The Museum of Man and the California Tower. Courtesy of the museum
The San Diego Museum of Man and the California Tower. Courtesy of the museum

Balboa Park‘s first museum will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Saturday with a gala party that marks the institution’s evolution from housing artifacts to exploring the human experience.

Over the past five years, the San Diego Museum of Man has hired a new CEO, rebuilt its team and updated its mission for the 21st century. It began 2015 with the reopening of the landmark California Tower, which had been closed for 80 years.

An exhibit at the Museum of Man

“With the tower successfully reopened, we’re now taking a giant leap into the next 100 years,” said museum CEO Micah D. Parzen in a message to members.

“Our mission of ‘inspiring human connections by exploring the human experience’ will guide us towards our vision of becoming San Diego’s dynamic place to go learn from each other, reflect on our place in the world, and build a better community,” he added.

The museum traces its origins to the Panama-California Exposition, during which the building housed the central exhibit of the exposition, “The Story of Man through the Ages.” After the exposition, the collection was organized into a permanent museum.

The gala takes place from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. A limited number of tickets to the gala are still available online at $100.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.