Guest Blog By: Mark Hagemeier, Managing Associate General Counsel, UAMS
April 1, 2019
My name is Mark Hagemeier, and I serve as the Managing Associate General Counsel at UAMS. I’ve held this role on this campus since 2008. Twice each year, employees of UAMS and I are treated to free concerts performed by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Each fall and spring, some assortment of musicians from the ASO arrive on campus to deliver a fantastic recital. Past concerts have ranged from what I consider to be typical musical ensembles—a string quartet, a brass quintet, or a piano/violin duet—to more adventurous (or perhaps, bizarre) combination of musicians—a tuba/bassoon duet or a violin/accordion duet. (See: you really never know what you are going to get!) This next Wednesday, April 3, 2019, the latest iteration of the Ruth Allen Concert Series will take place at 4:30 PM in the UAMS Hospital Lobby Gallery. I would consider this concert to fall within the classical (pun intended) musical ensemble variation: Alisa Coffey (harp), Carolyn Brown (flute), Katherine Williamson (violin), and David Gerstein (cello), will perform three pieces by Haydn, Ibert, and Piazzolla.
These two annual concerts are an endowed gift to UAMS students, staff, and faculty by former UAMS professor Dr. Ruth Allen. Dr. Allen served in several capacities while working at UAMS: she was the associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Health Professions; she worked in the Office of Educational Development; and she served as an educational evaluator in the Department of Geriatrics. Dr. Allen was born in Saginaw, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the University of Oregon. She served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia and travelled widely throughout her life. Luckily for UAMS, and I hope for Dr. Allen, she found her way ultimately to Little Rock to teach, serve, and conduct research.
Usually, the fall performance takes place the week of Thanksgiving, and I have personally come to associate the start of the holiday season with this concert. The spring performance, like daffodils and tulips, is a harbinger of Spring itself. All of these concerts are intimate affairs. As an employee of UAMS, I feel as though I’m attending these concerts with family members. There aren’t hundreds of other attendees, so you can literally sit just a few feet from the musicians and watch them play…not just hear them play. And, although I have seen Dr. Allen at these concerts, I’ve never been bold enough to thank her personally for this wonderful gift she has given to the University community. So, Dr. Allen, should you be reading this blog post, I would like to send you a heartfelt “thank you” for your endowment in support of the ASO and UAMS.