SSU-UIS 40th Anniversary



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  • first impression

    While still living and working in the Chicago area, I was accepted as a charter student at SSU. My higher education had begun right after high school graduation in 1961. I attended the University of Illinois - Chicago which was located at Navy Pier. After one year there, I entered the U.S Army and served for almost five years including a tour of duty in Vietnam. After my return, I worked and attended school on a part time basis going to the Chicago Community College and a private college. My desire was to save enough money to attend the university full time and finish my degrees. Since this new university was just beginning, my expectations were not exceptionally high for the looks of the campus when I first visited it in the spring of 1970. Unfortunately, it fell well below my hopes. My car got stuck in the mud in the corn field while I viewed what appeared at a distance to be quonset huts being constructed - flashbacks to jungle living occurred. It was my good fortune that I endured because not only did I receive a first class education but I also came to understand that the setting does not have to have splendid grandeur for the learning process to succeed. Many insights were gained in the classrooms, in nearby pizza parlors, and, on occasions, during after class meetings in other adult establishments in my years at SSU. Dan Schram

  • The Community Arts Management Program

    The 40th anniversary of SSU-UIS has snuck up on me. I joined the faculty of SSU in May of 1973, some 37 years ago, so I wasn't quite there at the beginning. I was one of three faculty who were hired under one of the SSU "experiments," hiring faculty members who had real-life experience but did not have the typical academic credentials. Paul Simon, later to become Senator Paul Simon, was another to be hired under the same experimental program. My job was to create a masters degree program in arts administration and Paul was hired to create a program which was called "Public Affairs Reporting." My program was named "Community Arts Management," and was aimed at preparing students to work with multi-arts non-profit organizations such as community and state arts councils. The CAM program functioned from 1973 into the early 2000's at which time it was dropped from the curriculum. Graduates of the program fill responsible positions in the arts nation-wide, and one of the first two graduates, Robert Vaughn, is currently director of the auditorium at UIS. The second of our first two graduates, Angus Randolph,is director of the art museum in Springfield, Ohio. During my three years with the program we brought in speakers from all over the country, courtesy of a grant from the Donner Foundation, and produced a series of video-tapes of those speakers, a unique collection which resides in the UIS library. Another star graduate of the CAM program is Michael Dunbar who has been director of the Percent for Art program for the State of Illinois for over 25 years, and who has become a renowned sculptor. And yet another star performer is Cheryl Alters Jamison who received an outstanding alumnae award from UIS last year. While there were other arts adminisration programs at other universities, the CAM program at SSU-UIS was distinctive in its emphasis on preparation for work with multi-arts organizations. There are over 160 graduates of the CAM program scattered from coast to coast doing SSU-UIS proud, and adding to the splendor of this 40th anniversary. David Sennema, CAM Founding Director, 1973-76