In honor of the Purdue Friends of Convocations' 25th anniversary, Purdue Archives and Special Collections will house a celebratory timeline exhibition Jan. 10 through Feb. 26 on the fourth floor of the Humanities, Social Science, and Education Library. The display marks a joint effort with Purdue Convocations and the Purdue Libraries.
The exhibition, "Setting the Stage for Success: Celebrating 25 years of the Friends of Convocations" displays showcases of memorabilia, posters, fun facts and other keepsakes from the past 25 years of Purdue convocations.
Visitors of the display can find autographs from the Smashing Pumpkins, a "rider" wish-list from Waylon Jennings and numerous ticket stubs and posters from previous dance companies, Broadway shows and other performances.
Purdue Friends of Convocations began in 1985 because ticket income no longer could cover the rising costs of performances.
Abby Eddy, Director of Marketing for Purdue Convocations, explained how the exhibit displays the importance of the Friends of Convocations.
"The one thing that struck me, once it was all put together, is how many really high-caliber artists we have been able to bring here over the years because of the Friends," Eddy said. "I think sometimes people assume that the price they pay for tickets covers the costs to bring the performances here, but without the Friends, we couldn't make ticket prices so affordable."
Since 1985, Friends of Convocations has contributed more than $6.3 million to educational outreach and more than 733 performances in the area. This June concludes the group's four-year campaign to raise $2.5 million to help continue the tradition. The $2.5 million figure honors of the 25th anniversary, and the Friends of Convocations' general coordinators hold hope that they will reach their goal.
Friends of Convocations not only helps bring performances to Purdue, but also helps bring performers to local schools through their P-12 program. Each year the program allocates scholarships that allow local schoolchildren to visit campus performances with low and affordable ticket prices.
"There are a couple different parts of the P-12 program," Eddy explained. "Typically, we have four different shows where students can come on campus and attend performances. Without these funds, we couldn't make our ticket prices as available."
The program also allows local schools to request performers to visit their campuses.
Purdue Convocations, founded in 1902, houses the Convocation Voice Network, Purdue Student Concert Committee, All Aboard for the Arts Endowment, and the Jeanne Compton Endowment for Artistic Excellence.
The free exhibition opens to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Feb. 26 and located in the Virginia Kelly Karne Archives and Special Research Center on the fourth floor of the HSSE library.