Notable Visitors



Year/Mo. Visitor Event Description

1980 February

Jean-Michael Cousteau

Lecture: "Ocean Offers Key to Solving Many World Problems," We must understand the ocean, said Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, in his lecture in the Karges gym;  Cousteau used the example of the world's river system being used as a natural sewer, harmful DDT is still used in many parts of the world.  70% of the world is water and we think it is endless, but not so. Most ocean water is undrinkable. The oceans continue to be over-fished and most of the large fish are practically gone.  [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1980 (undated)

Tanya Tucker and Rex Allen, Jr.
country music stars
Allen had recently won the Country Music Magazine Silver Bullet Award for Entertainer of the Year for 1978-1979

Concert: Big name country singing stars performed in the Karges Center, including songs from Tucker's new album "Tear Me Apart" [sponsored by Auxiliary Services]

1980 April

Dr. James Lowell Gibbs
anthropologist, Stanford professor
James Lowell Gibbs, 1980

Visiting Professor: Gibbs showed films of his field work in Liberia and lectured on African ethnology and the anthropology of psychology, law, and film

1980 May

Edwin Long,commissioned composer; Barry Moser, visiting artist; Norma Rosen, visiting artist
Fine Arts Festival, 1980

1980 Fine Arts Festival: Acting and stage crafts, sculpture and musical composition were woven together to produce the play "Equus" as part of the Fine Arts Festival this year

1980 May 7

Ralph Nader
consumer advocate
Ralph Nader 1980

(inset photo from the Library of Congress)

Lecture: Nader spoke to an overflow crowd about the difference they can make if they have the attitude that a lot can be done. The students listened intently as he focused on energy and how citizens can get involved in the issues. Wind Power, solar power, and the burning of waste wood were just some of the energy alternatives that Nader mentioned. He also stated that large oil corporations not only waste oil, but also ultimately pollute the atmosphere and water. [sponsored by the University's Business Day and Mini Energy Day]

1980 May 25

Daniel C. Brandenstein
UW-River Falls graduate (1965) and U.S. astronaut

Commencement Address

1980 October

Dr. Charles J. Dillman
associate professor of physical education and director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois, and the coordinator of Sports Medicine for the U.S. Ski Team

Lecture: "Sports Medicine and Olympic Skiing,"  Dillman lectured at UW-River Falls as part of the visiting professor program  [sponsored by the UWRF Foundation]

1980 November

Nora Ephron
author, contributing editor of Esquire

Speech: "Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media," Author of several books on media criticism, Ephron shared her sharp opinions of the various levels of journalism: "I don't think people are interested in issues about anything… The only way to get people to read the Pentagon papers is to write about Daniel Ellsberg" [sponsored by the Journalism Department]

1981 January 8

Dr. William R. Stratton
nuclear physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, UWRF alumnus

Lectures: Stratton's study of Three Mile Island showed "that potential health effects of nuclear reactor accidents are much less than we have been led to believe"

1981 January 15

Barry Commoner
American biologist, college professor, politician, author (The Closing Circle, The Poverty of Power, The Politics of Energy), editor of Science Illustrated, well-known anti-nuclear testing activist

Speech: "American's dependence on non-renewable energy resources is cannibalizing our economic system," according to Commoner, who spoke to an audience of some 300; Commoner ran for president in 1980 on the Citizens Party ticket

1981 January 21

Sonia Johnson
American feminist activist, Equal Rights Amendment supporter, author

Sonia Johnson 1981

Speech: Ms. Johnson, a 5th generation Mormon who was ex-communicated from the Church of Latter Day Saints in 1979 for her support of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), spoke on campus about how she became a feminist and became convinced that she favored the ERA and the movement for women's rights

1981 February 5-6

Henrietta Whiteman
director and associate professor of the Native American Studies Program at the University of Montana

Lecture and Presentations: Whiteman spoke at UW-River Falls and in several classes during her two-day stay; she was the featured speaker at the Annette Harrison Scholarship fund-raising dinner; Whiteman's major professional research was on Native American religion, philosophy, language, and culture

1981 February 16

Dick Gregory
comedian, actor, author, and human rights activist

Speech: Gregory's speech was "even more varied in topic than his list of occupations; politics, colleges and students, the media, the former hostages, war, health, and racism."

