One of the most significant actors, directors, and environmentalists of the last half-century will be headlining the 2014 Middlesex Community College Celebrity Forum - Robert Redford!
Redford, who has starred in dozens of iconic Hollywood roles beginning with his co-starring role in the 1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, will be headlining for MCC at the 16th outing of Celebrity Forum on Friday, June 20, 2014. Tickets for the event, which will be priced at $65 and $45, will go on sale on November 29, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, through the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. For more info, you can also visit the college's Celebrity Forum web page at www.middlesex.mass.edu/CF14
MCC President Carole Cowan said the college was both thrilled and honored to have an actor and activist of Redford's caliber step into the Celebrity Forum spotlight.
"Mr. Redford certainly carries the star power with his Hollywood pedigree," said Cowan. "But it's his inspirational leadership in taking on causes that help preserve our natural resources, and his championing of the art of independent filmmaking that have helped define him as an icon of our generation."
Besides his role as the Sundance Kid, Redford is also best known for his leading roles in other Hollywood roles in films like the Sting, The Way We Were, the Great Gatsby, All the President's Men, the Candidate, and the Natural.
His solo tour-de-force role in the newly released All is Lost is winning him Oscar buzz, and he will also be starring in next April's Captain America Sequel, the Winter Soldier.
Among the causes Redford supports are Greenpeace, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, and the Sundance Institute. In 1981, he also founded the Sundance Film Festival.
Cowan said the timing of Celebrity Forum's 2014 speaker's visit is fortuitous for the college, since it just received confirmation of $11 million dollars in funding to help fund the renovation of the old Boston and Maine railroad depot, which is going to serve as the home for the college's new academic arts building, including a theater.
"For several years, we have been looking to expand the arts programs at the college, and will finally be able to do so with the restoration of the Boston and Maine," Cowan said. "It's our hope that Mr. Redford's visit will help cultivate even more enthusiasm for the burgeoning arts scene not just on our campuses, but in the Lowell region."
Once again, the TJX Companies, Inc., will be the presenting sponsor for the Celebrity Forum, as they have been for all 16 years of the fund-raiser.
"The enduring support of the TJX Companies, along with our many other sponsors and friends, is what allows us to draw national and international speakers to Greater Lowell to interact with our extended community," Cowan said.
For information on how to become a sponsor at next year's Celebrity Forum, please contact MCC's Dean of Advancement, Dennis Malvers, at 781-280-3514.
Sit back, relax (if you can) and listen to a Halloween tale, a tale of an apparition. One that may be roaming the hallways of academia late at night.
And read on....if you dare.
The tale comes to us via an adjunct professor, who shall remain nameless, who was recently finishing up a web design in North Academic late one night. The adjunct readily admits he does NOT believe in ghosts, or at least DID NOT - until that fateful evening.
As he was leaving the building, heading toward his car parked outside, he was checking messages on his cell phone. He looked up as he approached the exit, and there, in the window's reflection, was an elderly man standing behind him - tall and skinny, wearing what appeared to be grey-brown cleric robes. He was surprised because he thought he was alone in the hallway, so he turned around to say hello to the gentleman, only to find.....nobody.
He was indeed, alone.
The spotting came with no other oddities - no cold temps, hairs tingling, etc., but it was a vivid sighting that made a believer, at least in this instance, out of the non-believer.
What did he see? Who knows. The adjunct was surprised, however, to learn that once upon a time the building played host to the Maryvale Seminary, where students were taught by religious seminarians, dating as far back as 1926. The building is one of three original properties left standing from the Seminary days.
File this one under MCC Campus X-Files, but the timing works out well, because just in time for Halloween, our very own Ghost Hunter will be leading a paranormal investigation of our Bedford campus next week! And you can bet he'll be making a stop in the hallways of North Academic.
MCC will host paranormal ghost hunted Ron Kolek and investigators from the New England Ghost Project at 8 p.m. next Wednesday, October 30, in the Bedford Campus Center, at 591 Springs Road. The event is free and open to the brave and adventuresome public.
"Last year, we took a group tour through the Bedford campus. Each person was given one of the devices and scanners Kolek uses on his investigations," said "Maniac" Michael Rideout, one of MCC's Academic Advisors. "Our investigation revealed energetic activity on our scanners in a variety of areas, from the fitness trail to the attic in the South Academic building."
The event is sponsored by the MCC Activities Crew. For more information about the New England Ghost Project's visit to MCC, contact "Frightening" Funmi Oyekunle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-656-3394.
Additionally, there'll be a Bedford Fitness Trail SCAREFEST taking place just before the Ghost Hunter does his work. The MCC Outdoor Adventure Club, costumes and all, will be at the trail head of MCC's Fitness Trail beginning at 5 p.m. with popcorn and other ghoulish treats for sale. Don't be scared, we hear their cooking isn't all that bad.
Thanks, by the way, for our haunted design guru "Spooktacular" Scott Cahill for the North Academic artwork to set the mood.
A ghost of a good time is guaranteed for all. You might want to bring a friend, though. We hear things can get spooky late at night.
The results are in, and our students are ready for their close-ups (or selfies), literally!
Thursday afternoon marked the close of a new social media campaign that encouraged our students to chronicle their first 30 days at Middlesex, via their cameras and smartphones. UR1st30atMCC was an Instagram-based contest to involve our students in campus life, and to share their stories via a series of pics.
The contest was the brainchild of Scott Cahill and Tura Linderholm from the college's Marketing Communications department, and was an experiment that proved to be a huge success. Cahill and Linderholm wanted to help grow the college's official Instagram account, and thought that by engaging students via a social media form they were actively using - the on-line photo application Instagram - we could capture the students' point of view of their first 30 days of their fall semester.
In the end, we saw more than 125 new users join our Instagram on-line community, and through the contest, captured more than 650 high quality, creative photos that highlight the best MCC has to offer - our students!
Even though the contest is over, we want everyone to keep chronicling their MCC experience, by tagging us on Instagram @middlesex_cc and using the hashtag #MCCgram!
The winners were selected on participation rate, originality and creativity. Nearly three dozen students participated regularly.
And the winners are......
Third place (tie):
LIsa Capozzi of Wilmington
Here's Capozzi with some of her work
and Pam Alves of Lowell
Second place - Alex McGuire of Dracut
And the grand prize - a free MCC course - goes to Diana Santana of Lawrence!
Congrats Diana! Time for one more selfie!
That's a wrap on this photo shoot!