In December, Rensselaer will celebrate the tenth anniversary of both The Rensselaer Plan and President Shirley Ann Jackson’s tenure at the Institute, in addition to the successful completion of the Renaissance at Rensselaer capital campaign. This event will bring “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin to the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, along with acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell—both Grammy winners who have serenaded President Barack Obama.
The weekend promises much merriment and an escape from the stressful time that surrounds the impending finals week. Despite confusion from many about the exclusivity of the concerts, there will be a number of tickets set aside for students, faculty, and staff who weren’t included on the event’s specific invite list. The tickets will be free for anyone with a RIN number and each person will be able to receive two tickets—on a first come, first serve basis—starting November 19 at 10 am. There is also the possibility of there being an overflow room in the EMPAC Theater, so that members of the Rensselaer community who were too late for tickets can still partake in the concert, though it’s obviously not the same to watch on a big screen as it is to be present in the concert hall.
We are ecstatic to hear that the event will not be as exclusive as previously thought, and look forward to all the events that will be going on. We are also glad that tickets to the concert will be free and only offered to members of the Rensselaer community rather than having to compete with the public at large. We are, however, curious how many tickets will be left over and how the festivities are being funded.
Nevertheless, we encourage all students to mark their calendars for 10 am on November 19, when tickets will be made available for students via the website for the celebration. Take a break from your studies to attend one of the concerts or at least the breakfast and 10-year retrospective to be delivered by Jackson on Saturday morning. It’s sure to be an important weekend at the Institute so be sure to take away what you can from it and, of course, get some free stuff!