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Community Invited to Experience Diverse Offerings at First “Discover U Days” Celebration

Apr. 11, 2006 — From cutting-edge research to rowdy football, from stimulating lectures to theatre and dance, from Red Butte Garden to the Medical Center, the University of Utah offers myriad opportunities for learning and enjoyment. The community can get a sampling of these and other resources at the first annual “Discover U Days” celebration, to be held Friday and Saturday, Apr. 21 and 22. The two-day event will include the “Red & White” spring exhibition football game, beginning at 1 p.m., on Saturday, at Rice-Eccles Stadium, giving the public a much-anticipated preview of fall Utah football. All events are free and open to the public, with the exception of evening concerts, for which discounted tickets are available.

“We want to remind the community that the U is ‘Utah’s University” and that there are diverse and countless ways year-round to access the state’s flagship institution of higher education-whether it is through enrolling in classes, cheering on the Lady Utes or attending a cultural event,” notes Vice President for Institutional Advancement Fred C. Esplin. “The U is for everyone.”

On Friday, Apr. 21, U researchers, world-renowned experts in their fields, will present information sessions on a variety of research topics. Beginning at noon, Larry H. Miller, local businessman and a strong advocate for higher education, will present the “Discover U Days” kick-off remarks, The Rewards of Investing in Higher Education,” in the Union Ballroom, followed by lectures on brain research, global warming, documenting the human experience , positive aging and the divorce cycle.

Friday afternoon, the following breakout sessions will be held from 1:30 until 2:15 and repeated from 2:30 until 3:15 p.m.:

  • “The Brain Institute: Why? Because We Need One”- Union Saltair Room. Panelists will include Raymond F. Gesteland, University vice president for research and professor of human genetics, Norman L. Foster, director of the Center for Alzheimer”s Care, Imaging and Research and professor of neurology; and Erik M. Jorgensen, scientific director at the Brain Institute and professor of biology. Panelists will discuss how the Brain Institute will use unique Utah resources and new tools to launch a broad-based and rigorous approach to understanding the brain.

  • Global Warming: Just Hot Air?”-Union Theatre. This lecture will be presented by David Chapman, dean of the Graduate School and professor of geology and geophysics. Chapman leads an active research group studying thermal aspects of geological processes and is currently the chairman of the International Heat Flow Committee.

  • “The Documentary: Negotiating Difference”-Language and Communication Building (LNCO) 1100. Panelists will discuss the documentary as a tool used to negotiate space between experiences. Presenters include folklorist Margaret Brady, professor of English and Ethnic Studies, Craig Denton, professor of communication, and Subhankar Banerjee, activist, photographer and resident fellow in the College of Humanities.

  • Life’s Transitions: Positive Aging / The Divorce Cycle”-Orson Spencer Hall (OSH) 202. An international expert on memory and aging, Robert D. Hill, professor and chair of the University’s Department of Educational Psychology, will offer a new framework for understanding the process of growing old Nicholas Wolfinger, a leading researcher on marriage and divorce, is an associate professor of family and consumer studies and an adjunct associate professor of sociology. He will present research on understanding the divorce cycle.

A free star party will be held Friday night, beginning at dusk (around 8 p.m.), on the roof of the (south) Physics Building, 117 S. 1400 E. Participants will be able to view nebulae, star clusters, the moon, Mars and Saturn, using powerful, 12-inch Meade telescopes. For more information, call the U’s Physics Department at 801-581-6901.

Friday and Saturday evenings, Utah Lyric Opera, the U’s student opera ensemble, which originated nearly 100 years ago, will present “Don Giovanni,” at 7:30 p.m., in Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle (180 S.), on the U campus. For more information on obtaining discounted “Discover U Days” tickets, call 801-581-7100.

The U’s student ballet corps, Utah Ballet, will present its spring concert on Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., in the Marriott Center for Dance, 330 S. 1500 E., on the U campus. For discounted “Discover U Days” tickets, call 801-581-7100.

On Saturday, April 22, the University will be open to the community for cultural opportunities, a health fair, sporting events, fun and games. Activities will get underway at 9 a.m. with a free pancake breakfast on the Olpin Union Building’s west plaza and with performances on the patio stage by the University Jazz Band and the University Actors Training Program. Families and kids, young and old, can enjoy, among other activities, a giant, blow-up slide, a bounce house, a rock climbing wall and fast pitch baseball.

The Union patio will also be the site of a large Health Sciences fair where free health screenings will be offered. The public is invited to come and learn about a multitude of topics-kidney disease prevention, smoking cessation, poison prevention and first aid, diabetes education, glaucoma screening and Lasik information, grip strength, fire safety, skin cancer and sun safety, body fat testing, bike and helmet safety, sleep disorder and snoring information, stroke prevention and how to prevent infectious diseases. In addition, children are invited to bring their teddy bears for a check-up at the Teddy Bear Clinic. The Health Sciences fair will be marked by an AirMed helicopter flyover. For more information on the Health Sciences fair, contact Ron Allison at 801-581-2429.

On Saturday, the Marriott Library will hold a gently used book sale on the Union Plaza. The U bookstore will also be selling discounted Ute merchandise, and Swoop will be on hand at the Union to sign copies of his book, The Adventures of Newton and U, commissioned by the U’s College of Education.

“Discover U Days” participants are encouraged to bring their soccer shoes and golf clubs to take advantage of free sports clinics. University of Utah soccer coach Rich Manning will hold two clinics, beginning at 10 and 11 a.m., on the sports field southeast of the Alumni House, behind the Sill Center. Head University golf pro James Kilgore will conduct two (short game) golf clinics, also at 10 and 11 a.m., on the University Golf Course. For information on the soccer clinic, call Casey Fox at 801-585-5692. Golf clinic information can be obtained by calling 801-581-6511.

On Saturday, there will be free admission to the University’s two main museums and Red Butte Garden. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Utah Museum of Natural History will open earlier than usual, at 9:30 a.m. Red Butte will open at 9 a.m. The Olympic Plaza, located on the south end of Rice-Eccles Stadium will also be open, and the admission fee to see the 2002 Winter Olympics highlights video will be waived.

For a complete schedule of “Discover U Days” events, visit or call 801-581-6773.