Monday, June 23, 2014

#11: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE)

The blog author's alma mater. I attended this school from 2003-07, graduating with a bachelors in Mass Communications, minor in History. SIUE, or Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, has come a long way from its beginnings in the 1950s. Actually, within the last 20 years! When I was little, it was basically a school for commuters. Before anyone even knew it, dorm buildings were sprouting up everywhere.

I could tell you so much about the school and all, plus my memories. But, at the risk of boring all of you, I can say...hey, it was good times! I got to meet several people from around the state, country and world. Took part in many activities. And, the classes were alright too.

SIUE is also, perhaps, famous for another thing: the Mississippi River Festival. The MRF took place from 1969 to 1980, while becoming a major music event in its own right. Tens of thousands of concert-goers would show up for the festival every year, watching up-and-coming and current superstars at that time. Several big-name acts performed outside the Edwardsville area: Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, the Grateful Dead, Elton John, the Eagles, and many others. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was aligned with the university to establish residence, which gave birth to this festival. Since its fallout in 1981, there have been dreams by many to revive the MRF. But....speaking from my point of view, times have changed (good and bad). SIUE has moved on from that kind of thing, and I can just say that it would be impossible to do it in this kind of environment. However, the university has invited some of its MRF alumni back to perform (Three Dog Night and Judy Collins). Today, most of the land that was grazed by the concert attendees and performers is now mostly fields and forestry. In 2009, a marker was made on the property.
The cake, with 'the E' all over it! When I worked for the school's television program Global Village, I interviewed one of the people in charge of the school's marketing. I asked her about the 'E': 'We are about learning. There are several powerful words that start with 'E'.'  When comedian/tv actor Bob Saget came to SIUE to perform his stand-up, he joked about the 'E'!

Official website

6 Hairpin Drive, EDWARDSVILLE, IL, 62026
Cake artists: Autumn Huff, Heather Kniffel & Carol Dappert

UPDATE (9/4/2016): The cake sold for $455 in the Biddingforgood auction on 1/1/2015.

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