1981 October

Dr. Herbert C. Kelman
social psychologist at Harvard University, known for his conflict resolution workshops with the Palestinians and Israelis in the late 1970s; 1981 Visiting Professor at UWRF

Lectures: "Resolving International Conflicts: A Social Psychological Contribution" and "Authority and Responsibility: Public Reactions to the Calley Trial and Other Crimes of Obedience," held in the recital hall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts building [sponsored by the  UW-River Falls Foundation]

1981 or 1982 (undated)

Alberto Ginastera
South American composer

Performance:  UW-River Falls students and faculty performed Ginastera's music in concert; the concert choir, directed by Elliot World; the concert band, directed by W. Larry Brentzel; and student soloists all participated [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1982 February

George McGovern
U.S. Senator from South Dakota (1963-1981), Democratic nominee for U.S. president (1972)
George McGovern

Journalism Day: McGovern, keynote speaker at the 14th annual Journalism Day, spoke to a packed audience in the recital hall; he stated that there is an important place in society for both conservative and liberal viewpoints, but he is concerned with extremism: "the new right poses a threat to American society" [sponsored by the Journalism Department]

1982 March

Ralph Sutton, Kenny Daverin, Al Grey, Milt Hinton, Gus Johnson, Flip Phillips
Jazz musicians

World's Greatest Jazz Concert: The performance was held in the North Hall auditorium and included six of the greatest names in traditional jazz: Ralph Sutton, piano; Kenny Daverin, clarinet; Al Grey, trombone; Milt Hinton, bass; Gus Johnson, drums; and Flip Phillips, tenor saxophone [sponsored by Reed McKenzie, a Twin-Cities Jazz Group]

1982 April

Ken Wooden
journalist, child advocate

Violence Against Children: Several topics were discussed by journalist and child advocate, Ken Wooden.  He states, "We have lost more children to murder and violence and death than American servicemen during the Vietnam war in the same period of time."  Wooden is the founder and director of the National Coalition for Children's Justice.  Wooden wrote "Weeping in the Playtime of Others." [sponsored by the Issues and Answers Program, Department of Sociology]

1982 April

Dr. Alfred E. Harper
professor of biochemistry, and creator of the nutritional sciences department at UW-Madison

Lecture: "A Healthy Population is a National Resource," Dr. Harper maintains that a healthy people is an essential natural resource; that food that is safe and nutritionally adequate is a basic necessity for maintaining health; and that a national nutrition policy's first objective should be to insure that food is nutritious, safe, and reasonably priced [sponsored by the College of Agriculture]

1983 January

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

Reading: Angelou captivated a standing-room-only crowd as she recited poetry written by Black Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Angelou captivated the audience not only with the words she spoke but by the emotions she instilled.  She quoted a 1930s poet to illustrate the sometimes over-whelming feeling of self-worthlessness we all experience from time to time.  Angelou said Black poetry, like all poetry is a comment on the human condition.  Students were asked to devote their energies toward freeing the human spirit.  [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1983 March

Eunice Edgar
Wisconsin ACLU director

Liberties Issues of the 1980s—National, State and Local:  Edgar, speaking in the Abbott Concert Hall, focused on censorship and deprogramming.  Edgar cited a 1980 ACLU case in Monticello, WI, in which 33 books were taken off the shelves. She also said the ACLU has objected to military draft registration required for only men.

1983 October

Daniel C. Brandenstein
astronaut, UWRF alumnus

Experiences in Space: Brandenstein returned to his alma mater to deliver a public address.  He was the pilot on the August flight of the space shuttle Challenger.  He met with high school and university students for the annual UWRF Science Day.  His discussion centered around his experiences in Space.  [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1983 October

Frank Zeidler
Socialist, former mayor of Milwaukee, WI (1948-1960)

Speech: "Socialism's Communal Ownership Benefits Society as a Whole," Socialist Frank Zeidler spoke about the recent history of socialism, saying that socialism is public ownership of society's production, but it always works for the benefits of society as a whole

1983 or 1984 (undated)

Willem Ibes
Dutch pianist

Concert: The concert, performed in the William Abbot Concert Hall, consisted of several nocturnes by Chopin, Berg, and Liszt; Ibes also holds a degree in philosophy and has an interest in Zen [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1984 March

Sonia Johnson
American feminist activist, Equal Rights Amendment supporter, author (From Housewife to Heretic), U.S. presidential candidate

