Media Advisory: Smithsonian to Celebrate Innovation, Creativity and Business with New Exhibition and welcomes New Citizens, Honors Sebastian Thrun at Ceremony

WHAT: The National Museum of American History will host a special preview of the “American
               Enterprise” exhibition, followed by a naturalization ceremony and presentation of the James
               Smithson Bicentennial Medal to Sebastian Thrun, founder and CEO of online education
               company Udacity.

WHEN: Thursday, June 11
               9 a.m. (tour of exhibition: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
11:30 a.m. (naturalization ceremony and medal presentation)

WHERE: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
                  Constitution Avenue N.W. between 12th and 14th streets

WHO: Al Horvath, Acting Secretary, Smithsonian (naturalization ceremony only)
            John Gray, director, National Museum of American History
            Sebastian Thrun, founder and CEO, Udacity (ceremony only)
            León Rodríguez, director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (ceremony only)


The National Museum of American History will host a special preview tour of the Mars Hall of American Business with the “American Enterprise” exhibition and the Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza and SC Johnson Conference Center. This is the first look at this exhibition and the educational program spaces that open to the public July 1. Opening in the museum’s new Innovation Wing, “American Enterprise” chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continuous remaking of American business—and American life.

The museum, in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will host a naturalization ceremony. Fifteen applicants representing 15 countries will receive certificates of naturalization and become citizens.

The Smithsonian will recognize innovation in the global marketplace with the presentation of the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal to American business innovator Sebastian Thrun. Thrun, a naturalized American citizen, has shown how new ideas can revolutionize the world through his achievements at Stanford University, Google and Udacity.

Note: Music and seminars related to innovation will be presented throughout the day, including indie pop band Haerts, the U.S. Air Force’s Strolling Strings and Washington, D.C.’s own Team Familiar.

Media only:

Laura Duff                 
(202) 633-3129

Melinda Machado
(202) 633-3129