At 11:30 this morning, Slippery Rock University and area churches will ring their bells to launch the university's "125 Kick Off Celebration," an official beginning of a yearlong celebration of the school's 125th anniversary.
The university was founded in 1889 as Slippery Rock State Normal School. It was created through the efforts of community residents who wanted to bring higher education through an institution to train men and women to be teachers. The school opened March 26, 1889.
The bell ringing is to be followed with a "Grand March" of students, faculty and staff that starts at Old Main, the oldest building on campus, and ends at the Smith Student Center, the newest building on campus.
Cheryl Norton, Slippery Rock's 16th president, is to lead the march and afterward will help launch the Green and White Society's yearlong "We Are The Rock" names project. Throughout the year, volunteers will read the names of approximately 80,000 students who have attended the university since its beginning.
Among other anniversary events coming up throughout the year:
* Feb. 4: Black History Month kicks off with a presentation of poetry and a video that features the parallels of historical moments at SRU within black history.
* March 26: Founder's Day with speakers and a birthday party including games and amusements for students in the Smith Student Center.
* March 28: "An Evening of the Arts" presented by the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, will celebrate the talent and contributions of SRU students and faculty.
* Oct. 18: Slippery Rock football team plays Mercyhurst University at the University of Michigan. The game will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Slippery Rock's first visit to the "Big House" and will try to break the Division II attendance record that was set at the 1979 game.
A comprehensive schedule of events may be found at: www.sru.edu/125celebration.
Pohla Smith: email@example.com or 412-263-1228.