Speech:  Johnson is a presidential hopeful and a self-proclaimed radical feminist.  Johnson, a citizen's party candidate, said her goals are to pressure the two major political parties into developing stronger platforms on the development of women, anti-military policy, a safe environment and economic equality for all Americans.  She was excommunicated from the Mormon church in 1979 for her support of the Equal Rights Amendment. [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

March, 1984

Douglas La Follette
Wisconsin Secretary of State

Lecture:  Secretary of State La Follette discussed his trip to Nicaragua and Honduras, warning that U.S. policies in Central America are destructive for the people there and to our own self-interest 

1984 May 17

Dr. David Adler
political science professor at UW-River Falls

Supreme Court Decision Monumental in Black History: A commentary by Prof. Adler, "30 years ago today, the Supreme Court in 'Brown v. Board of Education' the US Supreme Court delivered a historic ruling: segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.  This set off a storm of controversy throughout the entire United States. In short, public as well as private discrimination based on race was specifically prohibited" "The Constitution is color blind."

1984 May

Orion Samuelson
TV and radio broadcaster, and producer for WGN Station in Chicago

Lecture: Samuelson spoke to a large audience in North Hall about the agricultural problems linked to poor city and farm communication: "People in agriculture claim they have little/no voice, that they aren't heard." [sponsored by the College of Agriculture]

1984 September

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
author (Cats Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, Slaughterhouse Five)

Speech: "How To Get a Job Like Mine"  [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1984 October

George Reedy
former press secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson, journalism professor at Marquette University

Journalism Day: Reedy spoke at UWRF with many topics including; "Secrets in Government," "The Role of Mass Media in Political Campaigns," and "The Role of the Presidential Press Secretary" [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures and the Journalism Department]

1985 March

Ku Ping-Hsing

Fine Arts Festival, 1985: Ku Ping-Hsing, an artist from Taipei, Taiwan visited UW-River Falls to demonstrate traditional Chinese and contemporary painting techniques.

1985 November

Raymond Bonner
U.S. policy analyst, journalist (wins a Pulitzer Prize in 1999)

Speech:  According to Bonner, poverty, not Communism, is the root of the problems in Central America.  Bonner spoke to a large audience in the Student Center Ballroom.  He criticized the Reagan administration for "clouding" the Central American's problems.  Further criticism by Bonner, "It's no longer a subject of debate.  It's policy.  The US policy in Central America is inconsistent, unreal, and immoral.

1986 September

Ralph Abernathy
civil rights activist and leader

Speech: "The Death of Martin Luther King Jr.," Abernathy, who was Martin Luther King Jr.'s chief partner in the civil rights movement, spoke in the North Hall Auditorium; he was with Martin Luther King Jr. when he was shot and died in Abernathy's arms; Abernathy and King helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [sponsored by the Concerts and Lectures Committee]

1987 January

Maria Cheng
Chinese dancer

Performance: "Antecedents," a Chinese-born modern dancer who now lives in Minneapolis, Cheng talked informally to the audience between dance sequences in the Kleinpell Fine Arts Theater about her parents, stories from Chinese history, and her process of making dances [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1987 February

Dr. Alvin Z. Rubinstein 
political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania

Lecture: "Soviet-American Relations in the Gorbachov Era," Rubinstien was guest speaker at the UW-River Falls History Department Symposium, held in the Fine Arts Building; Rubinstein's research focused on Russian foreign policy, conflict in the Third World, and national security affairs [sponsored by the History and Political Science departments]

1987 April

Dr. Elizabeth Jerome
medical director, Teenage Medical Service

Lecture: "Some Things That Go On Out There," Neither parents nor children have all the answers to teenage sexuality, but parents or a family physician should be the first choice for sexual advice.  This is the position of Dr. Jerome.  She was guest speaker in the Fine Arts Building delivering her lecture on some problems adults face when discussing sexuality with their teenagers.  [sponsored by the Sociology Department]

1987 April

John C. Crystal
career development expert

Speech: Four Questions For Job Seekers, Crystal helps job seekers answer four questions.  Who am I? What is the truth about realities of the world of work? What do I really want to accomplish with my life? How do I go about it? John Crystal has done consulting for a number of governmental agencies including the State Department and NASA. [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1987 October

