August 03, 2011

Friends of Morris Library annual dinner is Sept. 10

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Friends of Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host its annual gala dinner on Sept. 10 and the guest speaker is longtime former state Sen. Philip J. Rock.

The public is welcome to participate in the gala evening, which also features a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception, live music and a gourmet dinner. Entrees available for the dinner include beef tenderloin with elderberry wine mushroom sauce, shrimp etouffee and vegetarian option sliced portabella mushrooms in Alfredo sauce over long grain wild rice. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. in the rotunda on the first floor of Morris Library followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors.

Rock, who is from Chicago, served 22 years in the Illinois Senate, including 14 years as Senate president from 1979 to 1993. He and Ed Wojcicki recently authored “Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello: Reflections on Twenty-Two Years in the Illinois Senate.” Southern Illinois University Press anticipates release of this publication soon. The book gives readers an inside view of Illinois politics in the modern era. The book title is indicative of the many calls elected officials receive from those in need of all sorts of help. Throughout his career, Rock espoused the need to work for the people and solve problems.

Proceeds from the gala dinner go to the Friends of Morris Library Fund that in turn supports the educational mission of Morris Library. Throughout the years, the Friends of Morris Library has purchased books and other materials, raised funds for the new library patio, sponsored special exhibits and activities and much more.

“Support for the library is especially important during a time of tight budget years,” said Thyra Russell, president of the Friends of Morris Library.

Tickets for the annual gala dinner are $75 per person. The deadline to RSVP is Friday, Sept. 2. Seating is limited so organizers suggest early registration. For tickets or more information about the Friends of Morris Library or the dinner, contact Kristine McGuire at 618/453-1633 or by email at