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Jan. 24, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU events celebrate 125 years

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University will celebrate its 125th anniversary of providing quality education in a yearlong celebration planned for 2014.

The University, founded in 1889 as Slippery Rock State Normal School, was created through the efforts of the community residents who sought to bring higher education through an institution to train men and women to be teachers. The theme of the yearlong celebration is: "Celebrating Our Honored Traditions. Embracing Our Unlimited Potential."

Major events on the calendar include:

Jan. 21 will signal the official kick-off of "125 Days of Service" in which various campus student organizations will offer community service time to a variety of campus and community projects.

SRU will host its official "125 Kick Off Celebration," Jan. 30. The day begins at 11:30 a.m. with a "ringing of bells" throughout the community to call people to Old Main. From there, participants will march through campus from the oldest building, Old Main, to the newest, The Smith Student Center. A short program at noon will follow the procession. As part of the program, the University will begin a "reading of the names" initiative to recognize those who have attended SRU since its 1889 beginning. The weekday readings, offered at various locations across campus by volunteers, will continue through December's graduation. An afternoon program of activities for student, sponsored by the University Program Board, will follow the formal ceremony.

March 26 will celebrate the annual Founder's Day with speakers and a birthday party including games and amusements for students in the Smith Student Center.

March 28, the University will celebrate "An Evening of the Arts" presented by the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts. The ticketed event will celebrate the talent and contributions of SRU students and faculty.

May 31, the University will take guests "Through the Looking Glass," at the bi-annual President's Scholarship Gala.

A "Founders Picnic" is being organized for June 21, with invitations issued to anyone related to the original founders of the Slippery Rock Normal School.

Fall semester will see the SRU football team take on Mercyhurst University at the University of •and the 35th anniversary of SRU's first appearance in "The Big House," as the U of M stadium is known. At that game, SRU helped to set the record for attendance at a Division II football event. The University will attempt to break the record.

The year's Academic Honors Convocation and both fall and spring semester commencements will focus attention on the 125th anniversary.

Kaleidoscope, the University's three-week, on-campus arts festival that opens April 15, will help mark the anniversary with a variety of art and entertainment programs open to the campus and region.

SRU's Office of Alumni Engagement and the SRU Alumni Association will host a number of alumni events at SRU alumni chapter locations across the U.S., including Pittsburgh and Harrisburg as well as in Florida, North Carolina and Michigan.

The year will include a number of lectures and documentary films keyed to the anniversary celebration.

Wilma Cavill, assistant professor of safety management and the University's longest serving faculty member, and Robert Watson, interim vice president for student affairs, are serving as honorary chairs for the celebration.

George Mihalik, professor of safety management and head football coach; Laurel Dagnon, director of programming in SRU's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership; and Judy Silva, assistant professor in Baily Library in charge of University archives, are serving as co-chairs of the steering committee.

A comprehensive schedule of events will be available when the 125th site goes live on Jan. 30 at:

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.