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
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 www.mun.ca/celebrate.