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ACU to bring in new century with celebration and convocation

Aug. 17, 2006

Abilene Christian University will celebrate the grand finale of its yearlong Centennial Sept. 8-11, with a Birthday Celebration that will include activities for the entire family.

Alumni from across the world, members of the Abilene community, faculty, staff and current and prospective students are all invited to the event.

"The Birthday Celebration is the grand finale to a year's worth of great events," said Amber Peck, director of Alumni Relations and chair of the Special Events Task Force for the Centennial.

The celebration will feature several memorable events, including three performances of Abilene 1906, a musical comedy about Abilene when ACU was about to become a reality in Childers Classical Institute; the dedication of Jacob’s Dream, a breathtaking 32-foot tall sculpture; a book-signing session for The ACU Century with notable Wildcats from the past and present; a carnival with fair-type foods and inflatables; and finally, an outdoor concert with the Christian rock group Caedmon’s Call, followed by a fireworks finale.

On Sept. 11 – the actual day ACU was started in 1906 – ACU will kick off its second century with a special academic convocation in Moody Coliseum.  Dr. Paul Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, will be the speaker.

An academic symposium will be held that afternoon, titled "Church-related Higher Education in the 21st Century: Challenges and opportunities."

Peck said these events will be a great opportunity for visitors to see what’s going on at ACU as the new century arrives.

"This is a great time for local alumni and members of the Abilene community to come to campus to see some new things, like the new home of the College of Education and Human Services and the Lunsford Foundation Trail, and some special things for the Centennial, like the Walking Tour and the Centennial Theatre," she said.

For more information about the Centennial Birthday Celebration, visit www.acu.edu/birthday.

Centennial Birthday Celebration Schedule of Events
Friday, Sept. 8
Abilene 1906
8 p.m. • Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St., downtown Abilene
This musical comedy, created by Dr. Jack Boyd ('55) and Dr. Ed George ('61), will tell the story of Abilene when ACU was about to become a reality in Childers Classical Institute. As Abilene celebrates its 125th birthday this year and ACU celebrates its 100th, you’ll see how the two entities have been community partners since the beginning.

Tickets are $15, $10 and $5.  Purchase online at www.acu.edu/abilene1906 or call the ACU Alumni Relations Office at 800-373-4220 or 325-674-2622.

Saturday, Sept. 9
Dedication of Jacob’s Dream Sculpture
1 p.m. • Southeast lawn of the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building
Join the ACU community in a dedication ceremony for Jacob's Dream, the breathtaking 32-foot tall sculpture masterfully created by Jack Maxwell, associate professor and chair of the Department of Art and Design, to commemorate the $26.5 million gift from the Grace L. Woodward Memorial Endowment Trust.  This special event is one you won’t want to miss.

Campus Open House
1 p.m. • ACU Campus
The campus is open to everyone, especially the Abilene community, to see the view from the inside.  While on campus, visitors can explore various buildings, take the Centennial Walking Tour, enjoy Starbucks coffee in the new Learning Commons of Brown Library, see film clips of ACU history in the Centennial Theatre, or just hang out in the beautiful mall area.

Book Signing for The ACU Century
2 p.m. • Hall of Servants, Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building
Meet some of your favorite ACU personalities and university icons, including presidents and other administrators, faculty and staff, Wildcat and Olympic sports heroes, and notable alumni from all walks of life – people who made significant contributions to ACU’s first 100 years.  Get their autographs on pages about their feats and accomplishments in The ACU Century, an award-winning collectible full-color hardcover book commemorating ACU's milestone celebration.

WACU Building Reception
3 p.m. • WACU Museum

Meet the families of the supporters and champions for whom many of the buildings on the ACU campus are named, such as McGlothlin, Moody, Morris, Edwards, Sikes, Walling Williams and others will be honored during a reception hosted by the Women for Abilene Christian University.

Outdoor Birthday Carnival
4 to 6:30 p.m. • Campus Mall area
Adults and children of all ages will enjoy the Birthday Carnival in the mall area of campus.  Play games to win small prizes, bounce around on giant inflatables, grab a turkey leg and a funnel cake, and catch up with friends to celebrate this landmark occasion.

Centennial Birthday Celebration Cake Ceremony
4:30 p.m. • GATA Fountain
No birthday would be complete without cake!  Join ACU president Dr. Royce Money and Willie the Wildcat as they blow out the candles on a cake as big as the GATA Fountain and sing Happy Birthday to our alma mater.  Then enjoy a tasty treat of your own in celebration of this milestone birthday.

Centennial Concert
7:30 p.m. • Elmer Gray Stadium    
To help wrap up the day, the Christian rock and folk band Caedmon’s Call will perform in concert.  Bring a picnic, lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy live music under the stars.  Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 for children 10 and under.  Purchase tickets online at www.acu.edu/birthday or call the ACU Alumni Relations Office at 800-373-4220 or 325-674-2622.

Abilene 1906
8 p.m. • Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St., downtown Abilene
Another showing of the musical comedy created by Jack Boyd and Ed George. Purchase tickets online at www.acu.edu/abilene1906 or call the ACU Alumni Relations Office at 800-373-4220 or 325-674-2622.

Centennial Grand Finale
9:10  p.m. • Elmer Gray Stadium
Wrap up the night and ACU's first century with a bang!  Enjoy this special fireworks presentation to celebrate the end of one century and the beginning of another.

Sunday, Sept. 10
Abilene 1906
2 p.m. • Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St., downtown Abilene
Final performance of the musical comedy specially written for ACU's Centennial celebration.  Purchase tickets online or call the ACU Alumni Relations Office.

Monday, Sept. 11
Second Century Convocation
11 a.m. • Moody Coliseum
We'll mark the beginning of ACU's second century with a special academic convocation.  Dr. Paul Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, will be the guest speaker.

Academic Symposium
2 p.m. • Hart Auditorium, Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building
The topic will be "Church-Related Higher Education in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities," led by guest scholar Dr. Mark Schwehn, project director for the Lilly Fellows Program and professor of humanities at Christ College, Valparaiso University.
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