Tuesday, August 26, 2008

UIS alumni society co-sponsors lunch and learn series

"Central Illinois: Patchwork of People" – a six-part Lunch and Learn Series examining the people and cultures that have influenced life in central Illinois – will begin in September at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Sponsors are the UIS Alumni SAGE Society and the Illinois State Historical Society. Programs are open to the public, however reservations are required.

Each session will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in conference room C/D, lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

Three sessions will be held in fall 2008 and three in spring 2009. Each will feature a buffet lunch and presentations by two experts on the day's topic. William Furry, director of the Illinois State Historical Society and a UIS alumnus, will moderate the series.

The series will begin on Tuesday, September 16, with "Why They Came." Featured speakers will be Heather Bailey, UIS associate professor of History, who will discuss "Blessings from the Motherland: Early Russian Immigration in Downstate Illinois," and Michael Wiant, director of the Dickson Mounds Museum, whose topic will be "Under Emiquon: What We Know about the First Illinoisans from Recent Archaeology in the Illinois River Valley."

The session on Tuesday, October 21, will focus on "How They Organized Their Communities." Speakers will be Christopher Fennell, assistant professor of Anthropology at the U of I at Urbana-Champaign, who will speak on "Footprint of Freedom: What Archaeology Tells Us about the New Philadelphia Community," and Eileen McMahon, assistant professor of History, Culture, and Civilization at Lewis University, who will speak on "Erin on the Prairie: A Brief History of Irish Settlements along the Illinois and Michigan Canal."

The topic for Tuesday, November 18, will be "What They Built." Speakers will be John Hallwas, professor emeritus of English at Western Illinois University, who will examine "Small Town Heritage: Illinois Townscapes 1870-1920," and Richard Hart, president of the Elijah Iles Foundation, who will talk about "Prairie Acropolis: Greek Revival Influences on the Architecture of Central Illinois."

Cost for each session is $20 per person; or $45 for the three-session fall series for reservations received by September 2. To register or for more information, go to www.uiaa.org/uis, or contact the Office of UIS Alumni Relations at 217/206-7395 or alumni@uis.edu.

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