HUNTINGTON -– Marshall University representatives, including faculty, staff, students and alumni, will gather in the Upper Rotunda of the state Capitol on Feb. 4 for the annual Marshall Day at the Capitol.

The event, organized each year by the MU Alumni Association, runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nancy Pelphrey, coordinator of alumni programs with the alumni association, said about 35 booth displays promoting different colleges, departments, schools and programs at Marshall will be set up throughout Marshall Day.

"Marshall Day is a great opportunity for our representatives to explain and promote some of the programs we have available, not only to legislators, but to others who might be visiting the capitol that day," Pelphrey said. "We are very proud of Marshall University as everyone will see when we turn the Upper Rotunda green on Marshall Day at the Capitol."

Traditional activities are planned, including recognition of Marshall students in the House of Delegates and the Senate. Dr. Gretchen Oley, senior associate dean of clinical affairs and a 1982 School of Medicine graduate, will be honored as "Doc of the Day." Other features include Marshall giveaways and free popcorn and soft drinks.

Two special activities are planned as well:

* News conference: A large corporation will announce establishment of a public-private partnership with Marshall that will support student education. It is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Upper Rotunda.

* MU Libraries staff interviews lawmakers: A project is being coordinated by Marshall University Libraries staff and faculty, who will bring lights, cameras and action to the capitol to interview lawmakers.

Beginning at 10 a.m., a team from Marshall's Instructional Television and Video Services department will set up a portable sound recording booth on the Senate side in the Capitol rotunda. The team's goal is to interview 15 West Virginia legislators about their thoughts and memories on libraries in general and the future of higher education in West Virginia in particular.

Legislators interested in participating in the Marshall Libraries Recorded History Project may call (304) 696-2318 to reserve their 10-minute block of time.

Barbara Winters, dean of Marshall Libraries, said that each oral history interview session is expected to last about 10 minutes, with the recorded history interview itself centering around the individual legislator's responses to three questions.

"The first question we'll ask is, 'What is your first memory of using a library?' The second question will be, 'What is your favorite part of a library (such as the biography section),' and third, 'How can higher education best serve the citizens of West Virginia in the future?' " Winters said.

Winters said the video interview footage of every legislator participating in the interviews will be archived in Marshall's Special Collections Department in digital form. Each participating legislator also will receive a DVD copy of his or her individual interview.

"We're thankful for the opportunity to offer our legislators such a unique forum that they can use to voice their thoughts and comments on the important topic of libraries and higher education in West Virginia, and to be able to record their ideas for posterity," Winters said.

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