Archive | March, 2012

Honest Abe goes Hollywood

30 Mar

If you have a penchant for pop culture, like I do, then I’m sure you’ve heard that the Hunger Games had the third largest opening of any film in history.  It’s another example of a beloved book making a splash on the big screen.  One of this year’s other big hits at theaters, The Help, was also first an acclaimed book from author Kathryn Stockett. That adaptation even yielded an Academy Award for supporting actress Octavia Spencer, who brought Stockett’s Minny Jackson to life. The film also garnered several nominations and awards at various film festivals and awards presentations.  The horizon is filled with film adaptations of classic literature and more recently-released books.

June will bring the big screen version of Seth Grahme-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. The highly-anticipated film based on the New York Times Bestseller offers the premise, what if the Civil War was fought not only over slavery, but to block the vampires’ access to human trade? It is yet another foray into film for Lincoln Memorial University’s namesake and the inspiration for the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum’s newest exhibit: Lincoln at the Movies.

The exhibit, which opens Friday, was developed by ALLM Curator Steven Wilson and takes a look at the 16th President and his influence, representation and relationship to the motion pictures. There are few more recognizable figures in history than the president known as “Honest Abe.” The story of his life and death has been told and retold on page, on stage and on the silver screen.

Audiences have flocked to see serious portrayals of Abe’s story from the 1912 blockbuster Birth of a Nation to the 1940s Abe Lincoln in Illinois, to 2011’s examination of his assassination in the movie Conspirator. Audiences have also seen his character portrayed in a more comedic light by actors and non-actors including pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and comedian Johnny Carson. In the movies, Lincoln has traveled through time, beamed aboard starships, unintentionally insulted his long-suffering wife, and even wrestled George Washington. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter will add another entry to that list of odd things he’s done on film that we’re quite sure Abraham Lincoln never really did.

Just as we're fairly certain Honest Abe never actually hunted vampires, we're he never addressed the students of San Dimas High.

Abraham Lincoln at the Movies uses photographs, artifacts, original posters and media to provide a means for today’s audience to see the constant and fascinating journey of Lincoln through American culture. The exhibit will also shine a light on LMU’s minor role in Lincoln’s life on film. In 1940, LMU was the site of the southern premiere of Abe Lincoln in Illinois. The film’s star Raymond Massey was on hand for the premiere and was also awarded a Lincoln Diploma of Honor for his performance in the motion picture and his role on stage.

The exhibit will be on display through February 12, 2013. The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. Admission to the museum is $5 for adults, $3.50 for senior citizens and $3 for children under 12. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

LMU welcomes Japanese students

21 Mar

LMU-Kanto Program Director Curtis Klinghoffer greets the Kanto International High School Students during orientation on Tuesday.

The long journey was complete Monday night as 57 students and two teachers from Kanto International Senior High School in Tokyo, Japan, arrived at Lincoln Memorial University. The group was met by LMU’s Kanto Program Director Curtis Klinghoffer, Assistant Director JoAnn Russell and a handful of residential life staff members to help move them into the rooms that will be their home for the next seven weeks.The English immersion program began in earnest on Tuesday morning with orientation. LMU President Dr. B. James Dawson, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Evelyn Smith, Dean of Students Frank E. Smith and Director of Housing Leslie Chumley were among the administration to greet the students during orientation. In addition to the well wishes from LMU brass, the students were introduced to their instructors, received their class schedules, went on a campus tour and were issued IDs. After lunch in the LMU dining hall, the students were given the afternoon to explore campus and get acquainted with the area. Several found their way to the LMU softball game for their first truly American experience.

Kanto Instructor Kathy Francisco gives a group of Kanto students a campus tour during orientation.

Students have come annually to LMU from the Kanto International Senior High School since the LMU-Kanto Program began in 1979. This group of 57 students will spend the next six weeks engaging in rigorous, immersive English studies and an extracurricular cultural program that exposes them to the richness of the culture of the Appalachian region. In addition, the group will take a three-day excursion to Washington, D.C. The students also make home stays with host families.

The home stay involves a family welcoming a Kanto student into their home for a weekend. The encounter begins with the family picking the student up Friday evening. The student must be back to campus some time on Sunday. The LMU-Kanto Program is still looking for families to host students this spring. Russell, who coordinates the home stays, says the students are looking for anything more than a look at a typical weekend at home. “They really want to see what is like to live in an American home. They aren’t looking for any big exciting side trip or anything. They are here to learn English and experience our culture.”

