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  • Writer's pictureAlaina Leverenz

WWU announces 2015-16 President’s Concert and Lecture Series

An evening of alternative folk music will be followed later in the year by three inspirational programs—all part of William Woods University’s 2015-16 President’s Concert and Lecture Series, which is free and open to the public.

Sure to enlighten, awe and inspire, the Hunts, Chicago Boyz, Drew Manning and Teri Griege continue WWU’s tradition of offering a wide selection of events annually.

Alternative folk music will be heard across campus when the Hunts perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Aldridge outdoor area. With a passion for music, the Hunts is a Chesapeake, Virginia-based band of five brothers and two sisters, ages ranging from 16 to 24, who have been playing music together almost their entire lives.

Twin sisters, Jenni and Jessi, and their brothers, Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin and Jamison, spent their childhood performing in their community. All of the siblings play the violin, and various members also have learned to play mandolin, piano, ukulele, banjo and drums.

The Hunts experimented with songwriting and were able to bring their memories to life in a different way. They note that it can be a struggle to get all seven to agree on every word and lyric, but they remain collaborative.

The second program in the series is both entertaining and inspiring. Chicago Boyz will dazzle the audience with

their acrobatic routine at 6 p.m. Nov. 4 in Cutlip Auditorium. The professional gymnastics troupe consists of talented young men and boys from the Chicago inner city area. Their performance includes amazing acrobatic stunts and tricks inside twirling jump ropes, catapulting off mini trampolines and thundering tumbling routines with impeccable timing.

Professional gymnast Tim Shaw founded the team in 1999. Inner city youth are taught discipline, respect, hard work, integrity and teamwork. Members must maintain a “C” average in school and are not allowed to drop out of school or have contact with gangs, drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Through Shaw’s positive impact, many children have become professional polished gymnasts and turned their lives around in the process.

Another motivational program is on tap for the new year. With a weight transformation unlike any other, fitness trainer Drew Manning will share his story at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 in Cutlip Auditorium.

Obsessed with fitness, Manning was losing his personal training clients because he didn’t understand their struggles. He decided to embark on a yearlong journey during which he gained and lost 70 pounds in one year—on purpose. His book, “Fit2Fat2Fit,” describes his path and what he learned of the physical and emotional issues that come with being overweight.

Manning always had a passion for fitness, and during college he gained knowledge and experience through sports and college courses. This inspired him to become a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

He began training clients on both proper nutrition and workout plans. The goal of the transformation was to inspire people to get fit, teach them how to do it and give them hope that it IS possible to get fit and stay fit.

The fourth program, too, deals with health. With the Ironman World Championship completed, Teri Griege has a message about fitness and hope to share at 6

p.m. March 22 in Cutlip Auditorium. Griege began running marathons in her 40s, including those in Chicago, Boston and New York.

Her interest in endurance events led her to triathlons, and she set her sights on the big prize: The Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Griege completed Ironman Louisville in 2008 and missed qualifying for the World Championship by just five minutes. Even more determined, she returned to training.

Noting minor injuries and being unusually sluggish and tired, Griege thought she was overtraining, but that was not the case. She was suffering from Stage 4 colon cancer with metastases to her liver.

Griege deepened her resolve to complete the Ironman World Championship, and she received a special invitation to compete as an inspirational athlete. She trained for this grueling race while undergoing chemotherapy. She assembled an army of supporters, Teri’s Troops, who helped her along her incredible journey.

On Oct. 8, 2011, at age 50, she crossed the finish line in Kona. She now brings her inspiring message, Powered by Hope, to a variety of groups and organizations.

WWU’s President’s Concert and Lecture Series brings speakers and top entertainment to campus for the enjoyment of students and the community. For more information, contact Brenda Foster at

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