Jul 14, 2014
As Daisy Rittgers walked across the commencement stage in Lantz Arena at Eastern Illinois University, she was greeted with a standing ovation from her fellow classmates.
The audience wasn’t amazed by Mrs. Rittgers’ strut across the stage, but her nearly seven-decade journey to get there.
Considered to be one of EIU’s oldest alumni and the oldest graduate, Mrs. Rittgers recently passed away at age 106 in Shelby Memorial Hospital.
A Shelbyville native, she began her career at EIU in 1927, but didn’t walk across the stage till she was 88. “I am a slow learner,” said Mrs. Rittgers, laughing.
Before her passing, Mrs. Rittgers reminisced about her 69-year journey to earn her bachelor’s degree, her years as an Illinois educator and her constant thirst for knowledge.
To read more, go here.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS, Media Relations
Posted: Jul 08, 2014
EIU PARKING LOT TO BE TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Visitors and employees who usually park near the north side of Eastern’s campus will see some temporary changes in the coming weeks.
The Seventh Street parking lot located directly east of the institution’s water tower and former coal-fired heating plant will be closed July 5 through Aug. 15 as workers remove three underground storage tanks. The tanks, once used to hold fuel oil for the heating plant’s boilers, will be removed because they are no longer used and to prevent potential leaks. The Illinois Capital Development Board will manage the project, funded by the state through the Illinois Jobs Now! program.
Visitor parking spaces will be temporarily relocated to the administrative reserved spots just south of the Multi-Cultural Center across from Old Main. Those in need of ADA parking spaces should use the ones on the south side of Blair Hall or in the Old Main circle drive.
Once the storage tanks are removed, the parking lot will be restored for continued use by staff and the general public.
VICKI SHAW WOODARD, Media Relations
Posted: Jul 02, 2014
CORPSE FLOWER TO BLOOM ON CAMPUS -- UPDATED!
It appears to be happening again! Steven Malehorn, manager of Eastern's H.F. Thut Greenhouse, is eagerly awaiting the fourth blooming of EIU’s Corpse Flower. The plant previously bloomed in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
The developing flower (technically an inflorescence) could grow to be seven feet tall and three feet wide, and will definitely smell “nasty,” Malehorn said. It is growing from a 62-pound tuber, which is 20 pounds heavier than the one that bloomed in 2010.
He “guesstimates” the plant will bloom sometime between July 10 and 12. "However, the exact date can't be known until about a day or so before it actually blooms," he said. "But when it does bloom, it will happen fast -- within hours -- and the bloom will only last one night."
Based on past experience, Malehorn believes the bloom likely will begin some early afternoon. The spathe will gradually open and be fully open by about 6 p.m., followed by an intense “roadkill” aroma that can be smelled, literally, a mile away. The odor is strongest from about 8 p.m. until midnight and gradually diminishes through the night. The powerful odor is used to attract flies that pollinate the flowers.
The bloom should be at its peak from about 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day when the spathe starts to gradually close. Over the next few days, the giant flower will slowly collapse.
"However," Malehorn added, "it could surprise us and start blooming late in the evening and we wouldn’t know until the following morning that it had bloomed. Therefore, no promises on the blooming schedule."
See here for more information about this year's bloom (including a link for live streaming video of the event and up-to-date notices).
VICKI SHAW WOODARD, Media Relations
Posted: Jun 25, 2014
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