For Immediate Release


Contact:         Katie Wassmer                                                                       

                        Thompson & Company                                  

                        (901) 527-8000                                  


Museum Employee First to Receive

Prestigious Scholarship in Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tennessee, June 11, 2006 – Kristina Thomas, guest services manager at Peabody Place Museum, has been awarded the David L. Boren scholarship by the National Security Education Program (NSEP). The scholarship entitles Thomas to travel to Nanjing, China this fall to study Chinese language, history and culture.


Thomas is the first student in Memphis to receive the prestigious scholarship. In addition to the NSEP scholarship, Thomas also received the Freeman-Asia scholarship, which is given to students that want to study abroad in Asia and promote Asian culture around the world.


“These scholarships allow me to do something I have always wanted to do- go to China and learn about the culture there,” said Thomas. “Learning about Chinese culture is important, especially for Memphis, because it can help us learn about each other and our differences.”


Thomas’ inspiration came from working closely with the collection of Chinese art and artifacts on permanent display at the Peabody Place Museum, 119 S. Main Street.  The museum hosts a world-class collection of 19th century Chinese art.


Upon returning from China, Thomas wants to act as a cultural connection between students who would like to learn about other cultures.


“I am really excited about going to China and I hope to take what I learn and become an advocate for exploring other cultures in this city,” she said.


Thomas plans to complete her degree in history and eventually get her Ph.D. in East Asian Studies upon returning from her nine-month trip.


About Peabody Place Museum
Opened in 1998, the Peabody Place Museum is home to a world-class collection of 19th century Chinese art. The permanent exhibit at the Museum includes objects created for Chinese nobility during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The collections include intricately carved jade sculptures, crafted enamelware pieces and rare objects carved in ivory. The Museum also has smaller collections of fossils and minerals, contemporary European art glass, Russian lacquer boxes, Judaic art and more.

Peabody Place Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For information on special group rates, guided tours, educational programs, teachers’ packets and special event room rental, contact the Museum at (901) 523-ARTS.