:: Student talents in shine during CELEBRATE! Week

Ben DeLoose works on a presentation for CELEBRATE! Week last year.
For years the StudentUndergraduate Research Forum day has honored students for their accomplishments in undergraduate research, but from April 22 through 28 students will have a venue to let all their talents shine during CELEBRATE! Week, which acknowledges student achievements in academics and the arts.

The program has something for everyone, encompassing all of Elon’s strengths and talents and offering a wide variety of events to keep everyone entertained.

The week’s activities will include the traditional day of suspended classes for SURF presentations as well as seminars, art exhibitions, plays, a film festival, dance and music performances and more.

CELEBRATE! was established last year by Dr. Steven House, associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of Elon College, the college of arts and sciences. House got the idea four years ago when he attended Harvard’s Arts First program, a four day celebration of undergraduate and graduate achievements in the arts.

House and several department chairs began developing a similar program at Elon. They took SURF and the Omicron Delta Kappa awards ceremony, which already honored accomplishments in research and leadership, and added new events in other areas of academics and the arts.

“We wanted to take what we already had and what we saw at Harvard and expand on it,” House said. “We wanted to make it very Elon – involving the community and celebrating the students.”

In addition to participating in the actual events, students were also actively involved in the planning. Both the CELEBRATE! logo and the brochure found in campus mailboxes were designed by students. Faculty members began developing ideas for events during fall semester and have been working with students on the program since the beginning of spring semester.

House hopes that CELEBRATE! will become an Elon tradition like College Coffee.

“I would love for it to become even more of a community event, with a schedule printed in the ‘Burlington Times-News,’” he said. “It’s the end of April, the weather is nice and it’s a great way to come together and celebrate our students at the end of the year.”

House emphasized how important it is for students to support their peers and be exposed to a wide variety of fields, “from dance programs to biology seminars.” Showcasing student talent in both the academics and the arts is what makes Elon’s celebration so unique.

Just a few of the highlights from this year’s CELEBRATE! will include a senior art thesis exhibition, a dance workshop, an improvisation show, the Make a Wish Concert, and the plays “She Stoops to Conquer,” “Bent” and “Julius Caesar.” There will be something for everyone.

The celebration will culminate with the Elon Performance Fair on Friday, which will feature performances by the bands 3 Day Weekend and Obsidia and the jazz group elan at Young Commons followed by the NPHC Spring Step Show in Alumni Gym.

Freshman Andrew Pressley, who will be performing with both Obsidia and Élan at the Performance Fair, thinks CELEBRATE! is great exposure for the arts at Elon.

“It’s a great opportunity to let the student body see what the arts departments are achieving.”

For a complete list of events, please see page 10 of [The Pendulum] or visit www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/celebrate.

Reporter: Alexa Milan - Photos: File Photo 04/19/07