siuc linguistics

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Report from New Orleans

The Saluki Reunion was held in Mulate's Restaurant near the Louisiana Convention Center, home of TESOL 2011 in New Orleans, March 18 of this year. There are still lots of distinguished alumni out there and most are willing to come and cheer the Salukis even when our team does not make it to any of the playoffs. We filled up several tables much to the consternation of the waitress who had to keep track of various tickets and people who were coming and going due to busy schedules.

One of our most notable and famous alums is Mark Algren, president of TESOL (finishing his term); he has mentioned SIUC at TESOL functions, always in a good light, and sends us our support from his present post in Kansas. As a world traveler, he sometimes encounters Salukis abroad; this happened with Professor Fuad Abdul Hamied, from Indonesia University of Education, who not only came to the reunion, but also expressed a desire to have our universities better tied together, at least in spirit. Indonesia University of Education is in Bandung, Indonesia; Dr. Hamied attended SIUC perhaps in Dr. Algren's era.

The reunion was also attended by a number of other distinguished alumni and former Salukis. Dr. Kim Wilhelm, who runs a program at the University of Macao; and Robert Engel, who has written an ESL/EFL textbook and is at the DLI in San Antonio, attended; Liz Janssen attended from University of Texas/Arlington. Keith Kennetz came all the way from UAE to attend the reunion, and You Jin Cho came from Northern Arizona. Some people from Carbondale attended to round out the crowd and let everyone know how much (?) the town has changed. Marilyn Rivers, Keith Wheeler, Rhonda Brandman, Kathryn Mutchnick, Paty Krejcik, Stacie Lawley, Susan McFalls, Daniel Norris, Stacy Sudaholc, Holly Coleman, and Rob Cody and I were among these. Finally, Cheryl Ernst not only came, but brought members of her family, who enjoyed New Orleans delicacies and seafood; everyone told stories of the old times, as it seemed almost every era was well represented.