Award-winning musician Mike Farris will perform at the University of Minnesota Crookston. 

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Farris, whose diverse music rooted in early American gospel and blues, will perform on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, in Kiehle Auditorium at 7 p.m. The concert, which is part of Recovery Month, is free and all are welcome.

Farris has performed with the who's who of American music legends including Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Dave Matthew's Band, Sheryl Crow, and Bob Dylan. He won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist in 2008 followed by a Dove Award in 2010. With a personal history that includes alcohol and drug addiction, Farris' music celebrates his freedom from chemicals and his faith in God.

He is set to release his newest studio album, Shine for All the People, on September 16, 2014. This upcoming album pushes beyond Salvation in Lights in that it reveals hope not in any glory to come, but in the failures and suffering of the present.

He said in a recent interview, "I was a destructive person. I was a drug addict and an alcoholic, so being where I am now and being able to share this spiritual music, this great musical heritage from America, and being part of a healing force is great."

It was in 2005 that Mike Farris cracked open the hallway door when, for the first time since the age of 15, he was clean and sober. Recording what would become the critically acclaimed Salvation in Lights (2007). He played the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame's 16th Annual American Music Masters concert honoring Aretha Franklin, then TEDx Nashville, and then to the inaugural Austin City Limits Hall of Fame with Double Trouble.

Last year, he travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark and in an interview there he talked about the diverse music genres that have influenced his style and he cited African American spiritual music as the foundation of his music. To learn more about Farris and his music, visit mikefarrismusic.com.

Recovery Month is a national observance each September that spreads the positive message that chemical dependency treatment is effective and people can and do recover. Events will be held across the country throughout the month.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A ceremonial ground breaking for a new wellness center will take place on Monday, September 22, 2014, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The ceremony, which begins at 12:15 p.m., will be held on the site of the new wellness center just west of the Sports Center. All are welcome and parking is available in Lot G near the Kiehle Building on campus.

Prior to the ground breaking there will be a major gift announcement for the project by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations. The announcement will take place in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center at 11:30 a.m.

Guests for the ceremony include University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, along with several members of the U of M Board of Regents and the Minnesota Legislature.

When completed, the new wellness center will be approximately 36,000 square feet featuring a two-court recreational gymnasium space, workout and fitness spaces, locker rooms, public spaces, a classroom, and a multipurpose room. 

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2014 Legislative Bonding Bill last May. The bill included state funding for several projects for the University of Minnesota system, one of which was a $10 million allocation for a Wellness Center at the Crookston campus.  An additional $5 million will be raised for the project through philanthropic efforts.

Background

Originally built in 1930 when the campus was a residential high school, the current recreational facility, the UMC Sports Center, has been significantly updated only once--in 1980 when Lysaker Gymnasium was added along with some additional office space and training rooms. The central core of the facility, Knutson Gymnasium, is more than 80 years old and houses the current fitness and exercise area. 

The Sports Center is shared by varsity athletics, intramural sports, and the student body. Because of the need for student-athletes to use the facility for conditioning, practice and training, it is overcrowded and virtually inaccessible to most other students.

Studies indicate that college wellness facilities have a positive impact on successful student persistence, grade point average, and graduation rates. These studies also show that habits related to wellness directly impact lifelong health and are connected to a stronger workforce. In addition, the Wellness Center will help enhance academic programs such as UMC's sport and recreation management, and develop new opportunities to meet workforce needs for training in the areas of health and wellness.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, public relations, and marketing, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

Banned Books Week September 22-27, 2014, at the U of M Crookston

Celebrating the freedom to read will be the focus during Banned Books Week at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Beginning on Monday, September 22 and running through Saturday, September 27, the week will include public readings, a panel discussion and open forum, along with displays and more. Activities are free and everyone is welcome

Public readings from banned books will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 23 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center. There will several readings each hour.  Many of the readers will be faculty or staff and readers will select their own reading.  Each reading will be introduced, placed into context, and after the reading, there will be a few minutes for questions or comments.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, a panel discussion will be held with faculty panelists from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Prairie Room. The panel is organized by Karen Miller, who teaches in the Liberal Arts and Education Department.

On Thursday, Sept. 25, public readings will take place again from 10 a.m. to noon in the Prairie Room. Chancellor Wood is scheduled to read along with staff members from the Lake Agassiz Public Library in Crookston will be reading as well.

During the week, the Library at the U of M Crookston will have a display of banned books from its collections. The week is sponsored by the Academic Success Center on the Crookston campus. 

Background on Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community -- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types -- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. 

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. To learn more, visit www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.


Contact: Stacie Varnson, director, Academic Success Center, 218-281-8555, (svarnson@crk.umn.edu)

Marks Second Consecutive Year at Number One and Seventeenth in Top Four

For the second year in a row, the University of Minnesota Crookston ranks number one in U.S. News Best Colleges rankings in the category Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges. The ranking is the 17th consecutive year that Crookston campus has appeared in the top four. The exclusive rankings, available at usnews.com on Tues., September 9 will be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands on Tuesday, September 23. 

U of M Crookston Chancellor Fred Wood is pleased the campus held on to the top spot in the rankings. "Much of the recognition this campus has received over the years is the result of a highly dedicated faculty and staff," said Wood. "What sets our campus apart from others is that we provide students with an atmosphere that is remarkably supportive and personal, where learning is hands-on and where faculty and staff not only know students' names but also their strengths and interests." 

"Our students recognize the value of earning a highly recognized and respected University of Minnesota degree while studying at the University of Minnesota Crookston in an environment that gives them opportunities for learning, leadership, and a chance to develop skills that will prepare them for the workplace or graduate school. We are truly the small campus with the big degree." 

The U.S. News ranking system uses quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality. Schools are categorized by their mission, which is derived from the breakdown of types of higher education institutions developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of teaching. The key measures of quality include graduation and retention rates; assessment of excellence; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduation rate performance, which is the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates; and alumni giving. Scores for each measure are weighted to arrive at a final overall score. 

Other colleges ranked in the top four Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges include Valley City State University at number two, Northern State University at number three, followed by Dickinson State University at number four with Bismarck State College and Lake Superior State University tied at number five. The category focuses on undergraduate education with fewer than 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. There were 364 colleges ranked in four regions--North, South, Midwest, and West--in the Regional Colleges category. 

To view the rankings, visit  http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/regional-colleges/top-public

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.



Contact: Andrew Svec, director of communications, marketing, and public relations, 218-281-8432 (asvec@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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