June 25, 2014

Belleville 200th anniversary exhibit is 'intensely personal'

The William and Florence Schmidt Art Center at Southwestern Illinois College will debut an exhibit next week featuring objects that tell the story of Belleville's first 200 years.

The show will feature 200 loaned objects from Belleville natives and area residents and organizations broken down into six different eras: Belleville Begins, Belleville Grows, Belleville Works, Belleville Plays, Belleville Learns and Belleville Serves.

"It is important that the majority of these objects rest in the private collections of Bellevillians past and present," Bicentennial History and Archives Committee Chair Will Shannon, curator of the St. Clair County Historical Society, said. "History can be an intensely personal endeavor. The story told here in this exhibition might differ from accounts of Belleville's history that appear in print. The exhibition is meant to give those accounts more depth and to add to them the authentic voice of the people who made history in Belleville over its first 200 years."

The exhibition is a collaboration of the City of Belleville, St. Clair County Historical Society, the Belleville Historical Society, the Gustave Koerner House Committee, the Labor and Industry Museum, the Schmidt Art Center and the St. Clair County Genealogical Society.

Belleville Bicentennial: 200 opens Thursday, July 3 at The Schmidt, located on the SWIC Belleville Campus, 2500 Carlyle Ave. It runs through Thursday, Aug. 14.

The exhibition is open to the public. Visit or call 618-222-5ART (5278) for summer hours or additional information about the exhibition and summer arts education programming at The Schmidt Art Center.

A 1-kilometer children's fun run has been added to McKendree University's Harvest Challenge road race to be held Sept. 6 in Lebanon.

Adult competitors at the event can choose their distance, a 5K run-walk or a half-marathon run. Walkers and strollers are welcome to participate in the 5K or the 1K.

Medals will be awarded in six age categories to the top three male and female finishers of each race, with trophies to the overall winners.

"Our race has become a popular training opportunity for runners who will compete in the Chicago Marathon in October," said Kim Smallheer, McKendree director of recreational programs and organizer of the Harvest Challenge.

Last year, the event drew nearly 300 participants.

The fee is $15 for the 5K and $33 for the half-marathon in advance or $20 for the 5K and $40 for the half-marathon on the day of the race. The Kids K is $5.

Register in person on campus at the intramural gym inside the Melvin Price Convocation Center on Alton Street, or download and mail in the form on the website Online registration is also available at Mailed entries must be postmarked by Sept. 2.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville wrapped up its annual School of Engineering Summer Camp last weekend with record attendance.

A total of 71 high school students came to campus during two week-long sessions

The sessions included a week of exploration in the various engineering disciplines offered at SIUE, as well as computer science and construction management. Summer camp participants engaged in hands-on laboratory experiences, design contests, field trips and learned from guest speakers about opportunities in engineering.

"Our summer campers bring incredible creativity and enthusiasm to our hands-on engineering challenges," Chris Gordon, associate dean for the School of Engineering, said. "It's highly rewarding for our instructors to work with such talented future engineers as they see engineering in action and discover the tremendous opportunities ahead of them."

As part of the residential experience, students lived with a roommate in university residence halls, dined in the Morris University Center and engaged in campus activities such as bowling, swimming, rock wall climbing, volleyball, basketball and playing arcade games.

The camp draws regional and national attendance. In the past three years, the camp has attracted applications from 10 states beyond Illinois. In addition to neighboring states, the camps have also attracted applications from as far as California, Oklahoma, Nevada, Alaska, Florida and Idaho.

This fall, six former camp participants will begin their studies in the SIUE School of Engineering, including two who are Provost Scholars. These students have an average ACT composite score of 29.8 and average high school GPA of 3.83.

For more information about the program, visit

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