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Friends' Newsletter Spring 2006 vol. 4 no. 1

| Director's Column | Documentary Discs | The Landscape of Cultivation | Miracles of the Spirit |
| Polkabilly | News From Iowa | Announcements |

Director's Column: "Cheers!"

Jim Leary Teaches in front of a large class

Jim in action at Ingraham Hall classroom. Photo by Jeff Miller © UW Communications

Another academic year is coming to a close, and it’s been another good one for CSUMC. (By the way, if a linguistic aside isn’t out of order, the efforts to make an acronym out of that monstrous abbreviation continue: ‘CSUMC’ is now pronounced ‘kuh-soompk’ by some.) We’ve seen significant continued progress on our core projects, almost all of them in collaboration with various partners. We’ve continued to win competitive grant funding – most recently from the National Endowment for the Arts. And those efforts are recognized: Ruth Olson’s article on the Miss Annie Mae’s Hats exhibit is featured on the cover of the Winter 2006 issue of the Wisconsin Academy Review. A whole set of ‘finding aids’ for key collections of folklife materials from around our region will be going up soon. Even our initial public events for the Wisconsin Englishes Project generated a surprising amount of attention.

But sometimes overdue recognition comes at a very appropriate moment: Just as I was beginning to write this column, CSUMC co-director Jim Leary was given the 2006 Chancellor’s Award, one of the very select group of University-wide Distinguished Teaching Awards. We congratulate Jim on this richly deserved award, especially so since he’s officially stepping down as co-director after this semester. The word “officially” has to be stressed, though, since he’s promised to continue to play a major role in CSUMC. Jim’s been offering classes through UW Folklore Program since 1983, in addition to founding and running our Center. He’s long overdue for a break, and he’s also promising that he’ll take a sabbatical.

After he returns from that, we’ll switch off as directors, so it’s not a real departure in any sense, but it’s still a big moment for us: The idea for CSUMC was Jim’s, and every major step in our development has been driven by Jim’s energy and vision (two things that are in woefully short supply in our world). Today, while most of the daily activity is carried by our ace staff, Jim’s presence is everywhere.

The end of this year brings other changes too. With the end of the semester, our newsletter editor Jocelyne Bodden is finishing her degree in the School of Library and Information Studies and moves on to the ‘real world’. It’s been great working with you, Jocelyne!

So, thanks, Jim. "Cheers!" and here’s hoping that you keep that promise to stay actively involved ...


Joseph Salmons is Professor of German at UW-Madison, and Co-Director of Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures.

Last Updated:
February 4, 2009

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