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REF NO.: 29

SUBJECT: Celebrate Memorial, a two-week celebration of Memorial University's connection with the community, set for Oct. 14-25
DATE: Oct. 8, 2003

  • A professor whose research contributes to the knowledge of Labrador history
  • An outstanding student who is also an outstanding community volunteer
  • A Memorial alumna who has been recognized for her work internationally
  • A Memorial professor recognized for providing first-rate teaching

What do these people have in common? They personify some of the many ways Memorial University, the province's only university, has fostered connections with the community of Newfoundland and Labrador.

To celebrate Memorial's significant community presence and contribution, the university will once again be hosting its annual festival of events called Celebrate Memorial. The celebrations will take place from Oct. 14-25, 2003.

A variety of events are planned for the busy two-week Celebrate Memorial schedule. With lectures, awards ceremonies and public events at both the St. John's and the Grenfell College campuses, the celebration is designed to appeal to a wide range of people and interests. Most events are open to members of the university community and to the public.

Celebrate Memorial began in 1999, the 50th anniversary of Memorial as a degree- granting institution. The success of that anniversary led to the continuing of the celebrations, recognizing that there are numerous reasons for Memorial to celebrate as a community each year. The theme of the celebrations is Connecting to Community.

The detailed Celebrate Memorial plans for 2003 were announced a special event held at the university's main dining hall in R. Gushue Hall today. President Axel Meisen and Dr. Lilly Walker, the chair of the Celebrate Memorial committee and dean of Student Affairs and Services, released the full schedule of events and noted some of the highlights of the larger public events planned during the celebration period.

In addition, a new on-line news and event calendar offered by the university's News Service was launched. Dubbed MUN Today, the site is aimed at anyone who wants to know more about what's happening at Memorial all year round, but will also carry information on all events featured in the Celebrate Memorial festivities. MUN Today can be accessed at www.today.mun.ca

Connecting to Community

Memorial connects to its communities in many ways and Celebrate Memorial is designed to focus attention on these connections. Memorial professors and students often work in the community, conducting research, giving talks and publishing, thereby collecting and disseminating information to and for the public. Memorial's alumni, now over 45,000 strong, are one of the university's greatest community connections and also an important community unto themselves. Outstanding faculty, students, staff and alumni will be honoured with special awards and scholarships during Celebrate Memorial.

"Serving our community is a major part of the mission of this university," Dr. Meisen said. "As most people know, we exist to educate and to conduct research. But we also exist to share the expertise and resources of the university with the people of our community, whether that be locally, provincially, nationally or internationally."

Dr. Walker noted that it is important for the university to highlight its wide-ranging services to the community. "The university supports the community in many ways and some of the ways we do this are sometimes not obvious," Dr. Walker said. "Celebrate Memorial is an opportunity to increase awareness of how Memorial University connects with the community in a ways that are beneficial to both."

The theme of the celebrations -- Connecting to the Community -- captures much of what Memorial as an institution is about. "We contribute to and support the same community that supports us, and we therefore feel it's important to take the time once per year to celebrate the connections we have," Dr. Walker said. "With this in mind, we are encouraging people to participate in our celebrations and we hope to see many people, whether they be students, parents of students, alumni, or community leaders and others, share in this celebration with us."

Full schedule of activities

In an effort to get the entire province involved in Celebrate Memorial, Memorial's Office of Student Recruitment has issued a challenge to grade 12 students in all of Newfoundland and Labrador's 11 school districts. Students enrolled full-time in their final year at a Newfoundland and Labrador high school have been asked to write a 500-800 word essay describing how Memorial University has made an impact on their community, or further, how they propose Memorial may make a significant contribution in the future. The contest closes at 5 p.m. on the first day of Celebrate Memorial week (Oct. 14), and the successful authors (one from each of the province's school districts) will be announced on Oct. 23, 2003. Each of the 11 winners will receive a $300 voucher to become valid when they enroll at Memorial, to be used toward tuition and books.

Other key activities for Celebrate Memorial 2003 include:

Oct. 14

Employee Service Awards Ceremony - Annual ceremony where long-serving university employees are recognized.

Library Community Showcase - Hear from university librarians and archivists about the important research, collecting and preservation work being carried out in the university library system.

Oct. 15

Random Acts of Music - Throughout the Celebrate Memorial period, students and faculty ensembles will appear in a variety of campus locations to share their musical talents.

Oct. 16

Scholarship Luncheon for First-Year Students - An annual event where the president of Memorial, along with representatives of the university community and scholarship donors, come together to recognize and honour winners of entrance scholarships to Memorial.

Alumni Tribute Awards Ceremony and Dinner - Annual awards ceremony where outstanding Memorial alumni are recognized for their achievements.

Oct. 17

Fall Convocation Ceremonies - Annual fall convocation; honorary degrees to be awarded to historian and women's studies specialist Natalie Zemon Davis and former Irish prime minister John Bruton.

Oct. 18

Leader Forum - Annual leadership forum for up and coming student leaders, sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and Services.

Oct. 19

Multicultural Open House - The Office of International Student Advising will be holding an Open House to celebrate the official opening of their new offices. Light refreshments with an international twist will be served.

Oct. 20

President's Report 2002-2003: A Glimpse Inside - A series of concurrent mini-talks by six Memorial faculty featured in the university's upcoming 2002-2003 annual report.

Oct. 22

Open Mic Night Comeback - Hosted by alumnus and pop star Christa Borden, the open night mic will feature alumni and students taking the stage at the Breezeway Bar.

Volunteer Fair - The Student Volunteer Bureau will be holding their annual Volunteer Fair on Wed. Oct. 22 on the third floor of the University Centre. The Volunteer Fair allows students interested in volunteering to be exposed to the numerous sectors where volunteers are needed.

Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Lecture Series: Speakers include Dr. Robert Bertollo, CRC in human nutrition, and Dr. Dale Corbett, CRC in stroke and neuroplasticity.

Oct. 24

President's Awards Ceremony - Annual awards ceremony where outstanding teaching, research and service are recognized with awards presented by the president of the university.

Oct. 25

Community Service Day - On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 25, students, faculty and staff will participate in some community service-learning projects. Selected after consultation with several community organizations, these group "hands on" projects will focus on the environment, seniors and families.

Many of these events are open to the public. For further information and to see the full calendar of events, visit www.mun.ca/celebrate or today.mun.ca

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