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June 1, 2007

Gift to be Displayed in Collins Library

 Charles Kopke, a friend of Baker University and former trustee (1996-2002) recently donated a copy of The First Folio of Shakespeare, 2nd Edition, to Baker University in honor of the Speech Choir, directed by Dr. Susan Emel. The donation was in gratitude for the Speech Choir’s performance at the May 3rd memorial service for Kopke’s wife Verda. Speech Choir member Megan Lamb received the gift in person on behalf of the Speech Choir and University. It will be on display in the main floor of the library.

Director Susan Emel was humbled at Kopke’s gesture. She commented that “the performance was our offering of thanks to him for all he and his wife have done for Baker. To be recognized with this treasure is quite humbling, and wonderful.”

The Speech Choir is designed to be the service learning avenue of the Forensics/Communication Workshop class. It provides interpretative and theatrical presentations for various events and organizations. Lamb describes speech choir presentations as unique. Some speeches may include scripture, poetry, and/or specific facts about a place or person. She adds that there is “always some type of personal touch” in their presentations.

Of the tribute to Verda Kopke, Lamb felt that it “captured the essence of who Verda was- as a person – and also what was important to her, what she valued and how she made an impact on the community.” Emel notes that this was the Speech Choir’s first memorial presentation. “It was designed to highlight the many charities she supported throughout her life, and her love of the Christmas holiday,” she adds.

A Christmas poem by Lewis Carroll was one of the texts included in the speech:

Lady, dear, if Fairies may 
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
'Tis at happy Christmas-tide.
We have heard the children say -
Gentle children, whom we love -
Long ago on Christmas Day,
Came a message from above,
Still, as Christmas-tide comes round,
They remember it again -
Echo still the joyful sound
"Peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Yet the hearts must childlike be
Where such heavenly guests abide;
Unto children, in their glee,
All the year is Christmas-tide!
Thus, forgetting tricks and play
For a moment, Lady dear,
We would wish you, if we may,
Merry Christmas, Glad New Year!

Speech Choir members include: Sheena Wong, Steve Lovelady, Kelly Vaughan, Latasha Roberts, Jeff Neneman, Megan Lamb, Jon Roper, Breck Snyder, Ashley Schmidt, and Josh Morgan

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