CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0557; fax (319) 335-0558
University of Iowa plans costume ball, presidential symposium and birthday
party to celebrate Founders Day weekend, Feb. 22-25
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- It was on Feb. 25, 1847 -- only 59 days after Iowa
became a state -- that the University of Iowa was founded. To celebrate its
150th anniversary, the university is planning a trio of Founders Day events
Feb. 22-25: a costume ball; a special program featuring four presidents of
the university; and a birthday party at Old Capitol, featuring a re-enactment
of the legislative session that created the university. All three events are
open to the public.
"These Founders Day events are the capstone of our year-long sesquicentennial
observance," said Sam Becker, UI emeritus professor of communication
studies and co-chair of the UI sesquicentennial committee. "On behalf
of the sesquicentennial committee, I want to invite all of our faculty, staff
and students, as well as our alumni and friends to join us in celebrating
this historic moment. We believe it will be a great experience."
Here is a schedule of the activities for the extended weekend observance:
* Sesquicentennial Ball, Saturday, Feb. 22: The ball, "Promenade
Through the Past," will be from 8 p.m. to midnight in the Main Lounge
of the Iowa Memorial Union. Participants are invited to dress in the style
of their favorite era in the university's history: buckskin to black tie,
bustles to bobby sox, and sequins to bell-bottom blue jeans.
Music will be provided by Dox Big Band. There will be a buffet from 9-11 p.m.
A cash bar will be available. Tickets are $25 per person or $10 per person
for UI students. In addition, tables of eight may be reserved upon request.
For ticket and table reservations, call (319) 335-0557.
* Presidential Voices, Sunday, Feb. 23: Four presidents of the University
of Iowa will consider the past, present and future of the university in a
symposium to be from 3-5 p.m. in Hancher Auditorium. There will be a public
reception in the Hancher lobby following the program.
The program will feature talks by UI President Mary Sue Coleman and her three
predecessors: Willard L. Boyd, who served from 1969 to 1981; James O. Freedman,
who served from 1982 to 1987; and Hunter R. Rawlings III, UI president from
1988 to 1995. Boyd is now UI professor of law and emeritus president of the
Field Museum in Chicago. Freedman is the president of Dartmouth College in
Hanover, N.H. Rawlings is president of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Tickets for Presidential Voices are free but must be ordered from the Hancher
Box Office. Tickets may be reserved by calling 319-335-1160 or 1-800-HANCHER.
* Founders Day Birthday "Bash," Tuesday, Feb. 25: This public
birthday party for the university will be from 4-7 p.m. in the building where
it all began, the Old Capitol, which was Iowa's first state capitol and the
building where legislation creating the university was approved.
The highlight of the birthday bash will be a re-enactment of that legislative
session. A number of current Iowa legislators are expected to be on hand to
perform the re-enactment. Also scheduled to attend are Iowa Governor Terry
Branstad and former governor Robert D. Ray.
The event will also feature a display of luminaria around the Old Capitol
and the Pentacrest.
Birthday cake, punch and coffee will be provided. The event is free and open
to the public. No tickets are required.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored
events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation
to participate in any of the Founders Day events, please contact University
Relations at (319) 335-0557.