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   A Memorial University of Newfoundland Publication

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October 16, 2003


Memorial celebrates
community connections

By Leslie McNab
Special to the Gazette

Anyone passing through Memorial University's main food court around 3 p.m. last Wednesday would have encountered Scruncheons, a School of Music percussion ensemble, treating folks to a surprise jam session.

The food-court busking was just one of many random acts of music happening all over the St. John's campus last week (and continuing until Oct. 25), as part of Celebrate Memorial 2003. Professor Paul Bendzsa of the School of Music said the Random Acts of Music series is a way to showcase Memorial's musical academic stream, as well as the great talent on campus. “Plus, we want to spread music around during

Celebrate Memorial to help enhance campus life,” he said.
Celebrate Memorial is an annual festival of events celebrating the university's significant ties to the community of Newfoundland and Labrador. This year's festival runs Oct. 14-25, with lectures, awards ceremonies and public events at both the St. John’s and the Grenfell College campuses.

The two-week festival kicked off on Wednesday, Oct. 8, with a breakfast event in the main dining hall of R. Gushue Hall on the St. John's campus. Memorial president Dr. Axel Meisen and Dr. Lilly Walker, dean of Student Affairs and Services and chair of Celebrate Memorial, addressed a gathering of residence students and guests at the breakfast, giving them the latest festival details and inviting them to participate.

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, about 40 people turned up to the evening Library Community Showcase at R. Gushue Hall. At the event, four speakers talked to the crowd about four different initiatives within Memorial's library system, including plans to renovate the third floor of the Queen Elizabeth II Library to house two very special collections -- the 3,000 illustrated Victorian-era books donated by Roger Peattie of St. John's, and the 10,000 volumes that comprised the personal folklore library of the late professor Herbert Halpert. Collections librarian Dr. Martin Howley said the renovation plan will make the books – which are currently underused – more accessible to undergraduate students and the public.

The first-annual Celebrity Basketball Challenge on Wednesday, Oct. 15 raised funds for the St. John's campus food bank, while treating the crowd to a fun-filled game between local celebrities and athletes from Memorial's various varsity teams. On Thursday, Oct. 16, first-year entrance-scholarship students were honoured for their academic and community achievements at a luncheon at R. Gushue Hall. Later that evening at the same venue, five Memorial University alumni were honoured with Alumni Tribute Awards – and enjoyed a gala dinner – in recognition of their outstanding contributions in various fields.

Fall convocation ceremonies got underway around 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, to a full house of graduating students and guests at the Arts and Culture Centre. And on Sat., Oct. 18, the day-long Leader Forum on the St. John's campus gave about 100 student leaders a chance to meet, mingle, and participate in workshops, seminars and team-building challenges designed to foster leadership skills. Leader Forum participants were treated to a dinner afterward, which was attended by Dr. Lilly Walker, dean of Student Affairs and Services, and university president Dr. Axel Meisen.

Celebrate Memorial continues next week with more lectures, awards ceremonies and public events at both the St. John's and the Grenfell College campuses. A full calendar of festival events is available at



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Next issue: October 30, 2003

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