Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120 

Centenary's Annual Founders' Day Includes Groundbreaking for First Phase of New Arts Complex, Remarks by Karen Swenson Arts complex phase 1 Karen Swenson

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Groundbreaking for the first part of a new arts complex and a lecture by journalist Karen Swenson of New York, N.Y. are among Founders' Day activities set for Thursday, March 29 at Centenary College.

Officials will ceremonially break ground for an almost $6 million project that will expand the Hurley School of Music Building to include a vocal practice wing and an instrumental practice facility.  In addition, this phase of a proposed larger arts complex will include the complete renovation of Hurley Auditorium and the addition of more than 100 under-ground parking spaces.

Centenary President Kenneth Schwab and representatives of the faculty, student body, donors, architect and builder will participate in a 10:15 a.m. ceremony on the campus lawn between the Hurley Music Building and the Magale Library.  If it rains, the ceremony will be held in the Hurley Auditorium. Dr. Schwab will announce details about the project, which is the first of four phases designed to bring a multipurpose arts complex to the northeast corner of the campus.

Ms. Swenson will be the keynote speaker at Centenary's annual Founders' Day Convocation, which this year celebrates the 176th anniversary of the college's founding. The program, which is open to the public, will begin at 11 a.m. in Brown Chapel.

Ms. Swenson, who is the inaugural holder of a new professorship at Centenary, will discuss "Living in a Global World."  In keeping with Centenary tradition, Centenary faculty, administrators and graduating seniors -- all in academic regalia -- will march in a procession from Mickle Hall to Brown Chapel.

Ms. Swenson, who visited the Centenary campus in Fall 1999 as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, is currently serving as Centenary's inaugural Rea J. Fox Professor in Creative Arts and Letters.   She is currently directing two Creative Writing classes at the college.

A widely published poet, Ms. Swenson most recently authored A Daughter's Latitude: New and Selected Poems, published by Copper Canyon Press.  Its content ranges over three decades of poems published in four separate volumes, including The Landlady in Bangkok, which was the winner of the 1993 National Poetry Series Open Competition.  Her poems have appeared in such national periodicals as The Nation, The New Yorker, Paris Review and Poetry.  

A world traveler, Ms. Swenson has made Southeast Asia her journalistic "beat."  Her articles on travel in Thailand, China and Tibet, which she visits annually, appear frequently in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  

The Rea J. Fox Professorship was established to bring to campus creative writers, visual artists, and performing artists of national reputation for limited residencies.  It was created by Dr. Bobby J. and Bettie Fox Hollingsworth '49 as a tribute to her father, a Shreveport businessman for more than 50 years.

In addition to the convocation and groundbreaking, Centenary's Founders' Day activities will include the announcement of recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award and the Alumni Research Grant, as well as service recognition of faculty and staff members who have reached milestone anniversary dates.  That will take place at 9:45 a.m. on the lawn of Brown Chapel.

The convocation will be followed by an all-campus picnic held in Centenary's Crumley Gardens. The picnic is open to Centenary students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the college who have made reservations.

During the convocation and the Alumni and Family Weekend events that follow, Centenary will also celebrate the completion of its Vision for the Future: The Campaign for Centenary, a 5-and-a-half year effort that raised more than its $90 million goal.  The exact amount raised will be announced during a Friday evening dinner, gala and dance in the college's new Fitness Center.

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