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Manchester celebrates Day of the Dead with tributes, panel

Sweet Life and Other Dying Matters / La Vida Dulce y los Dulces de la Muerte

Altar display 2017From Oct. 28 to Nov. 17, the North Manchester campus of Manchester University will delve into the often ignored and taboo topic of death. 

On Thursday, Oct. 31, Associate Professor of Spanish Arturo Yañez will speak about the Day of the Dead-El Día de los Muertos and address the tradition and meaning of this important Mexican holiday.

Following this presentation, Jeanine Wine, University archivist, will tell stories related to MU’s El Día de los Muertos altar that celebrates individuals from Manchester’s cultural past. This brief program begins at 9:30 a.m. on the first floor of the Funderburg Library.

That evening, a panel discussion moderated by Professor of English Beate Gilliar about “Sweet Life and Other Dying Matters” will take place at 7 p.m. in the Lahman Room of the Jo Young Switzer Center. The discussion will focus on experiences commemorating life and death with panelists who include a person living with cancer and professionals from funerary, grieving and counseling services. One panel member who has gone through 122 chemotherapy treatments so far, will read excerpts from “Chapters on Life,” a compilation of stories from his childhood to today’s reality of stage IV cancer.

Displays available Oct. 28 through Nov. 17 at the library:

  • Altars Honoring the Day of the Dead- El Día de los Muertos” created by Yañez, his family and Wine. 
  • “Perspectives on Life and Death” exhibits created by first-year Manchester students in “Death and Other Endings” seminar.
  • “Death: A Global Glance through an Array of Faith Traditions,” offering digital images prepared by students in Sociology of Religion.
  • Contemplation Niche with Casket: An opportunity to experience a casket in a semi-private and respectful atmosphere. 
  • Displays asking, “How do you wish to be remembered?” will invite visitors to record an anonymous response that will be posted on whiteboards or paper panels placed around the library.
    This is the second annual observance of Day of the Dead-El Día de los Muertos at Manchester.

    This panel discussion is part of MU’s Values, Ideas and the Arts series, which offers cultural, intellectual and artistic enrichment to students.

    Contact for the media
    Professor Beate Gilliar: BCGilliar@manchester.edu

About Manchester
With campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., Manchester University offers more than 70 areas of academic study to 1,400 students in undergraduate programs,a Master of Accountancy, a Master of Science in pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a four-year dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu

Our mission
Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

October 2019