Thousands expected for Lindenwood homecoming weekend

News DemocratOctober 2, 2013 

Lindenwood University-Belleville will host Homecoming and Parents Weekend on Oct. 5 and 6.

With its homecoming football game, evening night-school orientation, open house, and events for Lindenwood University and Belleville Township High School affinity alums, campus president Jerry Bladdick said the weekend will be action-packed.

"With literally thousands of people on campus this weekend, this promises to be one of busiest weekends we've ever had at Lindenwood University-Belleville," Bladdick said. "It's a testament to the level of growth we've been experiencing to see our weekends become increasingly packed with events and activities that bring in not only students and alums, but also parents, families, and newcomers to the university."

The Homecoming football game starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lindenwood Stadium against Menlo College. Fans are encouraged to wear pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

At halftime, Lindenwood University-Belleville's first three football alumni will be recognized and the homecoming king and queen will be crowned.

Bladdick said 150 new students have signed up for accelerated night school -- or Lindenwood College of Individualized Education -- courses this quarter, bringing the total number in the program to 600. Its classes kick off with a Saturday introductory session.

McKendree University's bookstore is now powered by the sun. Well, at least partially.

A 28-panel, 7.2 kilowatt solar photovoltaic has been installed atop the flat roof of the Deneen Student Center building and turned on. The electricity will be used to reduce energy costs at the bookstore and The Lair student activity center.

"This project demonstrates our ongoing commitment to affordable renewable energy and sustainability," James Dennis, president of McKendree University, said.

McKendree will apply for a 40 percent solar rebate offered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to offset the cost of the panels. While the new system does not fully power the bookstore and the student center, it can produce 8,600 kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity per year, school leaders said. They added that plenty of space is available on the rooftop to add more solar modules in the future.

"This system demonstrates how easy it is for an average homeowner or organization to do something appreciable for the environment," according to Mike Hornitschek of StraightUp Solar, the St. Louis-based company that installed the system.

While the solar panels are visible only to students living on the upper floors of adjacent Barnett residence hall, their impact will not go unnoticed. Students will be able to monitor the system's power generation and output production in real time on a flat panel monitor installed in the dining hall.

"Solar gives you real-time, tangible data to demonstrate the magnitude of your sustainability contribution," Hornitschek said. He estimates that over 25 years, the system will offset 169 tons of CO2 emissions--the equivalent of planting three acres of trees or not driving 550,000 miles.

Southwestern Illinois College's Granite City campus on Friday will host Manufacturing Day demonstrations to give a behind the scenes look at how things are made and how they can learn to make them.

Virtual welding, computer-controlled cutting machines and industrial robots will be in action and industrial business professionals will be on hand to discuss how they work.

"We're offering members of the public the chance to see the latest in machining technology, try their hands at virtual welding and then discover this truly modern industry themselves," SWIC Technical Education Dean Brad Sparks said.

During the open house, 25 local manufacturers will have displays at SWIC. The event is presented in partnership with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Ehrhardt Tool & Machine, the Southwestern Madison County Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road.

For additional information about Manufacturing Day, visit swic.edu/mfgday or call the SWIC Technical Education Division at 618-931-0600, ext. 7476.

Higher Education Matters focuses on the events taking place at metro-east universities and appears Thursdays in the Belleville News-Democrat. Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.

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