Alumni Insider | May 27, 2010
Goodbye, Garden Room
The Garden Room's gone... but mystery meat lingers on. (Luckily, only in our memories!) Yes, in early May, the campus community bid adieu to the Garden Room, where scores of 'Berg faithful have enjoyed everything from tater tots to tofurki. The campus paid homage to the space by throwing a huge goodbye party.
Operating for 46 years, Seegers Union dining facilities were originally designed to handle the culinary needs of a student population of 1,200; the overtaxed dining facility now serves a population of 2,200. The Seegers Union expansion plan calls for a new grand dining hall and servery, and the space the Garden Room currently occupies will be repurposed as a meeting, performance and program space. Completion of the Seegers Union Expansion project is slated for August 2010.
Seniors Barrie Schessler, Student Promotions Coordinator, and Noel Artigliere, Pepsi Intern, worked with Dining Services staff to put together the "Goodbye Garden Room" celebration on May 3. Students helped choose the menu for the evening by voting on their favorite Garden Room fare. A featured item of the evening was "Deb's Mule-Kickin' Fried Chicken," a beloved recipe from one of the campus cooks that has become a dining hall staple.
The 842 students served that evening were entertained by student performance groups including the Perkulators, Mint, Live in Color, Girls Next Door, and the Soul Sound Steppers. Adding to the festivities were a slide presentation of old Seegers Union/Garden Room photos and a video of staff and students talking about what they love and will miss about the Garden Room. The College's radio station, WMUH, played deejay for the evening.
What did you look forward to the most as you headed to the Garden Room for dinner? Do you remember "Clara Clicker"? Send your favorite Garden Room memories to email@example.com.
Last Lecture 2010
When last means first. A new rite of passage for Muhlenberg seniors is the "Last Lecture" given by a faculty member nominated and invited by the Senior Class. This year, 35 faculty members were nominated, and the Class of 2010 selected Charles O. Anderson, associate professor of dance and director of African American Studies at Muhlenberg College. Anderson's lecture "Things to Do Between Six Feet Tall and Six Feet Under" was delivered to the senior class on May 20.
Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Charles Anderson received his BA in choreography and performance (with a minor in Africana Studies) from Cornell University. He earned his MFA with honors from Temple University where he had the distinction of being a Future Faculty Fellow specializing in African-derived choreography and aesthetic practices. Professor Anderson is artistic director of the Philadelphia-based company, dance theatre X and an associate professor of dance and head of African American Studies at Muhlenberg College. His work, at the College and elsewhere, has been award-winning and inspiring. He was a 2007 Pew Fellowship in the Arts recipient, and in 2008, Anderson and dance theatre X were also selected as one of "25 to Watch" by Dance Magazine. He was also the 2008 recipient of Muhlenberg's Robert C. Williams Award for Outstanding Professional Activity by Junior Faculty.
Senior Ariel Cohn enrolled in one of Anderson's classes to fulfill a requirement. What he got out of the class was much more than he anticipated. "I was not prepared to be blown away by the charisma that Charles had in leading a class that requires students to challenge everything we know about our own identities and cultures," says Ariel. He was not a dance major, nor did he have any background in African cultures, but the class changed his Muhlenberg experience. Another senior, Denise Ozer, works closely with Anderson both in the classroom and in dance pieces. Denise comments, "Charles does an incredible amount of work to make sure we as artists are aware not only of what we are doing, but of specifically why we are doing it."
Is there a faculty member who inspired you during your student days at Muhlenberg? Tell us about it! Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the world's a stage - but must we rehearse in the broom closet? OK, that might be a slight overexaggeration, but an all-too-common sight in the Trexler Pavilion is a group of people engaged in a huge drama in the hallway. (No, not that kind of drama - the kind of drama written by a playwright.) Why are they acting in the hall? Not enough rehearsal space. Thanks to the fabulous new rehearsal house, that's about to change.
In 1999, the Trexler Pavilion was added to Muhlenberg's campus, providing additional performance, rehearsal and teaching space for Theatre & Dance students. Since that time, the Theatre & Dance Department has expanded at a prodigious rate, requiring classes to be held in lobbies and necessitating the rental of additional off-campus teaching space. Likewise, the Music Department has experienced extraordinary growth - a 165% increase in declared majors over the past 5 years - but has not had the spatial resources to keep up with student demand. Fortunately, construction on the new rehearsal house is nearly complete. Once finished, the facility, which occupies the former Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity House, will provide over 3,600 square feet of studio and practice space, as well as additional faculty offices. Dr. James Peck, chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance, says that the rehearsal house will allow faculty members "...to teach in properly equipped and purpose-built spaces." In a nod to the structure's origins, a series of TKE symbols painted on a section of the floor of the house will be preserved, acknowledging the rich history of the building and those who have occupied the space in the past.
One reason the Department of Theatre & Dance has expanded so rapidly is due to its phenomenal national reputation, including being ranked fourth among undergraduate theatre programs in the country by The Princeton Review 2009. As national attention about Muhlenberg's program increased, so did the number of students who chose to attend 'Berg intending to major in Theatre & Dance. Dr. Peck is excited that the new rehearsal and teaching space will be brought into parity with that of some competitor institutions, so instead of rehearsing in hallways, students will have the opportunity to rehearse in more modern, private locations.
Did you act in the hallway, or do you have another favorite music, theatre or dance memory? Tell us about it at email@example.com.
Homecoming and Reunion 2010
Mark it down now: September 24-26, 2010! Whether you come back every year or haven't been back since graduation, this is the Reunion you must attend!
This year, Homecoming and Reunion will be one giant celebration! The campus will be buzzing with activity, and you'll be able to see the campus community in full swing, including many of your favorite professors and current students. Attend a panel discussion with faculty, shake a leg (hoof?) in "Dancing with the Mules," or participate in a community service project or rehearse with the Alumni Glee Club - you'll have lots to choose from! And you won't believe what's happening on campus-be among the first alumni to see the new dining facility and Seegers expansion! We hope you'll join us to celebrate. What are you hoping to do or see at Reunion/Homecoming this year? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-464-2374.
Point of Pride
Welcome to the 524 new alumni who joined our ranks on
May 23! See the Class of 2010 Commencement Slide Show here!