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The University of Minnesota Duluth
BRIDGE - Fall 2006, Volume 24, #2
Wells Fargo Bank / Great Good Places / FinnFest 2008 /
Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin announced a gift of $265,250 from Wells Fargo Bank Duluth to support the Financial Markets Lab in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE). "Great corporate relations, such as this one, add strength to UMD programs," she said. The gift maintains the strong relationship between Wells Fargo Duluth and UMD, and the lab will continue to be named the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Lab. "Wells Fargo has supported our Financial Markets Program from day one," said Dean Kjell R. Knudsen of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, "and this five-year commitment is a tremendous boost to our program." In addition to Financial Markets Program funding, Wells Fargo will offer three paid summer internships and additional practicum opportunities for LSBE students.
"It is important to all of us at Wells Fargo to continue our collaboration... and our work with the bright, energetic students who participate in the Financial Markets Program each year," said David Bue, community banking district president for Wells Fargo in Duluth. "By supporting the Financial Markets Lab, we're backing an innovative, hands-on learning program that's developing the next generation of great investment managers and business leaders vital to the economic future of the Northland and Minnesota."
The program allows students to apply fundamental, technical, and quantitative analysis techniques and encourages them to develop their own methodology towards analyzing the financial markets. Participating UMD students analyze the financial condition of businesses, evaluate the opportunity to invest in publicly traded stocks, make presentations to an advisory board of industry professionals, and actually invest in and manage an investment fund. The UMD Financial Markets Program is one of the largest undergraduate student-run funds in the country, with close to $500,000 in assets.
Wells Fargo Bank / Great Good Places / FinnFest 2008 /
Ray Oldenburg, professor emeritus, University of West Florida in Pensacola, presented his lecture titled "The Third Place: A Belated Concept" at the annual Dennis Brissett Memorial Lecture in April at UMD. Oldenburg is an internationally known sociologist who worked with Dennis Brissett (for whom the lecture series is named) on several writing projects before Brissett passed away in 1996 at the age of 56.
Oldenburg, who wrote The Great Good Place , identifies third places, or "great good places," as the neutral ground where people can gather and interact, such as bars, beer gardens, main streets, cafés, coffeehouses, and post offices. He defines first and second places as being home and work, respectively. Oldenburg believes that third places allow people to forget their worries and just enjoy the company and conversation going on around them and that they are essential to any communities' social longevity.
Wells Fargo Bank / Great Good Places / FinnFest 2008 /
FinnFest, a national festival celebrating Finnish American culture, will return to Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, from July 23-27, 2008. The first FinnFest was held in 1983 in Minneapolis. When FinnFest was held at UMD in 1992, more than 7,000 attended that event. The Duluth event will examine Finnish music, culture, the lives of women, and the connections between Finns and the Ojibwe. UMD's FinnFest USA '92 Scholarship, which was created from the proceeds of the event, has been awarded to 120 students. Co-chairs are Jeanne Doty and Diane Fay Skomars, both who work at UMD. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wells Fargo Bank / Great Good Places / FinnFest 2008 /
Alexander McCall Smith, author of the best selling book The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, presented a Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies Lecture to 480 people in September.
McCall Smith's talk, "The Very Small Things of Life," dealt with the international and cultural aspects of his popular series, which is set in Botswana. His books capture the pace and wisdom of a traditional culture as it adapts to new and modern circumstances. His lecture illustrated the situation of Botswana, with its successful democracy, economic stability, minimal corruption, and reputation for facing the AIDS crisis, all while other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa are experiencing civil war, disease and unpredictable violence. McCall Smith shared how he uses his main character, Precious Ramotswe, who faces life's problems with a cup of tea in her hand, to help his readers understand the values and struggles of ordinary Botswanan citizens.
McCall Smith has written more than 50 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books. But he is best known for his internationally acclaimed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, now with six books in the series and four million copies in print in the U.S. alone. The first installment, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency , received two Booker Judge's Special Recommendations and received The Saga Wit Award.
This past summer the Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival brought entertainment and an international experience to Duluth. UMD alumnus, Adam Hummel's new comedy, Fooling The Beard , had its debut. The musical, Godspell was performed, and chamber music and jazz concerts were held.
The highlights of the festival were the opera experiences. Students from UMD and the U.S. joined twelve Italians to perform the Verdi classic, Rigoletto , and, in celebration of Mozart's 250th birthday, Cosí fan tutte in concert. Guest soprano Christine Weidinger, noted for her "effortless technique, impeccable musicianship and fine stage presence" conducted master classes.
