Students share their original musical compositions, Dec. 5-6

Contact: John McKinnon | EOU Professor of Music
541-962-3592 |

November 30, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) - Eastern Oregon University students will present two short music recitals of original, creative work on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 5-6.

Monday night’s recital will feature digital compositions written and recorded in the electronic music lab. Tuesday will showcase original musical compositions for piano, violin, trumpet and small choir.

Both performances begin at 6 p.m. in Groth Recital Hall in Loso Hall. Admission is free and the audience will have the opportunity to ask composers questions about the works being presented during these informal events.

Holiday refreshments will be provided. For more information, call John McKinnon, professor of music, at 541-962-3592.

Ceramic sale helps students attend national conference

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | 
Source contact: Peter Johnson | Associate Professor of Art
541-962-3541 |

November 23, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The EOU art department will hold a Holiday Ceramic Sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in the Hoke Union Building in the main entry by Mac’s Grill.

Proceeds from the sale of original pieces will enable EOU students to attend the National Conference on Education and the Ceramic Arts in Seattle this March. Cash purchases only will be accepted.

For more information contact Peter Johnson, associate professor of art, at 541-962-3541.


EOU launches emergency food drive for Neighbor to Neighbor

Contacts: Linda Jerofke: 541-962 3179 |
Tawnya Lubbes: 541-962-3329 |

Food collection boxes will be placed in each building on campus from Nov. 21-Dec. 2.

November 16, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – La Grande’s local food bank, provided by Neighbor to Neighbor, is in dire need of food and financial support. In response, EOU will sponsor two campus-wide food drives: the first occurring later this month and the second in February.

“Contributions during these events will help this much-needed resource continue to serve the community,” said Linda Jerofke, professor of anthropology at EOU. “Without adequate resources, needy members of the community will be placed at great risk for several months.”

Neighbor to Neighbor currently has enough food and funding to sustain through their November distribution. After that time the stores will not be replenished until their next grant cycle begins in February. The food bank is short an estimated $2,500, which is equal to 40,000 lbs. of food.

Tawnya Lubbes, assistant professor of education, Rob Cashell, athletic director, and Jerofke have teamed up to coordinate the first food and money drive from Nov. 21-Dec. 2.

All food collected will stay in La Grande and be distributed to the food bank. Cash donations help purchase more food ($1 purchases 8 lbs. of food) in bulk, so the dollar stretches much further than it would otherwise.

“The food bank desperately needs this drive to supplement the regular supply, which is already inadequate,” Jerofke said. “Please donate as you are able – those in need are our neighbors, friends and classmates.”

Food collection boxes will be placed in each building on campus, including the residence halls. Students will pick up the food collections on Friday, Dec. 2. Mountain West Moving is partnering with EOU for the drives.

Donations via cash or check may be sent to Lubbes in Zabel Hall, Room 147, or Jerofke in Ackerman Hall, Room 117.  For more information contact Jerofke at 541-962 3179, or Lubbes at 541-962-3329,

The EOU Bookstore is also holding their annual food drive Nov. 21-Dec. 2 with all proceeds going to Neighbor to Neighbor.  For every can of food (limit five per customer) shoppers bring in, they will receive a 5 percent discount up to a total of 25 percent off their purchase.  This offer applies at the main Bookstore on campus and the new Mountaineer Market at 1008 Adams Ave.

The athletic department is also pitching in, offering free admission to the upcoming men’s basketball game Dec. 10 with a donation of non-perishable food. Read more from athletics…

Holiday Music Festival at EOU marks 20th anniversary 

Contact: Peter Wordelman | EOU Music Department
541-962-3352 |

Photo by Andrew Murray/The EOU Drum Line is one of the many groups performing for the Holiday Music Festival this year.

November 15, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The 20th anniversary performance of the Holiday Music Festival at EOU presented by The Observer will be larger than ever this year, featuring more than 200 local performers.

There are two opportunities to attend this gala celebration on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. in McKenzie Theatre in Loso Hall.

Audiences will be treated to traditional holiday music from around the world and a visit from Santa Claus. Groups taking the stage include the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, EOU Chamber Choir, Grande Ronde Community Chorus, EOU Women’s Choir, EOU African Drumming Group, EOU Focalpoint, a festival Brass Ensemble, Bellagio Handbell Ensemble, EOU Drum Line, an EOU Faculty Jazz Ensemble and the Northeast Oregon Folklore Society English Country Dance Orchestra.

