Hundreds convened in downtown Great Bend to honor Jack Kilby in an evening ceremony at the Square on April 28, 2012. Patriotic music performances filled the cool spring air, and seated in the middle of Main Street was a crowd that heard from those who stepped up to the podium one by one to express their unique connections with Jack. Evening slipped away to night and when it was time, the sculpture lights slowly illuminated to accentuate the magnificent sculpture, simultaneous to an a cappella rendition of "God Bless America," sung by Ellinwood native and renowned soloist Trent Green. Sculpture artist Chet Cale, lighting architect Gary Gordon, along with Kilby Committee organizer Glenn Opie stood mere feet away from the sculpture, fittingly participating in the historic event. Emotions from nearly a dozen years of planning, hard work and steadfast commitment from the trio were wrapped into this one magical moment when the rich tenor voice blended with lighting artistry. To their joyful amazement, “The Gift” was finally revealed to the community that delighted in its wondrous presence.
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"I've always thought of Great Bend as my hometown and I've been proud of that. I've also been proud I went to Great Bend High School."
- Jack Kilby
Quoted during Jack Kilby Weekend, Oct. 12-14, 2001
Allen Tomnitz, Retired Aircraft Pilot and 1940 GBHS graduate - "He is a product of the Great Bend public schools. What a tribute to public education he is."
Kansas City Star - "From a Kansas town came an engineer who helped start an electronics revolution."
T.R. Reid's book, The Chip - "Jack Kilby, a quiet slow-talking sort from Great Bend, Kansas, finally got a chance to work in a major laboratory on a problem of premier importance. Within weeks, he hit on an idea that struck the world of microelectronics like a lightening bolt."
Jack Kilby Day and "The Gift" sculpture ceremony
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WOW!!!!!! What an Amazing Experience
Thank You for Participating in Jack Kilby Day