The twelve guests from Palermo, Sicily, added a new dimension to summertime Duluth. As Tim Roufs, anthropology professor, said, "What a great idea, to learn Italian opera from, and in cooperation with, Italians."
School of Fine Arts Dean Jack Bowman, said that it is important to hold international programs such as the Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival. "We have potential to be a real international center for summer programming," he said. "Young professionals in Italy and other parts of the world are looking to perform opera, just like UMD students."
Cosimo Vassallo, the tenor who played Duke Fernando in Rigoletto , agreed. "Italy is different now because kids don't listen to classical music and the audience for opera is shrinking. Young people now listen to pop music, rap, and especially American music; they try to copy American music. Even in Italy, it is difficult for the opera houses to find young people to perform opera," he said.
UMD strives to create international experiences. When it does, everybody benefits. "Italian students, Korean singers, and a soprano from China interacted with each other, our students, and community people," said Bowman. Sergio Cutrera, a violinist from Caltanissetta, Sicily, said, "The UMD summer program had a collegial orchestra. We were all musicians, and because we communicated through music, there wasn't really a language barrier." He did notice different styles of the two conductors, UMD's Rudy Perrault and Maestro Gaetano Colajanni from Orchestra Accademia Musicale Siciliana of Palermo, Italy. "The conductor's organizational styles differed, but both of them had very high standards for musical performance," Cutrera said.
Bowman wants to build on the success of the summer program. "We are going to continue to enrich our local offerings," he said. Next year, UMD will see students from France, Turkey, Russia, and Austria. Building on the success of 2006, and the large audiences for the operas, UMD is planning on two full operas for 2007. "We can also look forward to a Turkish-American cast in the musical, Chicago ," Bowman said. The University of Istanbul will send students to UMD for the 2007 performances and in 2008 UMD students will travel to Turkey to impart some American culture.
Participants in the Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival learned a lot more than performance. "They learned firsthand about the finest levels of international cooperation and good will," Roufs said. "They learned about and from beautiful people, as fellow human beings, on stage and off. They learned in a real way, to be just a little more optimistic about the very future of an increasingly complicated and ever more globalizing world." And we were all reminded that music is a universal language.
Philip Pearlstein, an internationally known figurative painter and one of the most widely recognized visual artists today, presented a lecture on his life work at UMD in March. The lecture was in conjunction with an exhibition in the Tweed Museum of Art. Pearlstein's exhibition was entitled "The Dispassionate Body: Painting and Drawings of Figures in Still Life." The exhibition included paintings, graphite drawings, and props that were used in Pearlstein's paintings - such as model toys, vintage store signs, and other objects that represent the history of popular culture. For over forty years, Pearlstein has produced "straight" paintings of figures using objects and props, each painting perceived to be a complex still life of pattern, surface, and texture.
Also featured in the exhibition were essays by art critic Edward Lucie-Smith, model/artist Desiree Alvarez, and interviews with a number of historians, critics, and artists including Chuck Close, Linda Nochlin, Irving Sandler, and Sister Wendy.
A documentary film on Pearlstein's life and art practice is being produced by UMD Art and Design faculty members Jen Dietrich and Sarah Bauer.
The UMD Big Band, also known as Jazz Ensemble I, with its 20 members, performed at two of the most famous festivals in the world in July. They played at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 9 and 10 and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands on July 14. At the North Sea Jazz Festival, UMD was one of only seven colleges among over 200 professional musical groups.
The Big Band is one of the two large jazz ensembles at UMD and it is made up entirely of students. At the festivals, students performed music by composers including Bobby Shew and Tom Harrell, both of whom have performed with the UMD Big Band.
UMD was selected for both festivals by "blind audition," said director, Ryan Frane. "We sent in a CD and the panel juried us, strictly by listening to the music." Montreux Jazz Festival is the most historic festival in the world and the North Sea Jazz Festival is one of the largest. "It was an unbelieveable experience, not only from a performing perspective, but also for the music that students got to hear," Frane said. Performers from all over the world entertained at the concerts. "Some of the people the students met didn't speak English, which was a great learning experience," said Billy Barnard, a UMD music professor. "They got to meet international jazz performers at all levels, from high school to professional." \The UMD students did well musically and socially. "Their talent and respect showed the maturity of the students from our area," said Barnard.
Both Frane and Barnard expressed appreciation for the support the music program receives. "The School of Fine Arts, the Chancellor, and the community have helped make our music program second to none," said Barnard. "It was a trip of a lifetime," said Frane.
KUMD-FM,UMD's radio station, turns 50 next April. The station first signed on the air as a low-power AM station from Washburn Hall at Old Main in 1957. Today, it broadcasts at 100,000 watts with a coverage radius of 75 miles.
