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Published September 27, 2018
A special edition of Saturday University -- the half day of college lectures and discussion offered by the University of Wyoming -- is scheduled Saturday, Oct. 6, at UW.
“Remembering Matthew Shepard and His Murder: 20 Years Later” will remember the events leading up to and after the death of Shepard, a UW student from Casper. The program will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 129 of the UW Classroom Building. The program is free and open to the public.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and coffee and doughnuts will be available.
Featured will be Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley, who investigated Shepard’s murder; a panel composed of individuals who took active roles in the aftermath of Shepard’s death; and artists from the Grammy Award-winning Conspirare. The Austin, Texas-based group will perform original music in “Considering Matthew Shepard” later that evening at Laramie High School.
Participants may attend one, two or all three of the lectures.
“During the fall and spring terms, Saturday University visits locations throughout Wyoming discussing today’s most captivating topics,” says Saturday University Coordinator Paul Flesher, a UW religious studies professor.
In its 11th year, Saturday University is a collaborative program that connects popular UW and Wyoming community college professors with lifelong learners. Offered nine times a year -- twice each in Jackson, Gillette and Sheridan, and once in Rock Springs, Pinedale and Cody -- Saturday University is sponsored by the university, Wyoming Humanities, Wyoming community colleges and local communities.
The special Saturday University is presented locally by the UW Office of Engagement and Outreach, the Wyoming Humanities Council, the Matthew Shepard Committee Group and Conspirare: A Company of Voices.
Listed below are program topic descriptions:
-- 9 a.m.: “Matthew Shepard: The Investigation and Beyond,” Sheriff Dave O’Malley.
The discovery of Shepard’s fatally injured body launched an investigation that uncovered sufficient evidence to determine the attack’s details as well as the murderers’ identities and motive, leading to their convictions, O’Malley will explain during his discussion.
O’Malley, who played a key role in the events surrounding the case, will explain what actually happened that night and in the days, weeks and months that followed.
-- 10:15 a.m.: “Mourning Matthew: The Shock and the Challenges,” panel discussion.
The beating, abandonment and death of Shepard had an enormous impact on UW students and Laramie residents. The panel features key individuals who took leadership roles in the activities in response to Shepard’s murder in the days and weeks following.
Panelists will discuss public and private feelings about Shepard’s death; community rites of mourning and burial; and the impact of the different outsiders who descended on Laramie at that time.
-- 11:30 a.m.: “Considering Matthew Shepard: An American Musical Reflection,” panel discussion.
Artists from the Conspirare choral ensemble, including composer Craig Hella Johnson, librettist Michael Dennis Browne and Jason Marsden, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, will discuss the inspiration and creation of “Considering Matthew Shepard.”
Audience members will hear how the blend of American musical textures and styles conveys the story of Shepard and his legacy, moving from the spark of an idea to a galvanizing musical testament to hope, inclusivity and love, Hella Johnson says.
Conspirare will perform Hella Johnson’s original piece at the Laramie High School (LHS) theater at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. The performance is free, but ticketed. A limit of two tickets per person is available at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts box office, by calling (307) 766-6666 or going online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.
Overflow seating with monitors will be available in the LHS commons area.
For more information about UW’s special Saturday University program, call Flesher at (307) 766-2616 or email email@example.com.
For more information about Saturday University, visit the website at www.uwyo.edu/saturdayu/index.html.