An estimated 5,000 people attended the Inaugural BBQ on Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, where the food was plentiful and the emcee and at least one of the bands were familiar-that is, if you were from SIUE.
Rudy Wilson, assistant provost for Cultural and Social Diversity, had been asked by Gov.-Elect Rod Blagojevich's staff to serve as emcee and Wilson said he jumped at the chance. "Tony Perrin, who is active in the Democratic Party in East St. Louis, recommended me for the job," Wilson said. Richard Walker, assistant to the SIUE vice chancellor for Administration and one of the organizers of the event, also recommended Wilson.
"It was an honor to be asked," Wilson said. "It was great fun to stand on stage in front of all those people. I introduced all the acts and also spoke to the audience in between set up for each act, announcing sponsors and filling in."
Wilson said there was plenty of BBQ pork sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, soft drinks and music. "The best part of the event for me was when a group of kids came on stage to meet the governor-elect," he said. "To see the looks on their faces was a treat."
Wilson said he was impressed with Blagojevich. "He spoke about diversity, harmony among all peoples in the state, and how we're going to need to work together toward a better Illinois. He's a very effective speaker. He knows he has issues to deal with and it doesn't seem that he will shy away from that responsibility."
Another Edwardsville connection at the BBQ was an appearance by the Prairie Moon Consort, an award-winning dulcimer ensemble featuring SIUE Police Chief Rich Harrison playing guitar, and his wife, Lana, on dulcimer.
The group was among a half-dozen musical acts appearing at the event, including the Granite City Swing Band, a 17-piece orchestra, and members of the Southwest Illinois Association of Square and Round Dance Clubs.
"We were tickled to death to have been asked to do this," Harrison said. "The last time a dulcimer band played for this many people was probably the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858," he quipped.
Prairie Moon Consort has played Sheldon Hall in St. Louis and the Ozark Folk Festival Center, which seats about 2,000. "This was the largest group we've ever played for. We perform old-time American heritage music throughout the Midwest, but we're used to playing festivals and small theaters, historical events. But never before an inauguration."
Like Wilson, Harrison was duly impressed with Blagojevich. "I remember the Kennedy era and this new governor has that charisma of a Jack Kennedy," Harrison said. "He's very personable and genuine."
In the background, Rich Walker served on a subcommittee to put together entertainment for the Jan. 12 inaugural event. Before his current position, Walker was director of the university's Arts & Issues series for more than 15 years.
Walker said the subcommittee scheduled Illinois performing groups on two stages, as well as several area-specific performers throughout the reception spaces in Springfield. "Our goal (was) to present performers who represent the various heritages and cultures known throughout the state," he said.
He said he was honored to have been asked to join the inaugural effort. "It's humbling to be asked to serve in this capacity ... (it was) an interesting historical event that I'm proud be a part of."
The BBQ, which was free to the public, was held the day before Blagojevich's inauguration Monday at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.
The Food Court is back in business, with a new range of choices and a new look. The court had been closed for renovations, as part of the approximately $20 million project to modernize the 30-year-old Morris Center.
Director of Dining Services Mary Robinson, said she is pleased with the new food court and says comments from students have been positive so far. "It's just beautiful," Robinson said. "It was designed to be open, bright and colorful space, and it is.
"Students have been very positive in their reactions to the changes."
The new servery area includes a grill, a deli/pannini station, a noodle/pasta bar, a salad bar, an entrée area, and assorted desserts and other baked goods. Chick-fil-A also will be open in the near future.
The new space is semi-circular, and designed to move customers quickly through the choices and the checkout lines. New floor tile adds extra color, and an open design in the seating area lets in more light.
"When we began this project, we asked students what they wanted from the University Center," Robinson said. "The changes in the Food Court correspond to the items students gave first priority: more choices, more efficient service, and a better atmosphere for relaxing and dining."
Robinson said work continues on the overall renovation project. A new patio for outdoor dining should be completed in the spring or early summer.
