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University of Iowa News Release

July 7, 2004

Photo: Lilia Abron, first director of the UI Afro-American Cultural Center and keynote speaker at the 35th anniversary celebration

Afro-American Cultural Center To Celebrate 35 Years

A celebration of the University of Iowa's Afro-American Cultural Centers' 35th anniversary will be Friday, July 23 with a series of speakers, a keynote address and other events.

An open house is scheduled at the Afro-American Cultural Center from noon until 3:30 p.m. UI Vice President of Student Services Phillip Jones will rededicate the house at 4 p.m in ceremonies at the center.

Panel discussions are scheduled from 12:30-3:30 p.m. in the Indiana, Purdue and Ohio State rooms in the Iowa Memorial Union. Topics will include: "Life Before the Afro-American Cultural Center: Reflections of Iowa's Black Alumni," "The Making of the Afro-American Cultural Center" and "The Cultural Center Movement Student Activism on College Campuses: Past, Present, and Future."

The cultural center's first director, Lilia Abron, will present a keynote address at 8 p.m. at the Iowa Memorial Union in the Richey Ballroom. She received a Ph.D. in 1972 in chemical engineering at UI. The evening program will include music and entertainment, with a dessert reception to follow.

In conjunction with the celebration, the UI African American Council is collecting memorabilia from the Afro-House and other such UI African American organizations as Black Genesis, Black Action Theatre, Voices of Soul and the Iowa Black Alumni Association, for a permanent archive at the UI Libraries. Anyone who wishes to donate memorabilia -- programs, fliers, photos, minutes -- that document students, activities or performances is asked the contact the African American Council at

For more information or to RSVP, call 319- 335-3059.

The Iowa Black Alumni Association's 40th reunion is the same weekend. Activities are scheduled through July 25. More information can be found on the IBAA web page

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,