As much as the students gain from this experience, the benefits are reciprocal: the entire LMU community is enriched by the presence of these Japanese students who teach about their own customs and traditions.

I am a…

19 Mar

Last year, LMU rolled out three new television spots. The 30 second spots were aimed at promoting the Caylor School of Nursing, the Carter and Moyers School of Education and the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. They were the first in a series that will ultimately include a total of eight spots on LMU and its individual schools and programs. The spots are written by Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kate Reagan and produced in conjunction with WBIR-TV in Knoxville where they will also air. WBIR’s Michael Wiseman directed and produced the two of the four current spots. This week, LMU unveiling the next installment…

I Am a Lawyer.

Lincoln Memorial University 2012 Law Program from Michael Wiseman on Vimeo.

A close call, close to home.

11 Mar

If you have ever visited Kresge Hall or been to a University Advancement event, then likely you know who Angela Jordan is. If not, you are missing out. This remarkable woman puts all of us at UA first. She never ceases to lend a hand, help out or just listen to whatever may be on your mind. Her official title is administrative assistant to the vice president for University Advancement, but she really does so much more than assist for our entire division. More than just an assistant, Angie mothers us all.

No matter how many times she has been recipient of one of my eye rolls when she fusses at me for carrying too much, she still cares enough to chastise me any time I lift more than I should. She often tells me that she doesn’t care if I think I can do it, she knows that I shouldn’t. There is never a day that I leave work without her telling me do drive safe and take care.

When the devastating storms hit Harrogate on Friday, March 2, 2012, Angie’s house was struck by one of the tornados that ravaged neighborhoods across the street from LMU. She and her husband were thankfully unharmed, but the house and property sustained much damage. Angie asked me to help her thank the community who came to her aid. She said that she felt a thank you card wasn’t enough and wondered if I would print something in our University newsletter, CampusLinc, which I assured her I would. I also encouraged her to share with me her story and the following is just that…

 

Extending a helping hand

9 Mar

A week ago, our mild winter erupted into an outbreak of damaging storms which lashed out across the Southeast. At LMU, two rounds of tornado warnings came down during the day on Friday, March 2, before the most damaging storms arrived around 8 p.m. Through it all, LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., was spared damage. Reports from that night included just wind, light rain and a short burst of hail. Some of our historic trees lost a few limbs, but the University had seen worse.

Our neighbors just across Highway 25E did not fare as well. The initial reports on Friday described as many as 10 houses that were totally destroyed. Those same reports placed them all in the City of Harrogate in the area behind Ellen Myers Elementary School. And the reports were fairly accurate.

By the time the weather service confirmed that an EF2 tornado touched down in the area earlier this week, the clean-up effort was already well underway. Emergency responders rescued trapped residents and helped guide people around downed power lines immediately following the storms on Friday. In the light of day on Saturday, more volunteers joined the efforts as neighbors helped neighbors to assess the damage and start to clear the debris.

After a weekend full of reports from the storm damaged areas, the burning question on most people’s minds on Monday was, how could LMU help? The Student Services division was contacted by several students about going into the community and helping in any way possible. On Wednesday, a team of about 15 students, including most of the Lady Railsplitter volleyball team, and the entire Student Services staff assisted in clean-up efforts at two residences.

A camera crew from LMU-TV followed the LMU volunteers and filed this report.

On Thursday, the student services team was at it again, helping two more families clear debris around their homes.

 I had the privilege of being a part of the clean-up yesterday. Seeing the destruction up close was remarkable. Even more remarkable, was the spirit of community that radiated out of this devastation. Sure, a few homeowners shared stories of people salvaging through debris and looking to take advantage of the people affected by the storms, but, the majority had also experienced complete strangers coming up and assisting in the clean-up.

LMU is about service. The University believes that one of the major cornerstones of meaningful existence is service to humanity. Our students routinely volunteer in their communities. What is so impressive about this service, is that it was a grassroots effort initiated by students. The students went to administration looking for a way to help. The Student Services division, inspired by the students’ request went to President B. James Dawson and asked for permission not only to take the students over to help, but to volunteer as well. The Student Services division went on to sacrifice two days to assist their neighbors and the work isn’t complete yet.

Student leaders and the administration have reached out to a number of the relief organizations working in the area, offering to recruit and organize teams of student volunteers as the recovery efforts turn to rebuilding.

Knoxville’s WBIR-TV also sent a reporter to cover the recovery efforts. A link to reporter Mary Scott’s story is below.

WBIR VIDEO