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UW-Eau Claire English Professors' Fund
Provides Symposium Featuring Local Author

RELEASED: Sept. 14, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — Over 500 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire English students will be reading and discussing a book by nationally recognized local author Michael Perry thanks to funding from two former UW-Eau Claire English faculty members. Through the Elizabeth G. Morris Fund, the UW-Eau Claire English department and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation will sponsor the John and Elizabeth Morris Literature Symposium.

book cover of Population: 485During the symposium, students from 25 sections of the introductory college writing course, a required course for all students, will read Perry's book "Population: 485 — Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time." Perry, a 1987 UW-Eau Claire graduate, will hold four 50-minute discussions with students on the writing process on Sept. 24-25.

The Elizabeth G. Morris Fund was established by John Morris, a longtime UW-Eau Claire English faculty member and administrator who died in 2003. He created the fund in 1999 in memory of his wife Elizabeth Morris, also a longtime English faculty member, who died in 1999. Their children, Greg and Alison Morris, have continued to support funds in memory of both parents. They enthusiastically supported funding for this new project.

"My brother Greg and I are so excited about this project," said Alison Morris, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University. "Our parents were passionate about literature and the value of having a literate society. I know they would be happy to support the students through this literary event."

The English department hopes the event will help create a more literate student body. "We hope that students will understand the significance of reading and writing to becoming educated citizens," said Jenny Shaddock, a UW-Eau Claire professor of English who is one of the coordinators of the symposium. "Many students might never relate to a nationally known author, but Mike Perry, from New Auburn, could be their next door neighbor. I think it will help students to see the potential to improve their own writing skills."

The symposium also will include a reading by Perry on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium in Schofield Hall that is free and open to the public. His book will be for sale and Perry will be available to sign copies.

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KH

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