Hundreds of children and families that otherwise might not have had access to books have benefited from SIUE's annual "A Book In Every Home" campaign. The university is again sponsoring the book drive from Jan. 15 to March 31.
Literacy is one of the most critical issues facing our educational system. Studies show that children who cannot read are not likely to succeed in the classroom or in life. Recognizing that access to books is a key component to literacy, A Book in Every Home not only has placed more than 20,000 books in homes in St. Clair and Madison counties, it also encourages parents to read to their children.
"Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is advancing literacy at a grass-roots level through the 'A Book in Every Home' program," said Kay Werner, chair of the campaign. "Our goal is to place an age-appropriate book in the home of every Head Start child in Madison and St. Clair counties."
There are drop-off points for book donations in the St. Clair County and Madison County Head Start programs, SIUE campus sites, all public libraries in Madison and St. Clair counties, the Piece of Mind Book Store in Edwardsville, and B. Dalton Booksellers Book Store and Borders book store in Fairview Heights.
For specific addresses and locations of these drop off points, go to the "A Book In Every Home" Web site: www.siue.edu/BOOKS or call (618) 650-2020 for more information.
Age-appropriate books are requested for children ages six weeks to five years old. Cash donations also will be accepted. Checks for "ABook in Every Home" should be written to the SIUE Foundation, and mailed to:
A Book in Every Home
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1058
(In the memo part of the check insert "A Book in Every Home.")
The 21st annual celebration of the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at SIUE is set for Tuesday, Feb. 11. Tickets are available for the 11:30 a.m. luncheon that will feature a keynote address by former Surgeon General David Satcher.
The luncheon program will be held in the Meridian Ballroom of the Delyte Morris University Center, followed by a reception in the Goshen Lounge for the winners of the scholarship and humanitarian awards who will be honored at the luncheon.
Winners of the awards include:
• Sarah Shantell Peebles-SIUE Student Scholarship and Humanitarian Award;
• Earleen Patterson, director of SIUE's Special Services program, and Joseph Hubbard, coordinator of Catholic Urban Programs, East St. Louis-University and Community Humanitarian Awards, respectively;
• Rachel Steele, a senior at Red Bud (IL) High School-essay award;
• Katherine Berezowskyj, a junior at Edwardsville High School-poetry award;
• Amanda Farrell, a junior at Edwardsville High School-visual arts award.
Tickets for the luncheon are $12; students, $8. Reservations are being accepted at (618) 650-2660.
Satcher appears at 7:30 that evening in the Meridian Ballroom as part of the university's Arts & Issues series. Tickets for his appearance are $8; SIUE students, $4. For Arts & Issues ticket information, (618) 650-2626, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2626; visit the series' Web site: www.siue.edu/ARTS_ISSUES; write: Arts & Issues, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1608; or by e-mail: email@example.com.
Renowned concert pianist Ian Hobson will continue his series of recitals at SIUE-performing the complete solo piano works of Frédéric Chopin-at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 22-23, in Katherine Dunham Hall theater.
The fourth and fifth edition of the nine-recital series is titled 1834-1836: "Chopin's Proposal of Marriage, Illness, and Premature Reports of His Death" and 1836-1839: "Acquaintanceship with George Sand, and Winter in Mallorca."
The Chopin series-which continues Wednesday-Thursday, March 19-20; and Tuesday-Wednesday, April 1-2-is being performed chronologically, following stages in the Polish composer's life and career.
The Jan. 22 recital includes: Mazurka in A-flat Major; Mazurkas, Op. 24, Nos. 1-4; Polonaises, Op. 26, Nos. 1 and 2; Nocturnes, Op. 27, Nos. 1 and 2; Mazurka in G Major, Op. 67, No. 1; Mazurka in C Major, Op. 67, No. 3; Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 69, No. 1; Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 34, No. 1; the Fantaisie-impromptu in C-sharp Minor, Op. 66; and Etudes, Op. 25, Nos. 1-12.
