SMSU Briefs for Jan. 16

‘The Awesome 80s Prom’ returns for a one-night benefit Friday at SMSU

Southwest Minnesota State University Theater Program will present a one-night only performance of Ken Davenport’s “The Awesome ’80s Prom” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the SMSU Fine Arts Theatre.

The performance is a benefit, with donations going toward defraying the costs of taking the production to the upcoming Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, dramatic criticism, directing and design.

“The Awesome ’80s Prom” was performed last March and was later chosen to be performed at KCACTF.

The play allows the audience to travel back in time to 1989 at Wanaget High’s senior prom. All your favorite character types from ’80s movies will be there — the captain of the football team, the exchange students, the head cheerleader, the geek — all competing to be prom king and queen. And just like on reality TV, the audience decides who wins.

For information, or accommodations, call the SMSU Theater Program at 507-537-7103.

SMSU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. events planned

A number of events honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place Jan. 19-23 at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Most events will be at SMSU, and are free and open to the public. The events celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

The events planned include:

• Saturday, Jan. 19: “I Am King’s Dream: A Walk Through the Civil Rights Movement,” 1-3 p.m., Marshall-Lyon County Library. This educational presentation, titled “Living the Dream Through Song,” features Sharice A. McCain and is geared for children, preschool through eighth grade. A lover of all music, McCain sings regularly at Woodland Hills Church in the Twin Cities and for community programs, non-profits and labor organizations around the Twin Cities. Through her activism work, she has led workshops and courses on the importance of music and song for people of all ages. There will also be arts and crafts as well as a mock Civil Rights rally.

• Monday, Jan. 21: MLK Breakfast, 7:30-9:30 a.m., SMSU Conference Center Ballroom. The keynote speaker is Dr. Gwendolyn Middlebrooks, a retired educator who taught at Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga., for 42 years. She went to high school in Atlanta and is a former babysitter of Dr. King’s children. She earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College, her master’s from Springfield College and her Ph.D. from Georgia State University. She participated in the Atlanta Student Movement while enrolled at Spelman, and was arrested at the Georgia Capitol. She is currently an active member of The Association of Teacher Educators and serves as chair of the School Violence Prevention Special Interest Group.

The Twin Cities Gospel Choir will also perform at the breakfast.

Registration for the breakfast is required by calling 537-7304 or going online to:

• Monday, Jan. 21: Courageous Conversations, 9:30-10:30 a.m., SMSU Conference Center Ballroom. This roundtable event will feature discussion of a series of questions moderated by Provost Dr. Dwight Watson, with assistance from Black Student Union and African Student Association members.

• Monday, Jan. 21: Food4Kids Food Packaging, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Agape Fellowship, 301 N. High St., Marshall. Volunteers will put together snack packages for hungry children in Marshall schools. Registration is required by calling 537-7304, or going online to:

• Monday, Jan. 21: Twin Cities Gospel Choir concert, 6:30 p.m., Fine Arts Theatre on the SMSU campus.

• Tuesday, Jan. 22: Viewing of “The Great Debaters,” 6:30 p.m., Conference Center Lower Level. The movie is based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College, Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school’s first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. Following will be a roundtable discussion moderated by History Professor Dr. Jeff Kolnick.

• Wednesday, Jan. 23: “No Racism Aloud” open mic, 7-8:30 p.m., William Whipple Gallery in the SMSU McFarland Library. This is open to all and will feature music, poetry and other entertainment. Registration is requested by calling 537-7304.

All of the events are sponsored by the SMSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Civic and Community Engagement, Access Opportunity Success, English Program, Theatre Program, Black Student Union, African Student Association, My Sister’s Keepers, Marshall-Lyon County Library, Marshall Public Schools, Hy-Vee, Marshall Area Story Tellers (MAST) and Food4Kids.

For further information, contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 507-537-7304, or email:

First Mustang Ice Classic Feb. 16 on Lake Sarah

The inaugural Mustang Ice Classic will be Saturday, Feb. 16, on Lake Sarah.

This first-ever ice fishing contest will feature over $20,000 in sponsorships and prizes, according to Mike VanDrehle, alumni director and event organizer.

“We thought this would be an opportunity for the many ice fishing enthusiasts to participate in a new event in the area. Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in southwest Minnesota and this is a chance to get out on the ice and raise scholarship dollars for SMSU students.”

Registration is from 9:30-10:30 a.m., followed by a mandatory rules meeting. Fishing runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and an awards ceremony will follow.

Cost for the event is $35 for registration through Jan. 31, and $40 after that. Children 15-and-younger pay $10. Tickets are available by phone, online or on the day of the event. Each participant may fish two holes per ticket. A commemorative lure is included in the ticket price.

There will be prizes for many categories, including first fish, largest fish, smallest fish, and random fish throughout the contest.

“The categories will not just reward the biggest fish,” said VanDrehle. “We want all participants to have an equal opportunity to win something during the day.”

The first 150 to register receive a complimentary Runnings 5-gallon pail at the event.

A raffle will also be a part of the Mustang Ice Classic. Raffle tickets are $20, and are available through the SMSU Alumni/Foundation offices, and at Runnings, Action Sports, Wood Lake Lumber, Jonti Craft, Hy-Vee and the Escape Spa in Marshall.

The grand prize is a Polaris 450 four-wheeler. The raffle drawings will take place after the event concludes.

Event sponsors include the SMSU Foundation/Alumni Association, Vexilar, The Escape Spa, Runnings, Jonti Craft, Gambler Bar, Hy-Vee, Wood Lake Lumber, Action Sports, Action Arms, Action Trackchair, Bend Rite Fabrication, Country Enterprises/C.E. Signs and Designs, Northern Lights Rattle Reels, Precision Marketing Concepts and Southwest Insurance Service, J&R Electric, Heaven on Earth and Catch Cover.

For further information, go to, or call the SMSU Alumni/Foundation office at 507-537-6266.