Notable Visitors


1960s Visitors
Year/Mo. Visitor Event Description

1960 May

Eleanor Roosevelt
former first lady, international author, speaker, politician, and civil rights activist
Eleanor Roosevelt

Speech: "Is America Facing World Leadership," this was the first event in the new R.A. Karges Health and Physical Education and Recreation Center

[co-sponsored by Wisconsin State College at River Falls (WSC-River Falls) and the River Falls chapter of the American Association of University Women]

1960 May

John A. Ciardi
poet, translator, etymologist, poetry editor of the Saturday Review; his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy was widely used at universities

John Ciardi

1960 Fine Arts Festival

1960 September

James Laue
1959 graduate of WSU-RF and, in 1960, a graduate student at Harvard, where he received his PhD; Laue went on to help establish the field of conflict resolution as a distinct academic discipline

Lecture: "Race Relations and Prejudice," Laue addressed an all-school convocation on southern race relations and prejudice, discrimination, and racial sit-ins; during his graduate studies, Laue became involved in the Civil Rights movement

1960 September 22

Robert J. Samp, M.D.
Medical and Scientific Director, Wisconsin Division, American Cancer Society; well-known medical educator and lecturer

Lecture: "Cancer Research"

1960 October

Woody Herman Orchestra

Concert: celebration of the new Karges Center at WSC-River Falls

1961 May

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White, 1961


1961 May

Basil Rathbone
British actor

Basil Rathbone, 1961

1961 Fine Arts Festival: lecture and recital


Indira Gandhi
President of Indian National Congress Party (1959, 1978-84), Prime Minister of India (1966-77 and 1980-84)
Indira Ghandi speaking at WSC-RF in 1962

Indira Ghandi at WSC-RF, 1962

1963 February 6-7

Wisconsin Congressman Vernon Thomson; Lauren Soth, author of Farm Trouble; Percy Hardiman, president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau; Gilbert Rohde, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union; and State Senate Agriculture Committee members Carl Thompson and Walter Hollander

6th Annual Grassroots Political Conference: featured Wisconsin Congressman Vernon Thomson's speech "Politics and the Farm Dilemma"Vernon Thomson, 1963  Thomson

1963 fall or 1964 spring

Peter Nero

Peter Nero


1963 fall or 1964 spring

Chad Mitchell Trio
popular singing group

Chad Mitchell Trio

Concert: the Trio performed in Karges Center to a capacity crowd

1964 February 5-6

Wisconsin Governor John W. Reynolds, former Lieutenant Governor Warren P. Knowles, State Democratic Party Chairman J. Louis Hanson, State Assemblyman Thomas H. Barland, Wisconsin NAACP President Lloyd A. Barbee, Governor's Commission on Human Rights Director C. Aubrey Young, and Bertram N. McNamara of the United Steel Workers of America

Warren P Knowles 1964          Knowles

Conference: 7th Annual Grassroots Political Conference, held on campus; its theme was "Civil Rights in Wisconsin" [sponsored by Wisconsin Center for Education in Politics and River Falls Department of Social Sciences]

1965 February

Han Suyen
writer and medical doctor

"Love is a Many-Splendored Thing," Dr. Suyen spoke about her widely-read novel ("A Many Splendored Thing"), and the movie that was made from it and its theme song

1965 March

James Bevel
field secretary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Lecture: "Next Steps for the Civil Rights Movement"

1965 March

Harlow Shapley

Lecture: Dr. Shapley spoke on "Religion in the Age of Science"

1965 April

Minnesota Congressman Donald M. Fraser, University of Minnesota political science professor Mulford Q. Sibley, and WSU-River Falls sophomore Sosthenes Nunyakpe from Togo, West Africa

World Affairs Forum: panel discussion of U.S. policy in Asia, specifically Vietnam

1965 May

Helen Gahagen Douglas
former California Congresswoman, and wife of actor Melvyn Douglas

Lecture: "The Alliance of Progress," held in North Hall auditorium

1965 May

L. Frank Brown
professor of geology at Baylor University

Lecture: Dr. Brown spoke on "The Growing Importance of Earth Science in Urban Development"

1966 February 7

Takako Nishizaki
Japanese violinist; first student to complete the Suzuki Method course, at age nine; In i1964, she had been a runner-up in the Leventritt Competition, in which Itzhak Perlman won first prize

Concert: in North Hall Auditorium as part of the WSU-RF Fine Arts Festival; she also spoke to interested students about the Suzuki Method

1966 January 26

Dr. Karl Shapiro
poet, Pulitzer Prize winner (1945 for "V-Letter and Other Poems"), professor of English at the University of Nebraska

Convocation speaker:  "To Have Been a Poet" in the Karges Center; he also spoke to a poetry class and with interested English majors.

