|Dinosaur and mineral collections on display
Exhibit free and open to the public
RELEASED: Oct. 9, 2003
DANVILLE, KYDanville residents have given Centre College a real blast from the pastbefore mankind.
John and Dr. Jack Hankla, and Danny and Kirtley Settles have allowed Centre to display part of their impressive collections of dinosaur and other ancient reptile fossils, and minerals.
The Hankla dinosaur collection features several species of flying reptiles located in Young Hall and specimens of several dinosaur species ranging from entire skeletal structures. "Stan," a cast of a 36-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex), fossilized bones, skulls and eggs, are displayed in Centre's Norton Center for the Arts. The collection contains both replicas and true fossils.
"What Centre has on display compares to many large museums as far as quality, species representation and scientific accuracy," said George Bell, a senior biology major from Paducah, Ky. Bell has been working with Jack Hankla for the past year as part of an independent study.
What started as a father-and-son project when Dr. Hankla's son, John, was in Montessori school (John just completed his degree at Sewanee) has grown into one of the largest private collections in the country. The Hanklas owned a piece of land in Wyoming where some of the collection was found. They recently donated the land, which was the third-best bone bed in the country, to the state of Wyoming.
In addition to Centre, the Hanklas have had pieces of their collection displayed at the Black Hills Institute (Hill City, S.D.), the Museum of Ancient Life (Thanksgiving Point, Utah), the Tate Geological Museum (Casper, Wyo.), the Wyoming Dinosaur Center (Thermopolis, Wyo.), Graves Museum of Archeology and Natural History, Inc. (Dania Beach, Fla.), Lexington (Ky.) Children's Museum, Newport (Ky.) Aquarium and several other locations. The American Cancer Society and the American Arthritis Foundation have also used some of the collection for research.
"I've had children ask me 'how much is this worth?' and I tell them it's priceless because it stimulates you to learn, to think and to readand you can't put a price on that," Dr. Hankla said.
Centre is also displaying part of Danny and Kirtley Settles' mineral collection in Young Hall. The Settles, also a father-and-son team, have been collecting minerals for many years and have specimens from across the world.
Danny, Kirtley's father, owns Settles Backhoe Service, Inc., and said he has found several of his pieces while working.
The Settles have had pieces of their collection displayed at the Lexington Children's Museum, Harvard University, Berea College and other locations.
Danny's daughter, Dana, is a 2002 graduate of Centre.
Both the Settles and Hanklas have had pieces of their collections displayed in Centre's museum of natural history for the past few years.
The public is invited to view the Hankla and Settles collections at Young Hall from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and at the Norton Center for the Arts 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. The exhibits are free and open to the public.
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