Through the years, hundreds of volunteers have devoted their time and energy to the station. If you are one of them, KUMD wants to hear from you. The station is planning a celebration for spring 2007, and in preparation wants to bring its history to life through the stories of those who helped build the station. If you, or someone you know, spent any time at the station, please email KUMD's new station manager, Mike Dean at email@example.com, or write to: KUMD-FM, UMD, 1201 Ordean Court, Duluth, Minn., 55812.
Listen to KUMD at 103.3 FM. You can also listen worldwide by going to www.kumd.org on the web and clicking on the "listen live" button. While the station's programming has evolved over the past 50 years, it has remained true to its original mission of providing high-quality unique programming - a philosophy that has stood the test of time.
Duluth's John Goldfine received the Business Person of the Year Award at the 14th annual Joel Labovitz Entre preneurial Success Awards. In his speech, Goldfine spoke of the high caliber of students at UMD. He urged the business community to become involved with UMD. "[Labovitz School of Business and Economics Dean] Kjell Knudsen... is looking for mentors to befriend his students," he said. "It only takes a few hours a year... and a couple of lunches are really appreciated... The one student you help could be the next person to start a business enterprise in Duluth."
Goldfine knows about starting a business in Duluth. He is the president of Zenith Management Company (ZMC) Hotels, which has reported annual revenues of more than $85 million. ZMC Hotels owns and operates more than 30 hotels in 15 states, and offers more than 3,000 rooms. The company also operates the Duluth-Superior Excursions Vista Fleet in Duluth and the Chattanooga Riverboat Company in Tennessee.
Under Goldfine's leadership, ZMC Hotels decided to remodel the Best Western Edgewater in Duluth to include a full-scale indoor waterpark, the only one of its kind in Northern Minnesota. The $20 million addition and remodeling project transformed the Best Western Edgewater into the Best Western Edgewater Resort & Waterpark. The waterpark has over 30,000 square feet and the resort offers more than 300 rooms. Goldfine has been honored by UMD in the past. Two years ago, Goldfine received the lifetime achievement award at the 12th annual Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards.
UMD held three public grand opening events in spring 2006 to inaugurate the opening of the Center for Genocide, Holocaust, and Human Rights Studies. Steven Feinstein, a renowned Holocaust expert and director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the UM-Twin Cities spoke on "Art and Remembrance," as an addition to a Holocaust Commemoration exhibition by clay artist Daisy Brand in the Tweed Museum. A screening of the documentary, The Armenian Genocide 90 Years Later , and a presentation by Bret Thiele and Mayra Gomez, two leading human rights attorneys, were also held.
In September, the documentary, Darfur Diaries , was shown and Jen Marlowe, one of the producers, gave a presentation about the on-going genocide in Darfur and the Sudan. For information, contact Alexis Pogorelskin, 218-726-7548.
Ann Bancroft, the first woman to ski both the north and south poles, was at UMD's Weber Music Hall in March 2006 to tell her story. Bancroft achieved her childhood dream, as she and Liv Arnesen became the first women in history to ski across Antarctica. For 94 days and 1,717 miles, Bancroft and Arnesen skied and sailed, encountering winds gusting up to 100 miles per hour and temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit while pulling 250-pound sleds full of food and supplies. Bancroft has been able to shatter female stereotypes by her leadership and teamwork skills.
Bancroft was at UMD for the inaugural Ben and Jeanne Overman Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series, made possible by the Ben and Jeanne Overman Charitable Trust. The series provides unique opportunities for students and members of the community to hear speakers from many walks of life, from the region as well as from around the world. The lives of Ben and Jeanne Overman were built on the relationship between achieving success and providing support to others. It is the objective of the Ben and Jeanne Overman Distinguished Speakers Series to present individuals whose accomplishments and good works serve as living examples to everyone.
Albert Tezla, UMD faculty emeritus, recently received the Order of the Hungarian Republic Cross, Rank of Commander, from the President of the Republic of Hungary. On April 27, Gábor Horváth, the Hungarian Ambassador, Consul General, presented the award to Tezla. The honor commemorated Tezla's work in translating Hungarian literature into English. Tezla translated most of his 23 books after he retired in 1982, including The Hazardous Quest , and A Wartime Memoir .
On April 27, the Tweed Museum of Art dedicated the Olive Anna Tezla Memorial Library in memory of Olive Tezla, a volunteer and dedicated arts patron at the museum. The Tezla Library houses several thousand art-related books and is open to UMD faculty and students to assist in their studies. Art & Design students Lindy Sexton and Natalee Senko were instrumental in organizing and cataloguing the materials in the library.
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