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Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series

The history of the Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series

Mary Seifert portraitMary L. Seifert's rich family history with Clarion University can be traced to 1907 with the enrollment of her mother, Sabina Mooney-Seifert, and her uncle, Charles A. Mooney. From 1909 to 1912, her grandfather, John A. Mooney, served as a trustee for the Clarion Normal School. Shortly after her mother’s and uncle's graduations in 1909, their two younger siblings, Thomas W. and John A., were to follow family tradition by attending Clarion. Two of Seifert's uncles became medical doctors after furthering their education at the University of Michigan. To date at least 18 members of her extended family have graduated from Clarion.

Seifert loved music and the arts. As an investment in young people, she chose to endow a culture and lecture series at Clarion University to ignite the passion for learning that she encouraged. Through that endowment, the Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series Endowment of the Clarion University Foundation, Inc., was established to provide the Clarion University community with cultural experiences that inspire learning through thoughtful discussions.

More about Mary Seifert can be found here.

In honor of Mary Seifert Clarion University holds an annual series of events tied to a particular cultural theme. Below is information on this year's series.


“Beauty awakens the soul to act.” – Dante Alighieri

“Beauty Matters” is the theme the Seifert Cultural Series has chosen to explore for the 2014-2015 academic year. This theme encourages exploration of matters of beauty, and the ways in which beauty matters. The theme is expansive, with the potential to include topics as diverse as the environment, the body, the arts, or the social context. It opens up questions of values, of choices, of perception, and of critiques

The following are the current events for this year's Seifert Cultural Series:

Steve Kuusisto
October 28th at 7:00 p.m. in Hart Chapel

Steve Kuusisto is an author, poet, disability advocate, and is currently director of Syracuse University's Renée Crown University Honors Program. In this breathtaking memoir, Stephen Kuusisto leads us on a vividly painted odyssey into a landscape that is both beautiful, terrifying, and magical. A work of exquisite intelligence and passionate heart, Planet of the Blind is for anyone who has viewed the world through a unique lens – and ultimately seen the truth.  

Written with all the emotional precision of poetry, Kuusisto’s evocative memoir explores the painful irony of a visually sensitive individual–in love with reading, painting, and the everyday images of the natural world–faced with his gradual descent into blindness.

Beauty in Motion - Chinese Acrobats
November 6th at 7:00 p.m. in the Gemmell Multipurpose Room

The Chinese Acrobats, with their routines including contortions, foot juggling, plate spinning, Chinese yo-yo, and group acrobatics showcase the skill and beauty of the human form. Additionally, during their performance, they will share facts about Chinese culture and customs.