General festival seating tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens.  Tickets are available at Sunflower Books and at the EOU Bookstore with remaining tickets sold at the door. Advance purchase is highly recommended.

All proceeds from the event go to the music funds held in the EOU Foundation.  In addition, the Community School for the Arts will hold a silent auction in the Loso Hall lobby to benefit community arts programs for children and adults.

For more information contact Peter Wordelman, EOU professor of music, at 541-962-3352 or e-mail

Attend College Night in Oregon, enter to win $500 scholarship

Contact: EOU Financial Aid Office
Phone: 541-962-3550 | E-mail:

Download the flier!

November 10, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – College Night in Oregon, a free college-planning event, will take place from 6:30-9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 in Huber Auditorium in Badgley Hall at EOU. High school students and their families are invited to attend and enter to win one of four $500 scholarships from the Educational Credit Management Corporation. ECMC is sponsoring the event hosted by EOU.

The admission process, financial aid and other scholarship opportunities will also be covered. Pizza and soda are provided. For more information call EOU’s Financial Aid Office at 541-962-3550 or visit

Health Speaker Series welcomes area optometrists, Nov. 10

Contact: Kimberly Mueller | EOU Pre-Professional Health Liaison
541-962-3070 |

November 8, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Daniel R. Beckner, O.D., and Spencer K. Luke, O.D. will be the next presenters for the EOU Health Speaker Series Thursday, Nov. 10. Students and community members are invited to attend the free presentation at 6 p.m. in Ackerman Hall, Room 210.

Dr. Dan Beckner

Daniel R. Beckner, O.D.

Dr. Beckner graduated from Pacific University School of Optometry in 1993 and is currently licensed in Oregon with a therapeutic endorsement. He is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association, the Optometric Extension Program and Vision Source.

With earlier training as a vocational teacher, Dr. Beckner eventually followed his love for photography and began to study optics and fell in love with the profession of optometry. He is a member of the La Grande Oregon Lion’s Club.

Spencer K. Luke, O.D.

Spencer K. Luke, O.D.

Dr. Luke holds a bachelor’s of science in sociology from Brigham Young University, and a doctor of optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry. His clinical experience includes a wide variety of ocular diseases, contact lens fitting, pediatric and general optometry. He has also worked in several different clinical settings from hospital and institutional to private clinics.

EOU and the Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center launched the speaker series with the goal of providing students interested in pursuing healthcare careers the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences from members of the area medical community. The series will continue through spring term with one presentation each month.

For more information visit or contact Kimberly Mueller, EOU’s pre-professional health liaison, at 541-962-3070.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month, Nov. 7-19

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 |
Source contact: Jackie Grant | Rural & Native American Programs Coordinator
541-962-3141 |

November 4, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The community is invited to participate in events planned for Native American Heritage Month at EOU beginning Nov. 7 and continuing through Nov. 19.

Ed Edmo

Ed Edmo in character as "Grandma Choke Cherry."

Highlights of this year’s celebration include a performance by Ed Edmo, of Portland. Edmo is a Shoshone-Bannock poet, playwright, performer, traditional storyteller, tour guide and lecturer on Northwest tribal culture.

Edmo will present “Grandma Choke Cherry” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in the Hoke Union Building main lounge. The performance is free and open to the public.

The dramatic narrative written by Edmo includes traditional stories full of humor and hope from different tribes. “Grandma’s” dialogue also deals with issues relating to drug and alcohol abuse.

A weaving demonstration and teaching session, craft circle and drumming with the Nixyaawii Community School are also part of the heritage month festivities.

“National American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of Native peoples’ government, history, cultures, arts, language and traditions and to celebrate our survival as Indian people,” said Jackie Grant, coordinator of Rural and Native American programs at EOU.

Star Nation band

Hear the music of Star Nation at the Speel-Ya Club dance Nov. 19.

Speel-Ya, EOU’s Native American Student Council, will host a dance featuring a performance by Star Nation at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Tickets are $5 with EOU student ID and $7 for general admission.

