Every Friday through December 18, we will be sharing RVC facts and photos from over the years in the Daily News and on social media. Be sure to check here every Friday and follow us on all of our social media platforms as we will be posting unique content across all media throughout the year!
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Today’s 50th Friday covers the year 1985.
Coretta Scott King Lectures at RVC
Coretta Scott King, widow of the late Martin Luther King Jr., lectured at RVC on February 25, 1985. King spoke to a sold out crowd in the RVC Student Center on the topic: “The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.: Major Changes for the 80’s.” King played a prominent role in the years after her husband’s 1968 assassination when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women’s Movement. King founded the King Center and sought and succeeded in making her late husband’s birthday a national holiday. Her funeral in 2006 was attended by four of five living U.S. Presidents and by over 10,000 people.
Jean Moore tossed a perfect game in her final game for RVC Softball in a 1-0 win over Thornton in May 1985. The Trojans only finished with a record of 6-13 that year and Moore was 12-9 in her two-year career at RVC, but what a way to go out!
Mike Webb was hired as Managing Director of Rock Valley College Theatre in 1985. His directorial debut at RVC was the musical Evita, which was performed on the Starlight stage from July 31 through August 10, 1985. Since then, Mike has directed over 100 musicals on the Starlight Theatre stage and has co-written six world premiere plays for Studio and Starlight Theatres. In 2010, Mike completed his goal of directing the entire Shakespeare canon in the Studio Theatre.
“When I was hired, I had a long talk with President Karl Jacobs,” said Mike in a 2011 interview. “[Jacobs] saw Starlight as a way for the community to get involved with Rock Valley College. He wanted me to mold the program into something. Karl said to me, ‘your job is to get as many people on campus as possible.’”
Mission accomplished. In Mike’s 30 years at the helm, hundreds of thousands of community members have come to our campus to see Starlight and Studio productions.
In his welcome letters for the programs at Starlight Theatre performances, Mike often references the “magic” that happens at Starlight every summer. Mike has been making that magic happen at RVC since his first day in 1985.
A photo from the 1985 production of Evita, the Starlight directorial debut for Mike Webb:
You Little Rascal
The Rock Valley College Film Series in June of 1985 featured the Our Gang series (films later shown on television and known as The Little Rascals). For the final night of the film series, the College brought George “Spanky” McFarland to campus for an appearance. McFarland first appeared in the films in 1932 when he was just three years old. He was 56 when he made his appearance at RVC on June 27, 1985. The event and film series was organized by Ron Schulz through the RVC Adult Education department.
Outdoor music has been popular on the RVC campus for many years, as evidenced by this photo from fall of 1985. The tradition continues 30 years later with our Jazzin’ After Work series which kicked off Thursday night with Ray Silkman.
Students in 1985 listening to some outdoor music.
And 30 years later…
Students, staff, and community members enjoying Ray Silkman Thursday night.
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