The Jan. 23 recital includes: Mazurkas, Op. 30, Nos. 1-4; Scherzo in B-flat Minor, Op. 31; Nocturnes, Op. 32, Nos. 1 and 2; Polonaises, Op. 40, Nos. 1 and 2; Mazurkas, Op. 33, Nos. 1-4; the Andante spianato et Grande polonaise, Op. 22; and Preludes, Op. 28, Nos. 1-24.
Musicologist Allan Ho, an SIUE professor of Music, said complete works are rarely performed anywhere. "It's an honor for us to have Ian Hobson perform the cycle here," Ho said. The title of the nine-recital series is Frédéric Chopin: Evolution of a Genius.
"Chopin remains one of the most popular composers of all time," Ho said. "Many of his works are famous, yet others seldom heard." The series, which includes more than 200 compositions, traces Chopin's development as a composer. "It includes all of his familiar works, as well as many new discoveries for our listeners," Ho said. "It is a fascinating musical journey."
Called one of the greatest pianists of our time, Hobson's programs consistently demonstrate a repertoire that spans centuries and demands a command of styles and scholarly vision. His recordings and recitals encompass a cross section of works from miniature to mammoth.
A professor of Music at the University of Illinois, Hobson maintains an active performance, conducting, and recording schedule. In recent seasons, Hobson has performed at Wigmore Hall, London, Alice Tully Hall, the "Mostly Mozart Festival" in New York, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Hobson also has performed the Chopin and Moscheles concertos at the Bard Music Festival, and has presented recitals in the United States, England, and Europe, featuring diverse works such as Beethoven's complete sonatas, excerpts from Gershwin's Song Book, Schumann's major piano works, Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, and Prokofiev's Sonata No. 7, to name a few.
He also has been on the juries of international piano competitions, such as the Van Cliburn, and is known worldwide as a pianist, conductor, and teacher. Hobson has recorded more than 35 compact discs of works, including piano concertos by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Poulenc, and Saint-Saëns, as well as Liszt transcriptions and the complete Beethoven sonatas, Brahms variations, Chopin etudes, Hummel sonatas, and Rachmaninoff preludes, etudes-tableaux, and transcriptions.
Tickets are $7; students and senior citizens, $6. For ticket information, call the SIUE Department of Music, (618) 650-3900.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the National Theatre of the Deaf will present its new comedy, Oh, Figaro! as part of the Arts & Issues series Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Dunham Hall theater.
"The National Theatre of the Deaf is one of the most remarkable theater companies that audiences will ever experience," said John Peecher, assistant director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences and coordinator of the Arts & Issues series. "It is accessible-and enjoyable-theater for everyone."
The National Theatre of the Deaf's (NTD) professional acting company is made up of both deaf and hearing artists working together as an ensemble. The audience sees and hears every word through the NTD's signature performance style, combining American Sign Language and the spoken word. It has been said this unique double-sensory experience has expanded the boundaries of theatrical expression.
Founded in Connecticut in 1967, NTD is the oldest continually producing and touring theater company in the United States. It was the first theater company to perform in all 50 states, and has toured all seven continents and 32 countries.
In addition to being the recipient of the prestigious Tony Award for theatrical excellence, NTD has long served as an artistic ambassador for the United States, having staged more than 8,000 live performances as part of 95 national and international tours. These performances have reached more than 3.5 million people, along with millions more through award-winning television specials.
Among artists who have lent their talents to NTD are John Lithgow, Marcel Marceau, Colleen Dewhurst, Jason Robards Jr., Sir Michael Redgrave, Chita Rivera, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, and Mary Martin. The company has adapted classic and contemporary works ranging from Shakespeare and Voltaire to Ogden Nash, Dylan Thomas, and Shel Silverstein. Additionally, NTD has adapted and produced numerous original works by new deaf and hearing playwrights.
