April 01, 2011

Inauguration Week celebrates SIUC excellence

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “Advancing a Culture of Excellence” is the theme of a weeklong celebration in April of the achievements of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s students, faculty and staff.

Events will take place April 11-17 on the campus, in Springfield and in Chicago. Among the activities are the annual Undergraduate Research Forum, the Eighth Annual Research Town Meeting and Fair, School of Music performances, the Seventh Annual Agriculture Industry Days and Honors Day.

These and other events, previously scheduled to take place during the week, are part of Inauguration Week at SIUC. Members of the campus community and the general public are welcome to attend the April 15 formal installation of Rita Cheng as the University’s 22nd chancellor. The ceremony, which is free, is set for 2 p.m. in Shryock Auditorium.

A reception on the lawn outside Shryock Auditorium will take place immediately following the installation ceremony.

Cheng noted that the focus of the week is on the commitment and talents of students, faculty and staff.

“They make important contributions in so many areas to the University, in the communities we serve, throughout the state and beyond,” she said. “This also is a time to thank our devoted alumni, and our many friends and partners for their invaluable support.”

Thomas G. Mortenson, senior scholar at The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington, D.C., will deliver the week’s keynote address at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The public is welcome, and there is no admission charge.

Mortenson will discuss “A Dynamic World of Demographic, Economic and Global Change: Can Higher Education Keep Up?”

Audiences in Springfield and Chicago will enjoy performances by the SIUC Concert Choir and the Wind Ensemble. Both groups represent the most select student musicians from the School of Music. The April 14 performance in Chicago’s storied Orchestra Hall -- first proposed within the School of Music a year ago by Christopher Morehouse, wind ensemble conductor and director of bands -- will be a first for both ensembles. They will perform at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield on Wednesday, April 13.

Cheng will host several events with students throughout the week, including annual events such as the student leadership breakfast, the University Honors Program Distinguished Student Reception and Dinner, and the SIU Alumni Association’s annual 25 Most Distinguished Seniors and Super Students Banquet.

A committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni assisted in planning and coordinating Inauguration Week activities.

Inauguration Week details are available at http://www.chancellor.siuc.edu/installation/index.html . Private sources are providing the support for some of the related events.

The schedule includes:

Monday, April 11

• Undergraduate Research Forum, 1-4 p.m., Student Center Ballrooms.

Tuesday, April 12

• Eighth Annual Research Town Meeting and Fair, noon-4 p.m., Student Center.

• Keynote address by Thomas G. Mortenson, senior scholar at The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, 7 p.m., Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium.

Wednesday, April 13

• Reception, 5:30 p.m., Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield.

• School of Music Concert, 7:30 p.m., Hoogland Center, Springfield. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are requested. Visit http://siualumni.com to make a reservation.

Thursday, April 14

• School of Music Concert, 7:30 p.m., Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. There is a charge to attend; for more information, visit www.cso.org .

Friday, April 15

• Installation Ceremony of Chancellor Rita Cheng, 2 p.m., Shryock Auditorium. A public reception immediately follows on the lawn in front of Shryock Auditorium.

• Tokyo String Quartet, 7:30 p.m., Shryock Auditorium. There is a charge to attend; for ticket information, visit SouthernLightsEntertainment.com .

Saturday, April 16

• “Ag in the Atmosphere,” Seventh Annual Agriculture Industry Days, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., University Farms.

Sunday, April 17

• Honors Day activities; a reception is set for 2-4 p.m. in the Student Center.