University history book is out; ’tis season for special events

University’s history chronicled in a new book


I’m so happy to report that the definitive history book of UW-Stout’s first 125 years is now available for purchase. “An Idea Comes of Age: UW-Stout, 1891-2016” was written by Jerome Poling, assistant director of University Communications, and it tells the university’s story, how we grew into a special mission campus that remained true to the ideals of James Huff Stout and gives us fresh perspectives about the leaders who have shaped UW-Stout into the innovative campus it is today.

The book also looks at how the campus has grown over the years, how the campus culture has evolved, and what student life was like then and now.

For many of us, UW-Stout is an integral part of our lives. This book will help each of us understand how the campus evolved so we can better prepare for our next 125 years.

The hardcover version of the book, with nearly 140 historic photographs, is $29.99. Place your order through publisher Thomson-Shore and the Seattle Book Club. A limited number of first edition copies are available.

Hmong New Year celebration a great event


I was able to celebrate the new year a little early on Saturday by attending the 10th annual Hmong New Year event in the Multipurpose Room of the Sports and Fitness Center. I always look forward to this event, which typically falls on the first Saturday of December.

The celebration includes Hmong traditional dancing, instrumental performances and singing, as well as handmade, colorful garments and Hmong food. The event honors Hmong ancestors and spirits while welcoming the new year.

My wife, Debbie, and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the event, which is hosted by the Hmong Stout Student Organization and supported by the Stout Student Association, Residence Hall Association and Multicultural Student Services.

Band concert strikes the perfect holiday chord


There’s nothing like holiday music performed with artistry and enthusiasm to get you in the mood to celebrate this special season. My spirits certainly were lifted Sunday after Debbie and I attended the winter concert by the Symphonic Band in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center.

The performance showcased the many talented students in the band and truly captured the spirit of the holiday season. It was a fantastic and enjoyable way to spend our Sunday afternoon.

The band is directed by Associate Professor Aaron M. Durst, who does a great job selecting just the right music for the season, including “Snowflakes Dancing,” which brought to mind what the first snowfall Saturday night sounded like. Hearing “Sleigh Ride” at the end of the concert never, ever gets old.

I was especially impressed by the Tower Saxophone Quartet that played two selections. The quartet is made up of Josh Bergman, of Reedsburg; Christian Gauvin, of Appleton; Elizabeth Jacobson, of Eden Prairie, Minn.; and Ellen Plumb, of St. Paul.

Debbie and I are looking forward to the UW-Stout Choral Concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Tickets are $5. I highly recommend that you consider attending this worthwhile event.