California State University, Fresno’s College of Arts and Humanities begins its Centennial month Thursday, Sept. 30, with a discussion about religious ethical values and continues through October with exhibitions, concerts, readings, lectures and more.

The college traces its roots to music classes and choral performance when Fresno State began as a training school for classroom teachers. Music has been a constant, joined over the years by English, communication, philosophy, linguistics, mass communication and journalism, art and design, theater arts, Armenian Studies and modern and classical languages and literatures.

The College of Arts and Humanities has more than 3,600 students, the biggest of Fresno State’s eight academic schools and colleges, with 22 percent of the entire university’s enrollment.

Arts and Humanities also is one of Fresno State’s most community-connected colleges, offering concerts, plays, lectures and art exhibits.

The college hosts CSU Summer Arts classes with performances by artist-teachers and their students and the Peach Blossom Festival’s oral interpretation event for schoolchildren. University High School, the only charter high school on a California State University campus, was established through the efforts of the College of Arts and Humanities.

The celebration starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday with a Leon S. Peters Ethics Lecture discussion of “The Healing Power of Religion” at the Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Education Center.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, two exhibits open at the Henry Madden Library — the college’s Centennial exhibition and the Department of Communications’ César Chávez exhibit.

The same evening, at 8 o’clock, University Theatre begins its Centennial year season with “A Soldier’s Play,” a student production of Charles Fuller’s mystery that explores radial attitudes during World War II, especially the impact of white racism on African Americans.

“A Soldier’s Play” will run through Oct. 9.

Other highlights during the month:

  • Oct. 7-17 – Centennial Alumni Art Exhibition, featuring work by 43 alumni.
  • Oct. 7-9 – Middle East Studies Conference.
  • Oct. 8 – Music Department Gala Centennial Concert with alumni, students, faculty and emeriti performing.
  • Oct. 14 – Phebe McClatchy Conley Lecture by historian Carlos Noreña on “Urbanization and State Power in the Roman Empire.”
  • Oct. 14 – Installation of the late professor emeritus Roger Tatarian in the Mass Communication and Journalism Alumni Chapter Hall of Fame.
  • Oct. 15 – Distinguished alumni panel discussions.
  • Oct. 16 – “Ratatouille” and “The Wild Bunch” screenings of films made by alumni Brad Lewis and Sam Peckinpah, respectively.
  • Oct. 22 – Reading with Valley writers and distinguished alumnus David St. John.

More than 100 distinguished alumni from across the country will return to their alma mater to participate in the panel discussions, offering an opportunity for today’s students to connect those who once sat in their seat.

The public is invited to participate in the College of Arts and Humanities’ Centennial celebration events.

For more information, contact Lee Ann Jansen, the college’s development director, at or 559.278.1877.

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