The Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery opened in Smathers Library on April 1, 2017 with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. The inaugural exhibit, Between Two Oceans, traced the history of the Canal from initial construction through the centennial celebration in 2014.
The program included remarks from Judith Russell, Dean of University Libraries; Joseph Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Joseph Wood, President, Friends of the Panama Canal Museum Collection Executive Council; and Albert H. Nahmad, Chairman and CEO Of Watsco, Inc.
“We are very grateful that Al has established the Panama Canal Gallery Exhibit Fund that will support exhibitions in the gallery and exhibits featured during the Panama Canal Society meetings and reunions, as well as corresponding online exhibits” said Dean Russell.
Mr. Nahmad also named the Gallery and dedicated it to his classmates from Balboa High School Class of 1958, and a number of them were able to join him for the opening.
Dean Russell also noted that the opening of Between Two Oceans, the first of many exhibitions in the new Gallery, was a testament to the vision, guidance and contributions of the Executive Council of the Friends of the Panama Canal Museum Collection. The Gallery is the realization of the Executive Council’s goal to raise awareness and foster greater understanding of the Panama Canal and Canal Zone through exhibitions of the historical resources preserved in the Panama Canal Museum Collection at the University of Florida.