Students create a pop-up selfie museum to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association — Lee Clarion

Four students built their own selfie museum in the Paul Conn Student Union on Friday, April 1. All proceeds from the pop-up museum were donated to the Alzheimer’s Association as part of The longest day.

Lee’s students Emma Chase, a math major with an actuarial science major, and Abbey Swanner, a math and computer science double major, led the event because the cause is an issue close to their hearts.

“The Alzheimer’s Association is something we’re both passionate about because we had grandparents with Alzheimer’s disease,” Chase said. “So we contacted the Longest Day fundraiser, and the next thing we knew, we were on the board.”

Chase and Swanner worked with their friends Josie Moore and Alex Boggs to create a variety of selfie museum sets with different themes, including “Starry Nights”, “Bubblegum State of Mind”, “Garden of Eden” and “Purple Rain”.

“We already like to take pictures together for fun, so we already had a bunch of props at home,” Swanner said. “We ordered the backdrops in different colors on Amazon, and we just took the colors and added our props on top of them.”

Chase and Swanner came up with the idea for the pop-up museum after visiting a selfie museum over the summer.

“We went to Panama City and found this selfie museum, and we went there ironically,” Chase said. “Despite the fact that we really thought we were going to hate it, it ended up being a lot of fun. So that’s what inspired the creation of the selfie museum for our fundraiser for the longest day.

The Longest Day recruits a variety of teams across the United States who individually organize fundraisers. As a general rule, these fundraisers will take place on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, under the slogan “the day with the most light is the day we fight”.

As part of the Longest Day, people around the world “will fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease through a fundraising activity of their choice.”

The summer solstice falls on June 21, when most students are not on campus. So Boggs, Chase, Moore and Swanner worked to implement their fundraising idea on the longest day in the college year. The students reached out to Alex Staup, director of student engagement at Lee University, with their idea just before spring break.

“We’re very proud of students who pursue their passions, especially when it comes to a cause as worthy as the fight against Alzheimer’s disease on The Longest Day,” Staup said. “Emma and Abbey brought an idea, and through their hard work and creativity, they provided a unique opportunity for awareness and engagement through the Selfie Museum. Our goal was to help them realize their vision of all possible ways.

The selfie pop-up museum took place from 3-6 p.m. at the Paul Conn Student Union on one of the busiest days of the year at Lee University, Lee Day. After paying a $5 entrance fee, students could enjoy the museum and take unlimited photos and even buy a t-shirt. The students raised $75 for the Alzheimer’s Association at their event.

“We’re grateful for what we have,” Chase said. “We hope to do this at least once a semester until we graduate next May. Once we do that people will know more and we will change the backgrounds every time. I hope there will be another one in the future.”

For more information on the Longest Day fundraiser, visit the official website website.

For future Selfie Museum updates and to see the behind-the-scenes work of Boggs, Chase, Moore and Swanner, check out their Instagram page @selfiemuseum.alz.

Andrew B. Reiter