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Emeriti Council resumes Wednesday programs

Sept. 2, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The Wednesdays II informal talks sponsored by the Emeriti Council at Western Michigan University will resume at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, in the Heinig Emeriti Lounge, which is located on the second floor of Walwood Hall's west wing.

Called "Riverboats," the first 2009-10 program will be an entertaining history lesson by Dr. Vern Stillwell, WMU associate professor emeritus of theatre. Stillwell will recreate the steamboat's glory days as he recites a conversation he wrote between two characters: Captain Billy-Bob Beasley and his friend, the French mascot Louis Cinq.

Through the characters' dialogue and steamboat models, Stillwell will describe the great Mississippi River race between the Natchez and the Robert E. Lee in 1871. The one-man show also will explain the importance of the steamboat in the development of the Midwest and reveal some of the trials and tribulations of life on showboats, which were steamships that had a theater as well as a troupe of actors and staged plays at river communities.

The Emeriti Council has scheduled additional Wednesdays II programs for the fall semester. Unless otherwise noted, all of these programs will take place at 2 p.m. in the Heinig Emeriti Lounge.

2009-10 Wednesdays II events

Wednesday, Oct. 14--"Find Your Ancestors, While You Still Have Time: Genealogy for Retirees" by Dr. Judy Halseth, WMU professor emeritus of social work. Halseth will inspire beginners and more advanced researchers to take actions to find information on one or more ancestors.

During the presentation, attendees will learn about resources and tools to conduct genealogical research as well as local resources and repositories for genealogy. Halseth is a past president of the Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society and a five-year member of the Board of Trustees of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, an organization with more than 20,000 members.

Wednesday, Nov. 11--Informational presentation and tour by Don Desmett, director of exhibitions for WMU's Frostic School of Art. This event is at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts, and University emeriti who park in Parking Structure No. 2 near Miller Auditorium will not be ticketed.

Desmett will give a PowerPoint presentation on the recently constructed Richmond Center. A tour of the center's three large gallery spaces will follow. The Richmond Center was designed not to be "just a building," but rather to serve as a magnet that would draw people into the facility. The vanguard of exhibition spaces in Michigan and the Midwest, it is uniquely positioned to educate audiences about the latest innovations in modern and contemporary art.

Wednesday, Dec. 9--Musical theatre presentation by WMU students. Senior class members majoring in the Department of Theatre's music theatre performance program will perform a sampling of numbers from their upcoming "New York Showcase" in the Williams Theatre of the Gilmore Theatre Complex. The showcase is presented in New York for agents and casting directors and takes place every year during spring break.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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