1966 February 11

Ralph Rapson
architect for the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and head of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota

Lecture: for the WSU-RF Fine Arts Festival; in "The Dilemma of Architecture" (school convocation) and "The Guthrie Theatre, Case History of Two Men" (for the general public, in North Hall) Rapson described many of the problems he faced in designing the Guthrie Theatre and working with Tyrone Guthrie

1966 February 9

Jack Kittredge
field organizer for the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and for the National Student Christian Federation

Speaker:  "Academic Freedom" in North Hall for the Peace Forum; Kittredge was in River Falls for two days and also helped organize a SDS chapter

1966 February 16

Back Porch Majority
singing group
Back Porch Majority, 1966

Concert: Valentine's Dance

1966 April 28

Chow Shu K'ai
Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of China

Speaker: "Communist China and Asia" for the World Affairs Forum, in Karges Center

[sponsored by the History Department]

1966 April 29

Betty Furness
actress, and starting in the 1960s a consumer advocate and current affairs commentator; she had a daily CBS radio program, "Ask Betty Furness," and in 1967 became President Johnson's Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs

Speaker: for the annual Parents' Day program, in the Student Center Ballroom

[sponsored by the Associated Women Students]

1966 May 29

Carl T. Rowan
U.S. delegate to the United Nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), U.S. Ambassador to Finland (1963), director of the United States Information Agency (U.S.I.A.); in serving as director of the U.S.I.A., Rowan became the first African American to hold a seat on the National Security Council

Commencement Address: ceremony held in Karges Center

1966 October

Carl J. Hansen
director of International Center at the University of Minnesota

Lecture: "The UN Comes of Age," held in North Hall auditorium

1966 November

Walter Allen
British novelist and critic

Lecture: "Fat Englishmen and Quiet Americans," held in North Hall Auditorium

1966 November

Vincent Persichetti
composer, director, pianist, and important musical educator and writer; received the Juilliard Publication Award

Concert: event was held in North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1966 November

Glen Yarbrough
renowned folk singer and former lead singer of The Limeliters (1959-1963)

Performance: held in North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1967 January

James Dickey
poet and novelist; appointed the 18th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1966

Lecture: Time Magazine said of Dickey, "A poet, a sensitive yet vibrant force, a violent strain of notoriety, a loving personality;" His lecture was held in North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1967 March

George Lincoln Rockwell
American Nazi Party leader

Speech, Debate: Morning and afternoon

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1967 September

Four Freshman
vocal quartet with band                                                                            

Concert/Dance: Freshman Initiation Dance

1967 October

Larry Seigle
founder of the Young Socialist Alliance in the Twin Cities

Speech: "Socialism of Today," Seigle was a member of the Nationalist Committee, lecture held in North Hall auditorium

1967 November

The Sandpipers
folk rock vocal group

Sandpipers, 1967

Concert: appeared on stage in Karges Center Ballroom

1968 January

Fred Halstead 
Socialist Workers Party candidate for President

Forum: Presidential candidate spoke at length about Vietnam War and capitalism

1968 January

Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky
piano duo; associated with a number of important world premieres of contemporary works

Concert: world famous pianist brothers appeared in concert, they were well-known in Europe

[sponsored by Concert and Lecture Series]

1968 January 30

The First Edition
also known as Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, an eclectic pop music band, whose styles ranged from rock-n-roll to R&B, folk, and country; members at this time were Kenny Rogers (lead vocals and bass guitar), Mickey Jones (drums and percussion), Terry Williams (guitar and vocals), Mike Settle (guitar and backing vocals), and the operatically-trained Thelma Camacho (lead vocals)