Oh, Figaro is based on the Pierre de Beaumarchais classic French farces "The Barber of Seville" and "The Marriage of Figaro." These ageless tales have been immortalized in operas by Mozart and Rossini, and now enter the 21st century in this newly commissioned work adapted by veteran stage writers John Augustine and Willy Conley.
Following the National Theatre of the Deaf's appearance on the 2002-2003 Arts & Issues series is public health advocate and former surgeon general under the Clinton Administration, David Satcher, who will speak Feb. 11 about "Politics, Opinions and Public Health." Gloria Steinem-feminist, writer, and co-founder of Ms. magazine-addresses "What You've Always Wanted to Know About Feminism and Been Afraid to Ask" on March 19. The world-renowned Takacs Quartet comes to SIUE on March 27, for an evening of Hayden and Beethoven, and April 8 Helen Thomas- a fixture of the White House pressroom for more than 40 years- concludes the season, offering her "Wit and Wisdom From the Front Row at the White House."
Tickets for the National Theatre of the Deaf's presentation of Oh, Figaro! are $16; SIUE students, $8. For ticket information, call (618) 650-2626, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2626; visit the series' Web site: www.siue.edu/ARTS_ISSUES; write: Arts & Issues, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1608; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission includes free parking in the lots behind the Morris University Center or Dunham Hall.
Physician, scholar and lifelong public health advocate, David Satcher, will speak at 7:30 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Meridian Ballroom of the Morris University Center as part of the Arts & Issues series.
Only the second person to have simultaneously served in the positions of U. S. surgeon general and assistant secretary for Health and Human Services, Satcher will offer his observations on "Politics, Opinions and Public Health," derived from his term under the Clinton administration.
Tickets for Satcher's appearance are $8; SIUE students, $4. For ticket information, call (618) 650-2626, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2626; visit the series' Web site: www.siue.edu/ARTS_ISSUES; write: Arts & Issues, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1608; or by e-mail: email@example.com. Admission includes free parking in the lots behind the Morris University Center or Dunham Hall.
Earlier in the day, Satcher will appear as a keynote speaker as part of the University's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration luncheon. The SIUE Student Scholarship and Humanitarian Award will be presented during the luncheon, along with the University and Community Humanitarian Awards, and awards in high school essays, poetry, and visual arts.
Tickets for the luncheon are $12; students, $8. Reservations are being accepted by calling (618) 650-2660.
Friends of Illinois State Sen. Evelyn Bowles (D-56), who recently retired after 50 years of public service, have established the Evelyn Bowles Public Service Scholarship Endowment at SIUE.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to an SIUE student who is a resident of Madison County; has financial need; has demonstrated an interest in participating in government; has a record of government, public, or community service; and has the characteristics of those underrepresented in the ranks of elected officials.
"What could be more fitting to Evelyn's legacy of public service than encouraging others to follow in her footsteps," said Gail Donnelly Bader, a friend and supporter of Bowles. "The scholarship allows others to follow Evelyn's example of hard work, fairness and dedication."
Bowles, who served the Madison County area in various public offices for 50 years, said the endowment is "an honor and a suitable way for others who truly have an interest in public service and public policy to follow their hearts. I am very pleased that my friends have chosen this avenue as a tribute to the work I loved."
Bowles also announced that she was transferring $20,000 from her Senate campaign fund to the SIUE Foundation to help fund the scholarship endowment. "I can't think of anything that would mean more to me than encouraging others to take an active role in public service, the electoral process, and government,"said Bowles. "I hold a special place in my heart for SIUE. Knowing that others will benefit from this scholarship, and being of service to the people of Madison County means a great deal to me."
Chancellor David Werner said Bowles has been an exemplary representative of her Madison County constituents. "She has been a strong supporter of education and of SIUE," Werner said. "She has set an example for others to follow, and anyone who knows Evelyn will not be surprised to hear that, with this endowment, she is continuing her role as an advocate for education and public service."
