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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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59 years later, Elvis returns to A&M

Photo by Danielle Docherty
Photo by Danielle Docherty

Elvis Presley fans continue to remember him 37 years after his death with the opening of, “The King: Celebrating the Sara H. Lindsey Collection of Elvis Memorabilia.”
The exhibit opened Friday at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, exactly 59 years from the day Elvis played at the G. Rollie White Coliseum at Texas A&M, which was demolished last year to make way for the construction on Kyle Field.
Sara Lindsey, who owns the collection, and her husband John Lindsey, a long-time contributor to the university, made the exhibit possible.
Adelle Hedleston, development manager for Texas A&M libraries, said John Lindsey is a member of the Class of 1944 and a distinguished alumnus. He has served as president of the Association of Former Students and on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
“The Lindseys’ generosity extends across campus through multiple endowed positions, such as the Sara Lindsey Chair at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the Sara and John Lindsey Chair of Liberal Arts,” Hedleston said. “The couple has also had a lasting relationship with the Texas A&M University Press, sponsoring the Sara and John Lindsey Series in the Arts and Humanities.”
Hedleston said the Sara H. Lindsey Elvis Memorabilia Collection represents a personal contribution to the collections at the Cushing Library and includes items such as Elvis Christmas ornaments and posters.
The ceremony’s opening remarks were given by Kim Katari, assistant professor in the department of performance studies. Katari specializes in psychobilly, a type of music that combines aspects of rockabilly and punk.
Katari’s field of study is ethnomusicology, which depends on ethnographic research — getting to know fans and musicians to explore how the music shapes their identities and what it means in their everyday lives.
Katari said Elvis’ influence has been passed down through generations, creating a link between his music and cherished thoughts or nostalgic childhood memories.
“We can remember that Elvis — his voice, his movies and the rock ‘n’ roll revolution he popularized — affected us and our own family members personally,” Katari said. “Indeed, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is still very much a part of our lives and our culture.”
Sara Lindsey said her love for Elvis began with a ceramic Elvis statue left at her front door one morning as a surprise. Another friend came by that day, saw it and sent her an Elvis clock.
“So I said, ‘Well I think I’ll start collecting,’ and all of the sudden I have this lovely collection and it’s mainly gifts from people over the years,” Sara Lindsey said.
Sara Lindsey said she wanted to house her collection at Texas A&M because of the impact it would have.
“I thought it was important for young people to know what a real bonus [Elvis] was to those of us who were around to see him perform,” Sara Lindsey said. “And I think the collection is going to help bring some history to [the students].”
Elvis was known to give generously to those around him — both close friends and strangers. Sara Lindsey said she wants to share this same quality of generosity as she continues to give back to her community and university.
“Although I was unable to go here because girls weren’t allowed, A&M means a lot to me and my husband,” Sara Lindsey said. “I couldn’t think of a happier home for the collection.”
The exhibit is on display through Dec. 12 on the second floor of the Cushing Library.

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