Michael Podolinsky
professional speaker, trainer, facilitator

Lecture: "Self Protection for Women and Girls," Podolinsky lectured on what women and girls should do if attacked, how to avoid an attack before it happens, and what to do if they are a victim of an attack [sponsored by Residence Services]

1988 September

Fawn Hall
former secretary to Oliver North

Lecture: "Freedom to Get It Right," Hall lectured on the hot topic in the North Hall Auditorium, discussing her experiences in government life and with the media during the Iran-Contra hearings[sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1988 September

Taiwanese University Youth
Goodwill Mission

Program: Chinese songs, folk activities, celebrations, and dance were parts of the program given by the group during its only performance in Wisconsin [sponsored by Chemistry Professor Dr. Richard Swenson]

1988 September

Andrea Mitchell
NBC White House correspondent

Lecture: "Media Coverage of Presidential Campaigns," Whitehouse correspondent Andrea Mitchell lectured to a large audience in the North Hall auditorium about media coverage of various presidential campaigns [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1988 September

Amnesty International's Musicians Tour
human rights group

"Conspiracy of Hope," Amnesty International's Musicians Tour was designed to introduce university students to the group; one UWRF student commented, "I now equate Amnesty International with human rights"

1988 October

Jan Riedlbauch and Loslav Klaus
Czechoslovakian musical group

Performance: The first Czechoslovakian group to perform in this area; Riedlbauch (flute professor in Prague) and Klaus performed in the North Hall auditorium [sponsored by the International Cultural Exchange]

1988 October

Artie Shaw Band, directed by clarinetist Dick Johnson

Concert: Artie Shaw Band performed at River Falls.  Johnson finds the former band leader's music revolutionary.  The 17 piece orchestra plays big band and hot jazz music.  The orchestra's songs are "Stardust," "Moonglow," "Back Bay Shuffle," and others.  Johnson directed during the concert.  [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1988 November

L. J. Booth
folk musician

Performance: Booth performed in the Student Center dining area, "From funny to hardline political, from mystical to blue-collar describes Booth's folk music.  [sponsored by HUB]

1988 November

Percussion Ensemble, directed by J. Michael Roy

Concert: Performed in the Abbott Concert Hall, the ensemble was directed by J. Michael Roy. This concert was free and open to the public.

1988 November

Professor David Mossel
Visiting Professor, chairperson of the Department of Medical, Food, and Water Microbiology at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands

9th Annual UWRF Food Microbiology Symposium: Dr. Mossel was part of the visiting professor program.  He participated in the 9th annual UWRF food microbiology symposium and is a world-renowned lecturer.

1989 January

Penelope Benson, soprano, and Michael Zenge, pianist

Recital: The gifted, American soprano and the renowned pianist gave a recital and spent time in two master classes during their visit  [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1989 March

Michael Podolinsky
professional speaker, trainer, facilitator

Lecture: "Self Protection for Women and Girls," Podolinsky returned to UW-River Falls to discuss date rape and self protection; his lecture was held in the Student Center Ballroom. [sponsored by the Student Senate and Residence Life]

1989 March

Dance Theater
student dance organization

Spring Concert: The 1989 concert featured a performance choreographed by the artistic director of Ballet Narren, a twin-cities based professional dance company  [sponsored by Concerts and Lectures]

1989 April

Dr. David Watts
primatologist and anthropologist, former director of the Karische Research Station in Rwanda

Speech: "Africa's Mountain Gorillas," Watts, featured speaker at the annual Sociology/ Anthropology Issues and Answers Forum, spent four years in the gorilla's midst in Rwanda, studying their behavior and the ecology of their habitat [arrangements made by Dr. Ed Robins, UWRF anthropology professor, who worked in Rwanda]

1989 October

World Food Day
Teleconference and Telecast

World Food Problems Relating to the Environment and its Effects: This topic was discussed at the sixth annual World Food Day teleconference and telecast in Abbott Concert Hall at UW-River Falls.  "Economics and Politics are at the root," said Jacqueline Brux, economics professor and panel participant.  Discussions from the international to the local were covered.  World Food Day is observed in more that 140 countries around the world.  The purpose is to raise awareness and then to get people involved.  [funded by the Agency for International Development, Private Corporate Grants, and the sponsoring National Committee for World Food Day.]