Concert: as part of the Winter Carnival activities

1968 February

Gaylord Nelson  
US Senator from Wisconsin, conservationist

Lecture: Senator Nelson spoke at length about the environment, pollution, and the Vietnam War to students in the Student Center

1968 February 13

Andy Warhol   
creator of pop art and underground movie maker

Movie Screening and Speaker: Either Warhol or his counterfeit appeared, and screened an abridged version of Warhol's movie "****"

1968 March 12

Dick Gregory
comedian and civil rights activist
Comedian and activist Dick Gregory speaking at WSU-RF, March 12, 1968

11th Annual Grassroots Political Conference: Conference speakers discussed the theme "The Causes of Our Discontents," addressing such issues as Vietnam, student unrest, racism, poverty, and drugs

Gregory's speech highlighted the Conference; the Presidential candidate spoke about "moral pollution" and the "totally insane nation" that American had become, advocated that all students should get a copy of the Declaration of Independence

Other speakers for the Conference were Billie S. Farnum, deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee; Republican Assemblyman Jack Steinhilber and Democratic Assemblyman Fred Kessler; and Republican Congressman Fred Schwengel from Iowa

[the Grassroots Political Conference was sponsored by the Political Science Department and Student Senate; Gregory was sponsored by the Concerts and Lectures Committee and spoke in Karges Center]

1968 March

Paul Boutelle   
Socialist Workers Party Vice Presidential candidate

Free Spirit Forum: Boutelle urged a Black Power violent revolution in the United States to end the war in Vietnam and racism

1968 March 27

Paul Newman
actor, director, producer, philanthropist, and activist

Actor Paul Newman addressing a rally in support of Eugene McCarthy in downtown River Falls, April 1, 1968
  Photo by Dean Madson

Speech: Newman came to River Falls to speak at a downtown rally in support of political candidate Eugene McCarthy

1968 April

Gerald Moore

Performance: Moore played in the North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1968 April 25

Dr. Timothy Leary
American psychologist and writer, and former Harvard professor; known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs

Speech: Dr. Leary spoke about "My Trip Through LSD and Beyond"

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1968 May

Dr. Thomas F. Pettigrew
professor of social psychology at Harvard University

Lecture: Dr. Pettigrew spoke on "What Direction Now for Race Relations?," held in the North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1968 September

Michael's Mystics
a musical band from Saint Paul (MN), they were also known as The Mystics; they had performed with Aretha Franklin and several other groups

Concert: The band appeared for the scholarship dance held in the North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by the Music Educators National Conference]

1968 September

Alfonso Montecino
pianist, composer, and music teacher

Concert, Recital

[sponsored by the Music Department]

1968 October

Roger Wagner Chorale
recognized the world over through its numerous radio, concert, and television appearances, motion picture soundtracks, and recordings

Performance: The group performed in the North Hall auditorium; it was one of the largest cultural productions ever attempted at the time at WSU-River Falls; Dr. Richard Swenson was instrumental in getting the chorale here

1968 December 17

Julian Bond
social activist, founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), leader in the American civil rights movement, professor, writer, and politician

At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Bond had became the first African American to be proposed as a major-party candidate for Vice President of the United States

Speech: Bond spoke in the North Hall auditorium during a three day event Julian Bond 1968

1969 February

Douglas Watson
actor, appeared in more Broadway plays over the previous 20 years than any other actor

Performance: Watson performed in Sir Thomas Moore's play "A Man for All Seasons" in the North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]"

1969 March

Dr. Benjamin Spock
medical doctor and anti-war activist

Lecture: Dr. Spock spoke about "What's In Store For America?" in North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1969 May

Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi
internationally known cellist

Performance: performed in the North Hall auditorium

[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1969 September 25

Manuel Salas
Wisconsin coordinator for the United Farm Workers grape boycott
Manuel Salas 1969

Free Spirit Forum: Salas emphasized the peaceful intentions of the migrant grape workers; he stated, "I don't think it's asking too much for all of us to pay a little more for our food so that the workers can get decent pay"

[student Christina Diaz, involved with the grape boycott, asked the Legislative Action Committee for help to bring Salas to campus for a Free Spirit Forum]