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Thousands to celebrate creativity, discovery and service April 21 at SU Showcase

April 08, 2009

Rob Enslin
(315) 443-3403

Rob Enslin

On Tuesday, April 21, thousands of people will converge at Syracuse University for its annual celebration of creativity, discovery and service. The daylong program, rechristened SU Showcase, features more than a hundred events, including academic presentations, discussions, displays and performances. SU Showcase takes place 24 hours before Earth Day, with many activities offered in the spirit of studying and celebrating sustainability.

"For the thousands of people who visit SU Showcase from throughout the state and for the hundreds of students and faculty members who submit events, the program's track record is astonishing," says James T. Spencer, the day's founding director as well as an SU Meredith Professor and professor of chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences. "This year's lineup of student works and class projects is truly exceptional." Formerly known as MayFest, the celebration is in its fifth year.

SU Showcase will begin with a free breakfast for SU students (first-come, first-served) from 9:30-11 a.m. in the lobby of the Heroy Geology Laboratory, featuring food by Funk 'n' Waffles. Charles McChesney, The Post-Standard's lead environmental reporter, will moderate a panel discussion in the Heroy lobby from 10-10:45 a.m., with Johnny Dubowksy '00, a New York City-based musician and eco-activist; Mark Edwards, photographer, author and founder of the "Hard Rain Project"; and Charles T. Driscoll, University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering.

Edwards' critically acclaimed "Hard Rain Project" will be mounted that morning outside Crouse College. Hailed as a disturbing yet compelling photo essay on environmental issues, the "Hard Rain Project" is inspired by the music of Bob Dylan and kicks off its U.S. tour at SU on April 21. More information is available at

As in years past, organizers are making a special effort to reach out to the campus community. "University leaders and I have been working diligently with student and faculty representatives to clarify the day's mission and to plan for its long-term growth," says Eric F. Spina, vice chancellor and provost, citing the abundance of events devoted to student service, sustainability and interdisciplinary scholarship. "My goal is to ensure that SU Showcase is recognized communitywide as the engaging academic event that it is intended to be."

Spina adds that several dozen student organizations have been involved with this year's planning, including Hill Communications, an award-winning student-run PR firm that helped re-brand the event.

The day's highlights include:

  • Folk Arts Tent, featuring traditional arts and music demonstrations by community members (10 a.m.-2 p.m., Quad);
  • Sci Mix, with more than a hundred academic poster presentations by science and mathematics students (10 a.m.-2 p.m., Life Sciences Complex);
  • The Maxwell Cultural Fair, featuring an international festival (10 a.m.-2 p.m., Maxwell School's Strasser Commons)
  • The "Green Art Challenge," using found art to promote creativity and sustainability (10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center);
  • "Focus the Nation on Climate Change," including a teach-in, sustainability showcase, and various presentations and discussion groups (11 a.m.-2 p.m., Life Sciences Complex);
  • SU Showcase Triathlon, including the "Academic Challenge" quiz game show, "Orange Groove" dance competition and team relay races (11:30 a.m.-2 :30 p.m., various);
  • Student Organization Showcase, with food, music and activities for SU students, featuring a student battle of the bands, as well as performances by Dubowsky, Sophistafunk and To the Ruins (1-7 p.m., Women's Building Field);
  • Special presentations by Dubowsky and Edwards about environmentalism and the "Hard Rain Project," respectively (venues and times TBA); and
  • SU Showcase After Dark, including performances by the SU Brass Ensemble, University Singers and SU Women's Choir (7-9 p.m., various locations).

SU Showcase is a University-wide event sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Division of Student Affairs, the Division of Enrollment Management, the Graduate School, Traditions, PULSE and the Syracuse University Sustainability Action Coalition. Additional support is provided by Funk 'n' Waffles, Z89 (89.1 FM, WJPZ) and Citrus TV.

For more information, including updates to the list of events, parking details, registration for student attendees and event registration details, visit or call The Soling Program at (315) 443-3133.

The Connective Corridor is offering a free park-and-ride service from downtown Syracuse to the SU Showcase on Tuesday, April 21. Corridor bus service will be available between 9:40 a.m. and 11:40 p.m. The Connective Corridor bus, operated by Centro, stops at marked Centro and Connective Corridor bus stops at the Delavan Art Gallery, 501 W. Fayette St.; The Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St.; Armory Square, on the corner of Fayette and Warren streets; the Civic Center, 800 S. State St.; the Everson Museum, 401 Harrison St.; Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St.; and College Place on the SU campus. The detailed bus schedule is available at

The Connective Corridor is a signature strip of cutting-edge cultural development connecting the University Hill with downtown Syracuse.

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