Star Nation is comprised of Peggy Haney on vocals and piano, and Larry Haney on vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar. Their music is described as having a “unique folk and country rock style with a Native American flair.” They will be joined by Greg Johnson on saxophone and clarinet, Al MacLeod on lead guitar, and Kurt Perry on drums.

For more information contact Grant at 541-962-3141, or Shoshoni Walker, Speel-Ya Club president, at 541-805-1407.

View the Native American Heritage Month poster.

Season’s Faire gala at EOU benefits children’s art festival

Contact: Minnie Tucker | La Grande Arts Commission
541-962-1352, ext. 201 |

November 2, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. – The La Grande Arts Commission will host the 25th Annual Season’s Faire Saturday, Nov. 5 in Loso Hall at Eastern Oregon University.

More than 40 artists will be exhibiting their work in the Nightingale Gallery and competing for $1,000 in prize money, donated by a number of local businesses. Amy Poor, a nationally recognized wildlife artist and 1994 graduate of EOU, will serve as juror this year and select the award winners. All art will be available for purchase the evening of the event.

Each participating artist donated a piece of their work which will be auctioned to the public beginning at 7:30 p.m. The auction pieces may be previewed from 6:30 to 7:30 in the Loso Hall lobby outside of the gallery. The exhibit will continue through Nov. 18.

The event will also honor the first Arts Commission as well as two individuals, Carolyn Gilbert, wife of former EOU President David Gilbert, and Vickie Herman.

Hors d’oeuvres and desserts created by local culinary experts will be served throughout the evening. There will be a no-host wine bar as well as coffee and punch available.

Funds raised from this event benefit the annual “Arts for All” festival, a day of hands-on art experiences for children offered at no cost to the participants. Children can experiment with painting, printmaking, pottery, music, weaving, theater and many other types of art.  Held the third weekend in April, Friday is reserved for children with special needs while Saturday is open to everyone.  It is estimated that as many as 500 children participate each year.

Tickets are $12.50 if purchased in advance or $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Sunflower Books, the Mitre’s Touch Art Gallery and the EOU Bookstore or by calling Minnie Tucker at 541-962-1352, ext. 201.

For more information contact Tucker at the number listed or via e-mail at

Main stage season opens with updated tale of meticulous villain in Shakespeare’s “Richard III”

Contact: Kenn Wheeler | Assistant Professor of Theatre
For ticket reservations call: 541-962-3757
EOU cast of "Richard III"

EOU's modern production of "Richard III" includes a cast of 36 characters. The show runs Nov. 9-12 in McKenzie Theatre in Loso Hall.

November 1, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Cheering for the hero in any story is usually a given, but there is a secret and curious fascination with the villain that often coincides.

Most feel sorry for Little Red Riding Hood, but it’s really the Big Bad Wolf in the popular fairy tale that holds readers’ attention. Similarly, while it is known that in the end Harry Potter will emerge victorious, it is exciting to see just how far “He Who Cannot Be Named” will go before being destroyed. And more often than not, which character wins the battle for best Halloween costume – Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader?

This fascination with wickedness is not unique to modern audiences; William Shakespeare created some of the most alluring villains in the history of the written word. Audiences feel empathetic for Othello, the Moor of Venice, but Iago, his vengeful subordinate, is who really captivates them. While Macbeth elicits sympathy, it’s actually his wife, Lady Macbeth, who captures our curiosity.

Now, Eastern Oregon University’s theatre program will bring to life one of Shakespeare’s most wicked, evil and unapologetic villains ever to “strut his time upon the stage.”

Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. marks the opening of the university’s main stage season with “Richard III.” This classic melodrama directed by theatre faculty member, Kenn Wheeler, continues through Saturday, Nov. 12 in McKenzie Theatre in Loso Hall.

Wheeler and his cast of 36 actors promise to present the title character in all his malevolent glory. The evening of mesmerizing evildoing follows Richard, the Duke of York, as he mercilessly lies, cheats and murders his way to the pinnacle of power.

Audiences will also be treated to a major twist.

“We wanted to make the story relevant to today, so Richard isn’t just a prince trying to gain the crown of England,” Wheeler explains. “We’ve updated the story and now Richard is the vice president of York, Industries, and he’s fighting to be the president and CEO of this international corporation. Once he reaches the top, his struggle becomes maintaining and keeping his power, while all those around him are striving for a hostile takeover.”

