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Naval Academy Debuts Interactive Visitors Exhibit

Visitors to the Naval Academy can now explore an interactive multimedia exhibit that showcases hundreds of photos and videos of midshipman life.

"The goal was to make a first impression, whether they're a candidate, a visitor, or a graduate" said Vice Adm. Ted Carter, the academy superintendent. "It's a walking path that tells the story of this institution."

The displays, which opened Monday, are in the Halsey Field House and are part of a $1 million project to revamp the "front end" of the academy and complement the Armel Leftwich Visitors Center.

The room is designed to be like the quarterdeck of a ship.

"Any time you come aboard a naval vessel, the quarterdeck is dressed out with an arrival area, flags. You're greeted on board the ship," Carter said. "That's what this is intended as: Come aboard the Naval Academy."

The exhibit is designed chronologically — from plebe summer through midshipmen experiences like athletics and community service and concluding with commencement and career options. Displays also feature locations on the academy yard and notable graduates.

The space, which academy leaders have worked on for over a year, used to be a gym, said Cmdr. John Schofield, an academy spokesman. It was designed by Blair, Inc. in Springfield, Va. in collaboration with the academy's public affairs office.

The redesigned area includes image-printed shades over the windows and glass cases featuring midshipman working in science, technology, engineering and math.

Carter, an academy graduate himself, said the exhibit helps to modernize the way admissions information is delivered.

"What they had when I was here was little pamphlets," he said. "This makes it so people can see themselves being a midshipman here."

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