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125th anniversary events to include play, exhibits, Jon Stewart

by Richard Veilleux - September 25, 2006

Six Huskies in Search of an Author, a lighthearted theatrical romp through UConn's 125-year history, will be a highlight of the last three months of the University's celebration of its founding in 1881.

The approximately 90-minute cabaret will begin at 1 p.m. on Oct. 21 - during Homecoming weekend - in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.

It is written and is being directed by Robert McDonald, a professor of dramatic arts.

McDonald intertwines historic imagery, photographs, and sound with six actors, representing different periods in UConn's development, to bring the audience from the unpaved roads of UConn in the late 1800s to the transformed, nationally recognized University it is today.

The foundation of McDonald's play is the recently released Red Brick in the Land of Steady Habits, a history of the University written by Bruce Stave, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus and director of the Center for Oral History.

Stave will sign copies of the book during a reception in Jorgensen following the play.

Another reception, with lunch, will precede the play, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Jorgensen Gallery.

Proceeds from the day's events will benefit a student scholarship fund.

On Oct. 7, during Family Weekend, a different kind of presentation will be staged. Jon Stewart, anchor of the satirical The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, brings his stand-up comedy act to two sold-out shows at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.

His performances are funded in part by the 125th Anniversary Committee.

The Daily Show has twice won the Peabody Award for excellence, and has earned nine Emmy Awards.

Just a few weeks later, art exhibits tied to the 125th anniversary will open in the William Benton Museum of Art and at the University Libraries.

At the Benton, The President and the Professor , an exhibit featuring works donated to UConn by former University President Charles Lewis Beach and former genetics professor Walter Landauer, will be shown from Oct. 17 through Dec. 20.

Although the museum only opened its doors in 1967, the collections of the two men stretch back to the teens and 1920s.

Their gifts to the University became the core of the museum's holdings.

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical Daily Show, will perform at Jorgensen on Oct. 7 during Family Weekend.
Jon Stewart, host of the satirical Daily Show, will perform at Jorgensen on Oct. 7 during Family Weekend.

The exhibit at the University Libraries, The University of Connecticut, 125 Years in the Making, opens Oct. 20, and will run until Dec. 22.

The exhibit is displayed in three locations - the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and the Stevens Gallery and the Gallery on the Plaza of Homer Babbidge Library.

At the Dodd Center, documents from University Archives tracing the University's evolution will be displayed in What's In a Name? The University of Connecticut: 125 Years in the Making.

The exhibit on the plaza level, The More Things Change. Student Life at the University of Connecticut, 1881-2006 , focuses on photographs and memorabilia illustrating UConn's 125 years.

In the Stevens Gallery, historic and contemporary maps will plot the development of the University's main campus, in A University Grows in Storrs: A Cartographic History of the Campus.

There will be several opportunities for students to join in the celebrations.

On Oct. 5, students are invited to submit design ideas for a four-foot high Husky dog statue, similar to the dogs being painted across the state on the Husky Trail.

Voting on the various designs will be conducted online from Oct. 6 through Oct. 9, with the winner announced Oct. 10. The dog will eventually be displayed in the Student Union.

And on Oct. 18, teams of students will compete with one another in the UConn Crossword Puzzle Contest, prepared by professional crossword puzzle designer Fred Piscop.

The 625-square puzzle will include 118 clues, more than 30 of which will be based on historical information about UConn.

After pre-registering for the contest, students will be given a password and should log-on to the puzzle site at 7 p.m.

The teams will have exactly 30 minutes to respond to as many clues as they can, and the team with the most correct answers after that time will win $125 for each team member.

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