorney Glenn Opie, who chairs the Committee to Honor Jack Kilby. “That amazing image needs to be the community’s first look at a monument that will prominently display Great Bend’s connection to Jack Kilby 100 years from now.”

Gordon has created illuminated ambience for famous places like the National Museum of American History, The White House Collection, Yale University School of Art and Galleries, and the Lucille Ball Museum. His lighting will now enhance the night view of “The Gift” bronzes, sculpted by local artist Chet Cale.

Opie hopes to make the unveiling an all-evening affair that is free to the public. Main Street from Broadway to Lakin will be blocked off from traffic, beginning at 5:30 p.m. At that time, Parr Sound and Lighting will begin playing big-band music at Jack Kilby Square and Johnson’s Smokehouse BBQ will be on site, selling food and beverages. Other downtown restaurants will be open for business during that time, as well.

Those who are planning to take part in the celebration are Gov. Sam Brownback, noted author and Washington Post Bureau Chief T.R. Reid, members of the Kilby family, and representatives from Texas Instruments. Ed Millis, an engineering co-worker of Kilby who authored a book about his friend, will also be present. The Kilby Memorial Plaza design team of Cale, Gordon and representatives from PBA Architects plan on attending.

Music performances are slated for the ceremony, opening with the Great Bend High School Band and followed by the GBHS A Cappella Choir. Renowned tenor opera and soloist singer Trent Green, originally from Ellinwood, will perform three songs during the ceremony.

Commemorating Kilby’s military service, military vehicles will be on site for public viewing, and a flyover is scheduled. The Barton Arts Center, across the street from the Plaza, will have a special Kilby exhibit available to the public, prior to the ceremony.

Kilby Dedication Set for April 28
Jack Kilby Plaza shown at night: The plaza will be complete on April 28, when “The Gift” sculpture will be unveiled. The night view in the photos showcases the lighting designed by renowned lighting architect Gary Gordon, who has created illuminated ambience for famous places like the National Museum of American History, The White House Collection, Yale University School of Art and Galleries, and the Lucille Ball Museum.

Barton County Historical Society Plans Special Presentation -

In conjunction with “The Gift” unveiling, the Barton County Historical Society is hosting a special presentation by Dr. Donald Walters, whose grandfather, Joseph Roy Evens, introduced Jack Kilby to the ham radio.  The event is free to the public from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on April 28.

Coffee and other beverages will be served and a couple of old ham radios will be on site for the hands-on demonstration by Walters.

Walters serves as a physics professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Included in the morning’s events will be a hands-on demonstration of an original calculator and of the 1933 and 1938 Sky Champion Ham Radios, to be displayed at the BCHS.

Following the presentation and demonstrations, there will be a recognition event in honor of the Evans-Walters family starting at 10 a.m. at the Historical Society’s Ray S. Schulz Research Library.