For Immediate Release —April 9, 2009
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516

New Kramer Lecture Series to Anchor SUNY Geneseo’s GREAT Day Celebration

GENESEO, N.Y. – A new lectures series endowed by State University of New York at Geneseo alumni Jack and Carol Kramer will highlight the college’s third annual GREAT Day celebration April 21 on campus.  GREAT Day – Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent – is a daylong celebration to showcase the work of students through presentations, exhibits and performances.  More than 700 students are expected to participate in this year’s program representing all disciplines at the college.

“Carol and I were inspired to endow the lecture series because of the positive impact GREAT Day has on the campus community,” said Jack Kramer, a 1976 Geneseo graduate who is chair of the Geneseo Foundation Board.    “It is a phenomenal program and a terrific way to recognize students and bring people together.”  Kramer’s wife, Carol, also is a 1976 Geneseo graduate.

The first speaker in the Jack and Carol Kramer Endowed Lectureship Series will be third-generation actor, director, producer, poet and author Lane Nishikawa, who will address ”From Dreams to Reality: The Journey of One Voice” at 1:45 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium.  His trilogy of critically acclaimed one-man shows -- “Mifune and Me,” “I’m on a Mission from Buddha” and “Life in the Fast Lane” -- has toured college campuses and cultural centers for nearly two decades.  In 1991, Nishikawa performed “I’m on a Mission from Buddha” at SUNY Geneseo to a full house.  His works boldly focus on race, ethnicity and art in ways that are often irreverent but always enlightening.

In addition to acting in films, Nishikawa has served as artistic director of San Francisco’s prestigious Asian American Theater Company.  His “Only the Brave” is a full-length feature film which tells the true story of the second-generation Japanese American combat unit that rescued the Texan “Lost Battalion” in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

It’s not the first time Jack and Carol Kramer have provided major support for Geneseo programs.  In 2004, they established The Carol Kramer Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Psychology and The Jack Kramer Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Physics, merit awards that provide tuition assistance for students who demonstrate financial need and show a strong commitment to their field of study inside and outside of the classroom.

Geneseo Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics Emeritus Stephen West, GREAT Day faculty coordinator, expects more than 20 percent of the student body will participate in the program this year. 

“GREAT Day brings together talented students, an enthusiastic faculty and a supportive administration into an event that exhibits what our students do best, such as undergraduate research and artistic expression,” said West.  “It’s a culminating moment for many students and demonstrates a high degree of academic engagement that Geneseo greatly values.”

No classes are scheduled April 21 to accommodate GREAT Day events, which are free and open to the public.