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Zen Buddhist Monk Claude AnShin Thomas to Present Talk and Workshop on “What Does It Mean to Wake Up?”

Sept. 1, 2015 – Zen Buddhist monk, Vietnam War veteran and Meadville native Claude AnShin Thomas will present a talk and workshop – “What Does It Mean to Wake Up?” – to kick off a 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge at Allegheny College.

Both the talk, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11 in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center, and the workshop are free and open to the public. The workshop will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 in Schultz East Alcove.

Thomas trained with Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen master, and is the author of the book “At Hell’s Gate: A Soldier’s Journey from War to Peace.” He also founded the Zaltho Foundation, a spiritually based nonprofit committed to ending violence by promoting mindfulness and positive change within individuals. (more…)

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Playshop Theatre Opens Its 86th Season with Original Work “(Ghost) Light”

Aug. 28, 2015 – The Playshop Theatre at Allegheny College opens its 86th season with “(Ghost) Light,” an original production devised by Beth Watkins, Brian Thummler and the Company, with original music and lyrics by Bob Michel. Performances will be given at 8 p.m. September 10-12 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts. The production is part of the theatre’s annual September Original Works program.

Devising is the process of developing an original performance through ensemble collaboration. “Devising is creative and terrifying,” said Watkins. “We began with an idea, the electric light, and discovered interesting connections between personalities, technology and events across continents. Part of the challenge is not knowing the outcome but trusting it will evolve.”

The company spent a year researching invention and scientific discovery, specifically Thomas Edison’s incandescent light and Marie Curie’s discovery of radioactivity and the elements of polonium and radium. As part of their investigation, the students met with Allegheny physics and chemistry professors in their labs and conducted experiments.

Throughout the year, Watkins held several workshops on physical theatre techniques to train the students and develop a visual language for devising the performance. This past summer, the company built puppets for a sequence on the history of electricity and staged the production. (more…)

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Community/ College “Year of Meadville” Kicks Off with Series of Storytelling Workshops

Aug. 25, 2015 — Many of the events planned in Meadville in 2015-2016, including downtown and on the Allegheny College campus, will be held in conjunction with the Year of Meadville. The programming for the Year of Meadville, “Sharing Our Stories / Growing Our Community,” is intended to create spaces for all of Meadville, from new to lifelong residents, to connect with each other, share their stories and together build a sustainable and just future for the town.

Most Year of Meadville events, which have been planned by community and college partners, are community workshops focused on five central themes: exploring the power of community storytelling, building capacities for collective care-taking, empowering young people to use their voices and get involved, transforming the community through local food, and organizing for a vibrant and sustainable local economy.

The Year of Meadville begins with storytelling workshops from 6 to 8 p.m. on three successive days. “Honoring Our History,” in which participants are invited to share their memories of life in Meadville, will be held on Tuesday, September 1 in the Cribbs Community Room at Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community. “Exploring Our Present,” with a focus on sharing stories of what life in Meadville is like today, will be held on Wednesday, September 2 at the Arc of Crawford County. “Envisioning Our Common Future,” on Thursday, September 3 at the Lew Davies Community Center, will focus on participants’ hopes and dreams for Meadville. (more…)

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Sierra Club Again Counts Allegheny College Among America’s “Coolest Schools”

Aug. 25, 2015 – The Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, has again listed Allegheny College among the top colleges and universities in the nation for green initiatives, institutions that the Sierra Club calls “America’s coolest schools.” Allegheny jumped dramatically in the rankings this year, from #110 last year to #66 this year.

Rankings are based on more than 70 factors, including the presence of a student sustainability group on campus, sustainability-focused courses, faculty research, innovations, use of renewable energy sources, waste reduction and a strategic plan that includes high-level sustainability.

Allegheny, which has pledged to become climate neutral by 2020, has a long-standing commitment to promoting sustainability practices and solutions. Its commitment began in 1972 with the establishment of one of the first environmental science departments in the country and accelerated in recent years when the college became a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. (more…)

Susan Salton Joins Allegheny College as Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing

Aug. 25, 2015 – Susan K. Salton joins Allegheny College in August as associate vice president for communications and marketing.

Serving as chief communications and marketing officer, Salton oversees the college’s marketing, branding and communications functions, including both internal and external communications for a wide variety of stakeholders. She manages the areas of design and publication, web and social media, media relations, video and photography, and event promotion.

Salton has served in a number of roles in higher education, including most recently as executive director of marketing and communications at Hartwick College. She has also served in communication leadership roles at Cornell University; the Tilton School, an independent college preparatory school in New Hampshire; Corning Inc.; and Fidelity Investments.

“Susan brings to her position at Allegheny a deep commitment to the core mission of a liberal arts education and significant breadth of knowledge about communications and marketing in higher education,” said Brian F. Dalton, vice president for enrollment and college relations. “As Allegheny begins its third century of academic excellence, we are grateful that Susan will help lead the effort to tell the stories of our students’ and graduates’ extraordinary accomplishments.” (more…)

Community Members Invited To Play in Allegheny College Civic Symphony

Aug. 25, 2015 – Community members are invited to audition for the Allegheny College Civic Symphony, which also includes Allegheny students, staff and faculty.

Both the Civic Symphony and Chamber Strings are looking for string musicians, particularly violists and string bassists.

Rehearsals are on Mondays from 7:30 to 9:50 p.m. beginning Monday, August 31. String players interested in playing are asked to contact Professor Jennifer Dearden at jdearden@allegheny.edu or 814-332-3307.

Community Ballroom Lessons To Begin at Allegheny College

Aug. 25, 2015 — The Dance and Movement Studies program at Allegheny College will be offering community ballroom lessons on Monday evenings from September 7 through November 16.

Classes will be taught by Dance and Movement Studies faculty member Betsy Sumerfield in the Montgomery Performance Space on the Allegheny campus.

A class for beginners will be held from 6:45 to 8 p.m., and a class for more experienced dancers will be held from 7:45 to 9 p.m. The cost is $60 per person or $100 per couple.

Participants should plan either to wear ballroom shoes or to dance in their socks.

To register or for more information, call 814-332-2813.

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Allegheny Makes Top 25 in Washington Monthly’s Best College Rankings for Third Straight Year

Aug. 24, 2015 – Allegheny College has been named for the third consecutive year to the Top 25 in the Best Liberal Arts Colleges category of Washington Monthly’s college rankings, released today. Also listed among the top 25 are Bryn Mawr, Carleton, Swarthmore, Reed, Macalester, Williams, Oberlin and Amherst.

The Washington Monthly rankings are unique in that they recognize not only what colleges do for their students but what colleges are doing for the country. The rankings rate top liberal arts colleges in the nation based on three broad categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and service (encouraging students to give something back to society).

“The Washington Monthly ranking reflects the values at the core of the Allegheny experience,” said James H. Mullen Jr., president of Allegheny College. “Allegheny has been known since its founding in 1815 as a college where students can get an education of the highest quality that is still affordable, where they can work alongside faculty members on important research, and where students and graduates believe in giving back. Our college community illustrates every day how deeply embedded in Allegheny’s culture is an ethic of service and civic engagement.” (more…)

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“8 Hour Projects” at Allegheny College Art Galleries To Explore Themes of Place and Home

Aug. 24, 2015 — The Art Galleries of Allegheny College will present “8 Hour Projects,” curated by Heather Brand and Darren Lee Miller, on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free for this annual event, which this year features 10 artists making art on site with the public invited to observe–and participate if the artist chooses.

This year’s invited artists will consider themes of place and home for the Year of Meadville, a year of programming created by community and college partners. The artists are Justus Cotterill, Norman Cramer, Nima Dehghani, David Karl Leighty, Caldwell Linker, Alicia Marvan, Darren Lee Miller, Steve Prince, Byron Rich and M. Greg Singer. Each of the artists, who work with a variety of materials, has been assigned a wall or floor space of approximately 12 x 12 feet.

A panel discussion and opening reception for the show will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Art Galleries. Works will remain on display through Sunday, Sept. 20. (more…)

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Allegheny College Welcomes Class of 2019 and Their “Unusual Combinations”

Aug. 22, 2015 – Allegheny College welcomed the Class of 2019 and their families at today’s matriculation ceremony in Raymond P. Shafer Auditorium.

New students represent 387 high schools in 33 states and 7 countries in addition to the U.S.: Albania, China, India, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan and South Korea. The class is the most diverse in the college’s history, with 25 percent of incoming students identifying as students of color. The top five states from which enrolled students originate are Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California and Florida.

Sixty-six percent of the incoming class graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school classes, and 25 percent graduated in the top 5 percent. Sixty percent participated in some form of civic engagement in high school, and 47 percent served in a leadership capacity. (more…)