News from the Aurora University community

Aurora University announces its 2015–2016 Celebrating Arts and Ideas series

Posted by on September 4, 2015

Upcoming events feature a lecture on Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.; Academy Award-nominated film showing by the movie’s director; and Wendell Minor’s America exhibition opening the new home of the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University.

Aurora University is pleased to announce the 2015–2016 Celebrating Arts and Ideas series, featuring 29 cultural events that are free and open to the public. The series begins September 16, with a timely faculty presentation about Pope Francis’ planned visit this month to the United States. Press photos for events are available at For the complete 2015–2016 season schedule or to register for events, visit, email or call 630-844-4924.

Faculty Speaker Series: Heidi Schlumpf, Associate Professor of Communication, presents “What You Should Know Before Pope Francis Visits the U.S.”
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | Perry Theatre | 349 S. Gladstone Ave.
Learn how Pope Francis is taking the Roman Catholic Church in a new (actually old) direction, resulting in positive public relations for the religious institution. Schlumpf will be covering and/or commentating about Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. this month for several news outlets, including CNN Opinion and the National Catholic Reporter. Her 20+ years of experience as a religion journalist will provide thoughtful insight into this pope and his relationship to U.S. Catholicism.

Film: “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” with Director Edgar Barens
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | Crimi Auditorium | 1347 Prairie St.
This moving documentary breaks through the walls of one of America’s oldest maximum
security prisons. It tells the story of the final months of a terminally ill prisoner and the
hospice volunteers, they themselves prisoners, who care for him. Discussion led by Academy Award-nominated director Edgar Barens.

Exhibit: Wendell Minor’s America
Opening the new home of the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University
Tuesday, October 6–Friday, December 11, 2015 | Schingoethe Center | 1315 Prairie St.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 | 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Award-winning illustrator Wendell Minor drew his way through childhood in Aurora, Illinois, inspired by the richly illustrated magazines that were a part of American life during the mid-20th century. Minor’s traveling exhibition from the Norman Rockwell Museum highlights his 45-year career as an illustrator. He has been the exclusive designer of the book covers for David McCullough and Pat Conroy for the past four decades and has produced more than 2,000 other book covers and nearly 60 children’s books.

Special Presentation: “Heartland Boy” featuring Wendell Minor
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 | 7:30 p.m. | Crimi Auditorium | 1347 Prairie St.
Following the opening reception of Wendell Minor’s America, the artist will share stories about his life and career, making connections between his success and being a heartland boy from Aurora.

Music: Woodstock Mozart Festival presents “Mozart: The First Ten Years”
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | Noon | Crimi Auditorium | 1347 Prairie St.
Every year, the historic Woodstock Opera House in Woodstock, Illinois, hosts the Woodstock Mozart Festival. Now, its superb orchestra and world-class artists bring the experience to Aurora University for a special concert featuring Mozart’s early compositions.

Film: “It” (1927 silent film) featuring Jay Warren on Organ
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | Crimi Auditorium | 1347 Prairie St.
A salesgirl with plenty of “it” — an indefinable quality that makes one irresistible to the opposite sex — pursues her wealthy boss. The silent film will be accompanied by photoplay organist Jay Warren.

Music: Choir Festival featuring the Compositions of Paul Carey
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 | 7:30 p.m. | Crimi Auditorium | 1347 Prairie St.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | 7:30 p.m. | Crimi Auditorium | 1347 Prairie St.
The Aurora University Music department celebrates the choral music of Illinois native, Paul Carey. Aurora University choirs and invited choirs from the region will perform. The two concerts will feature different guests and different selections by Carey.

The 2015–2016 Celebrating Arts and Ideas series combines cultural enrichment, creative expression and community engagement for the betterment of the Fox River Valley. The program includes the Faculty Speaker Series, films, art exhibitions, special presentations, theatre productions and concerts.


Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning, annually educating approximately 5,200 degree-seeking students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The university has a long tradition of preparing students for lives of service and leadership, and using its resources and expertise to meet the needs of the community. In addition to its main campus and the Orchard Center in Aurora, Illinois, AU offers programs online, at its George Williams College campus in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, and at the Woodstock Center in downtown Woodstock, Illinois. Learn more at

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Deborah Maue
University Communications