Convocations serves up entertainment
By Ann Dougherty
Photo provided by the Purdue News Service
Purdue President Martin Jischke makes Bill Cosby one of the Boilermaker team on his fourth Purdue visit.
Bruno's Pizza has a picture of Bill Cosby taken the first time he performed at Purdue University back in 1976 when he chose to eat at the West Lafayette restaurant. The comedian liked the pizza so much that when he returned to Purdue, he insisted that Bruno's deliver to his plane before he left.
Cosby made his fourth appearance at Purdue this year in honor of Purdue Convocations' 100th anniversary. Other items on the menu for the 2002-2003 school year included Dave Matthews, "The Music Man," author Maya Angelou (co-presented by Convocations and Project Respect) and comedian Robin Williams.
Purdue Convocations' goal in providing these shows is simply to enhance the Purdue experience. "Not all learning happens in the classroom," said Todd Wetzel, Purdue Convocations director. "If (Purdue's) really going to succeed in paving your way into the world, we should introduce you into the world in all different ways."
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This year, Purdue Convocations hosted 35 shows. For next year's schedule, visit the Convocations website.
Over the years, Purdue Convocations has been doing just that. It has been host to such performances as folk singer Burl Ives (best known to this generation as the snowman's voice in the Christmas classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"), Robin Williams, Bob Dylan, Third Eye Blind and the musical "Rent." "Convocations has consistently presented top acts from all genres during all time periods," Wetzel said.
Joshua Perry, a sophomore in the College of Agriculture from Bluffton, Ind., said that location is one of the biggest advantages of Purdue Convocations. Perry, who lives in the residence halls, walks just three blocks to the shows. "I would tell all students to give (Convocations) a look regardless of how reluctant they might be or how hesitant they might be about the quality," Perry added. "I realized after my first show how worthwhile and how high-quality Purdue Convocations could be."
Burke Eizinger, a freshman in the College of Agriculture from Rochester, Ind., enjoyed seeing "The Music Man" and the Dave Matthews concert. "Purdue's a diverse campus; it has many things to offer, especially when it comes to Convocations," Eizinger said. "They have performances that will fit everyone's genre."
In the end, Purdue Convocations attempts to provide opportunities to students to help them grow in new ways. "Somewhere along the way (our aim) is that a Purdue student will be compelled to see something and fall in love with the magic that happens inside a theater," Wetzel said.