Bowles has been a state senator in the 56th District for the past eight years, providing a voice in Springfield for constituent concerns and working to better the Madison County area and the state of Illinois. Bowles also has given her time and talents to innumerable community and charitable organizations.
Those interested in making a contribution to the Evelyn Bowles Scholarship Endowment should make their checks payable to the SIUE Foundation, designated for the Evelyn Bowles Scholarship Endowment. Donations can be mailed to the SIUE Foundation, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1082.
The SIUE women's basketball team will continue its important stretch of Great Lakes Valley Conference games with a Thursday (1/16) matchup against Saint Joseph's and a Saturday (1/18) afternoon contest against Wisconsin-Parkside.
Game times are 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Saint Joseph's enters Thursday's game at the Vadalabene with a 6-8 overall record and a 3-4 conference mark. It is currently in a three-way tie with Southern Indiana and SIUE for fifth place in the GLVC standings.
"This is definitely going to be a big game for both of us," said Coach Wendy Hedberg. "We've already seen them once this year so we know what they do and what their tendencies are."
Earlier this year, Saint Joseph's defeated the Cougars 87-79 in Rensselaer, Ind. The Puma's held SIUE's and the GLVC's leading scorer, Ruth Kipping (Quincy), in check as she scored 11 points while getting into foul trouble. Liz DeShasier (Carrollton) had her best game of the year, leading the Cougars with 17 points on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 5-of-5 at the line.
Wisconsin-Parkside enters the weekend at 6-8 overall and 2-5 in the GLVC. It plays Lewis on Thursday before traveling to SIUE. "Wisconsin-Parkside is coming off big games," Hedberg said. "They have five players on the floor who can contribute. They just get out and run the floor."
SIUE (6-7, 3-4) is coming off an 0-2 roadtrip at Bellarmine and No. 23 Northern Kentucky. Bellarmine won an overtime thriller 76-75 Thursday, and Northern Kentucky bounced the Cougars 69-48 Saturday.
The SIUE men's basketball team will look to build on a recent 1-1 roadtrip when it plays host to Saint Joseph's Thursday (1/16) and Wisconsin-Parkside Saturday (1/18) in Great Lakes Valley Conference basketball action.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Cougars put together strong efforts in a 65-62 victory at Bellarmine and a 77-63 loss at No. 12 Northern Kentucky.
"Anytime you win on the road in this league, it's good," said Coach Marty Simmons. "We had one of our better efforts of the season against Bellarmine. Overall, we put together two of our better efforts on the road, and I'm pleased with that."
SIUE will try to avenge an 84-73 loss to Saint Joseph's (7-7, 3-4) earlier in the year. Corey Seegers led the Pumas with 20 points. Logan Glosser (Mt. Zion) scored a season-high 20 for SIUE. "They took it to us that game," Simmons said. "This game will act as a benchmark to see how far we have come as a team."
Wisconsin-Parkside (8-6, 3-4) faces Lewis on Thursday before playing SIUE. "Wisconsin-Parkside has a great coach and runs a great system," Simmons said. "They play as hard as anyone in the league."
Ron Jones (Kankakee) leads the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game. Ron Heflin (Gary, Ind.) is second at 13.2 per game while Justin Ward (Moline) is averaging 10.2 points per game.
Even though Zach Stephens (St. Charles, Mo.) finished second at last weekend's Roger Denker Open at Central Missouri State University, wrestling coach Booker Benford was not overly pleased.
"I'll say he wrestled well, but his loss in the finals was tough to handle," Benford said. "I just have higher standards for him. I think he can win a national championship, but he has to be able to win those matches."
Aaron Wiens (Cicero) did not participate in the Roger Denker Open, but Benford said he has the same expectations for Wiens. "He and Zach are both under different scrutiny," Benford said. "Both need to step it up and win as we are bearing down on the NCAA Tournament."
The wrestling team will travel to Missouri Valley College for a Wednesday (1/15) dual, then will face duals against Indiana, Eastern Michigan and Indianapolis on Saturday.