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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 29, 2004

Public Invited To Celebrate Irving Weber Birthday Dec. 2

Each summer Iowa City honors its favorite historian, Irving B. Weber. But to many minds, local history is something that should be celebrated more often than once a year.

On Thursday, Dec. 2, the Iowa Project on Place Studies (IPOPS ) will co-sponsor "Happy Birthday, Mr. Weber! A Tribute to Irving B. Weber, Iowa City's Official Historian." The event begins at 7 p.m. in Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room A and is open and free to the public.

Cake and ice cream will be served, and brief presentations will be made by Lolly Eggers, a former Iowa City Public Library director who is working on a biography of Weber; Darold Albright, a friend of Weber's and fellow Lions Club member; Kara Logsden, Weber Days organizer; IPOPS Coordinator Thomas Dean and others. In addition to the Iowa Project on Place Studies, the event is being co-sponsored by the Iowa City Public Library, with help from the Johnson County Historical Society and the State Historical Society of Iowa

Dean, an adjunct assistant professor of literature, science and the arts at the University of Iowa and special assistant to President David Skorton, said the event is the first in a planned "Irving B. Weber Chautauqua Series." He said he envisions holding three events per year: one in December around Weber's birthday, one in the spring and then the annual Weber Lecture in August as part of Irving B. Weber Days.

"The events will be wide-ranging and accessible to the general public, hence our use of the term 'chautauqua'," Dean said. "They will focus on local and regional history and culture, in the spirit of Irving Weber keeping the stories of our place alive. Some will be more traditional lectures, but the rest is limited only by our imagination."

Now in it's second year, the Iowa Project on Place Studies (IPOPS) is an interdisciplinary group of UI faculty and staff who study the concept of place and its manifestations worldwide and who foster collaborative projects with local, state and regional communities.

Dean said Weber was not only Iowa City's official historian -- he himself is an indelible part of the city's history. In 2003 the city erected a statue of Weber, waving a greeting to passersby, at the intersection of Iowa Avenue and Linn Street. 

"Anyone who has lived in Iowa City for even a short amount of time knows who Irving Weber was -- the city's official historian, a man of generous talents and long memory who has helped define our community for over a century now," Dean said. "His historical columns from the Iowa City Press-Citizen remain in circulation through the Lions Club reprint books, an elementary school is named after him, and an annual community festival honors the local heritage he preserved."

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Thomas Dean in advance at 319-335-1995.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Thomas K. Dean, 319-335-1995, thomas-k-dean@uiowa.edu; Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu