University, village of Fredonia to host Founders Day celebration

The foresight of the Village of Fredonia 151 years ago to establish the Fredonia Normal School will be recognized by the State University of New York at Fredonia, which the state teachers college became in 1948, at the second annual Founders Day celebration on Wednesday.

The observance begins at 6:30 p.m. with a march, led by campus drummers, starting at the flagpole outside of Gregory Hall on campus. The procession will proceed down Temple Street to the 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St., for the Founders Day program at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Guests will be welcomed by Rick Davis, executive director of the Opera House; Fredonia President Virginia S. Horvath and Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis, M.D.

Local students who entered Founders Day coloring and high school essay contests will be recognized by President Horvath and Mayor Landis. Winners of both contests will receive awards.

Program highlights include the screening of video interviews featuring long-time local residents, produced by Alisha Travks-Daugherty, and a musical-dramatic interlude, written by Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Ralph Blasting.

The performance will feature junior theatre arts major Elijah VanEpps (portraying Governor Reuben Fenton and namesake of the third building constructed in the modern campus) and sophomore theatre arts major Samantha Kohlbrecher (portraying Juliet J. Rosch, former school teacher and the namesake of the Mason Hall recital space), along with high school musician Trevor Napoli, classical piano, and School of Music faculty members Laurie Tramuta, soprano; and Dr. Nick Weiser, piano.

The program concludes with a joyful presentation by the New Horizons Dixieland Ensemble, under the guidance of Pauline Emilson and including Marti Potter, Linda Hodorowicz, Dan Miceli, Jim Wilcox, Bill Novaro, David Tiffany, Andi Mansfield, John Krestic, Karen Boyd and Dr. Linda Phillips.

Refreshments will be served at a reception, in the lobby, following the event.

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