The cast of "Richard III" rehearses in McKenzie Theatre. Pictured from left are Jacob Mitchell, Caleb Stavenger, Adraine Jacobs, Krysta Theisen, Joshua Cornwell, Nicole Terrill, M. J. Heather and Cody Wyld Flower. On platform from left to right are Jeanie Nickel, Daniel Wagner, Sabrina Koors.

Modernizing a classic play is not a new undertaking for Wheeler. Several years ago while teaching at Treasure Valley Community College he directed a contemporary version of “Macbeth.”

“I remember people coming up to me and telling me that this was the first time they had understood the story,” he recalls of the production. “I believe that ‘Richard III’ and his thirst for power and willingness to do anything to achieve it is a very contemporary issue, and I think audiences will definitely identify, maybe not with him, but with many of those around him.”

Leading the cast is Daniel Wagner as Richard. Others include Erin Zelazny, McKenzie Miller, Tanya Trottier, Thorman Hulse, Caite Debevec, Bryn McLaughlin, Rick Mugrage, Jakarra Sanders, Cody Wyld Flower, Joshua Gilman, Jordan Wallis, Michael Cooper, Ari Bloodgood, Israel Bloodgood, Joshua Cornwell, Audra Hughes, Caleb Hulsey, Adraine Jacobs, Jacob Mitchell, Alex Mitzimberg, Jeanie Nickel, Caleb Stavenger, Nicole Terrill, Krysta Theisen, Sabrina Koors, Luke Bloodgood, Shane Morgan, Brianna Troutman, Avalon Bloodgood, Liam Bloodgood, Mackenzie Oliver, Seth Freeman, Tesse Suiaunoa and Shannon Hartley.

Michael Heather, assistant professor of theatre, designed the scenery and lighting. Costuming is by recent theatre graduate, Jay Laurence, and makeup and hair are by EOU theatre minor, Juli Bloodgood. Theatre major Courtney O’Brien is the properties mistress and the seven staged combat sequences in the production are choreographed by theatre major, Cody Wyld Flower.

“Modernizing this production has allowed us to do some really entertaining and interesting effects,” Wheeler said. “The battle scenes can no longer be fought with swords and halberds, so instead we have hand-to-hand combat between SWAT members and mercenaries using knives, nightsticks and even baseball bats!”

The various scene changes include a fitness center, a women’s spa, and another on a golf course. The royal court sequences take place in an executive boardroom and all the characters have their laptops, iPads and iPhones. There is even a scene in an airport with a paparazzo trying to snap a photograph of the heir to the international corporation.

“The cast has loved updating the script and the action,” Wheeler said. “The changes promise to provide a crazy ride for them, as well as the audience.”

Curtain for each performance is 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for EOU students and senior citizens. To make reservations call the EOU Theatre Box Office at 541-962-3757.

Grover Memorial Football Scholarship carries on family legacy

News contact: Barrett Henderson | Assistant Athletic Director
541-962-3946 |
Grover Scholarship

Joe and Carrie Grover, center, with players Howard McDonald, Dillon Bedford, Marc Avery-Airhart, Chris Ware and Tim Camp, head coach.

November 1, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU Athletics) – Saturday was a special day for Mountaineer football. La Grande residents Joe and Carrie Grover presented a check in the amount of $50,000 to the Mountaineer Athletic Association in order to establish the Hazel and George Grover Memorial Football Scholarship.

The scholarship is in memory of Joe’s parents who were avid football fans and loved attending Mountaineer games. The scholarship will be geared for a recipient who represents excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship.

These attributes were very important to Hazel and George. The scholarship will assist a deserving football student-athlete achieve a college education, as well as continue to participate in a sport that he is passionate about. The first recipient will be named in the 2012-13 academic year.

“We are very grateful to Joe and Carrie that they honored Hazel and George with such a generous gift to our football program,” said Rob Cashell, EOU athletic director. “Hazel and George were wonderful people and this gift will forever recognize their legacy and that of the entire Grover family.”

Hazel Grover was honored in 2009 when she celebrated her 100th birthday with EOU and served as honorary captain at a Mountaineer football game.