University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Communicators Forum.

10th Anniversary Celebration

(This is the event's brochure text.)

Tenth Anniversary and Annual Member Appreciation Event

Wednesday, January 29, 1997
3:00-5:30 p.m.

Dolly Fiterman Riverview Gallery
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum
Minneapolis, Minnesota


From the earliest meetings of the forum I was impressed by the people, who were then mostly women: they carried serious job responsibilities, they had wide professional experience from grass roots organizing to national activities, and they brought an amazing array of skills to the table. We were people who knew how to get things done, how to get the word out. Together we were an incredibly rich resource to the University and to ourselves. One of the first things we had to do was teach that to ourselves, and then we taught it to Rick Heydinger, who gave us the $1500 we asked for so easily that we were sorry we hadn't asked for more.
-Pamela LaVigne, board member, late 1980s

Another quote from Pam: What I remember is a terrific feeling of enhanced power and energy and confluence when those writers and editors came together. I was in awe of my colleagues. I liked us! I was impressed by what we could do-my eyes were opened to the political impact of our work.

There are two things that I remember most about my year as chair: How we struggled to get flyers out on the "worktables" (as we called them then) and how much time and energy the board spent hammering out the committee system. We knew we needed more help, but it took us quite a while to figure out how to get it!
-Valerie Tvrdik, chair, 1988

Given the somewhat isolated nature of my job, I have long found the forum-filled with fellow liberal arts types-to be my lifeline at the U.
-Mary Knatterud, chair, 1989


The forum is formed "out of the perceived need for a formal organization for communications professionals at the University." Funds are raised from several departments.

A mailing list is compiled, communicators are surveyed, and a steering committee formed. Programs on University ventures into television and on print vendors drew 60 to 70 people.

First worktables are organized on "Getting Publicity Inside & Outside the U," "Working With Photographers and Using Photos," "Practical Advice for Shooting Your Own Photographs," and "PR and Development: Working Hand in Hand." Seed money is secured from University Relations.

Forum year is adjusted to follow the academic year.

First conference is held on graphic design.

First bylaws are passed, implemented July 1 1994. [When did the forum become financially independent?]

Conference on communications technology draws 250 people to Earle Brown Center, paid memberships break the 200 mark. Board completes a round of strategic planning and revises the bylaws.


From Concept to Creation: Graphic Design and Production (1990)
The Write Stuff: Down-to-Earth Prose for Out-of-This-World Results (1991)
Communicating Quality (1993)
Creative Vacation (1994)
Creative Juices, Daily Chores (1995)
On the Web/On the Page: Choosing and Using Communications Technology (1996)

Program - 3:30
Official Welcome
Ten Years of the Forum: Recognition of Former Chairs
Guest Speaker- Katherine Lanpher, Columnist, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Closing Remarks
More Celebrating!
Food and drink, conversation, and gifts for all

The University of Minnesota Communicators Forum is a nonprofit volunteer organization founded in 1986 for University of Minnesota communications professionals – people whose work involves the interface of words, images, and technology.

The forum's mission is to promote communication and cooperation among University communicators by promoting professional development, building a communicators' network, encouraging high standards, and advancing the interests and concerns of communications professionals.

UMCF bylaws as revised November 13, 1996

Chairs of the Forum

Marta Fahrenz

Then: Publications Coordinator, College of Education
Now: New Product Manager, American Guidance Services, Inc., Circle Pines

Nora Hall
Then: Acting Head of Communications Resources, Minnesota Extension Service
Now: Research Fellow, Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs

Alice Tibbetts
Then: Communications Coordinator, Sea Grant Program
Now: Owner, IMPACT Self-Defense, St. Paul

Valerie Tvrdik

Then: Editor, Office of Educational Development Programs
Now: Editor/Webmaster, Center for Interfacial Engineering

Kris Kirkeby
Then: Director, Biological Sciences Art Services, St. Paul Campus
Now: Owner, Kris Kirkeby Illustration

Mary Knatterud

Editor, Department of Surgery

Andrea Nelson
Then: Recruitment Specialist, Education Student Affairs
Now: Development Director, Biomedical Engineering Institute

Eugenia Smith

Then: Senior Editor, Office of Admissions
Now: Assistant Director, Public Relations and Publications, William Mitchell College of Law

Karen Smith
Assistant Director, Women's Intercollegiate Athletics

Eugenia Smith

Gwen Willems
Then: Public Relations Representative, University of Minnesota Foundation
Now: Grants Writer, Graduate School

Gwen Willems

Kathleen Mitchell

Then: Special Projects Manager, Biomedical Graphic Communications
Now: Director of Marketing and Communications, Minneapolis-based pharmaceutical company

Kimberly Crumley
Then: Customer Services Representative, Printing Services
Now: Printing Services Representative, Color Express II, Minneapolis

Anita Rios

Coordinator, Commission on Women 1995-96

Ginny Hanson
Editor, University Relations

Gayla Marty

Senior Editor, Institute of International Studies and Programs On assignment to the student services web team, Office of the Registrar

Printing donated by Color Express II

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