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Public Affairs


Holiday gifts with a Gator connection

December 2, 2003

Surprise the Gator in your life with a thoughtful gift this holiday season. Here is a list of creative gift ideas that have a connection to SFSU alumni and faculty.

Film and video
Image of SpongeBob SquarePantsA must-have for Tolkien fans is the Platinum Series Special Extended Edition DVD gift set of "Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers." This 4-disc collection features 43 minutes of scenes never seen before. Academy award winner Christopher Boyes (BA '85) is the sound designer for this epic trilogy. Boyes' extensive resume also includes this summer's blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Another noteworthy DVD is Pixar's animated hit "Finding Nemo." The photo-realistic underwater computer animation was created by supervising animator Dylan Brown (BA '91) and his team of 50.

Academy award nominee Annette Bening's (BA '80) latest screen appearance, "Open Range" is also available on DVD or catch David Carradine (attended ‘56-‘57) playing the lead villain in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Volume 1," in theaters now.

For younger Gators, Disney's "Brother Bear" is playing in theaters, with alumnus Dave Anthony Thomas as the voice of Tuke, one-half of Tuke and Uke -- the funny but dim-witted moose brothers. Thomas is also storyboard director of "The Fairly OddParents," one of the highest-rated cartoons on Nickelodeon. Check out merchandise from "The Fairly OddParents" or "SpongeBob SquarePants" -- where Sirena Irwin (BA '93) does voiceover for some characters -- at

Cover to the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" albumTurn up the holiday mood with Johnny Mathis' (attended '54 – '55) CD, "The Christmas Music of Johnny Mathis: A Personal Collection" or "A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Soundtrack Recording of the CBS Television Special," with music by the late Vince Guaraldi, an SFSU alum.

For those seeking a more contemporary beat, Destani Wolf (BA '00) has been described as "a cross between Nina Simone and Janis Joplin" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her recent tour with the internationally acclaimed a capella group, SoVoSó is featured on the CD "Bridges." Wolf is now a member of O-maya, an eclectic band that combines Afro-Latin-Hip Hop genres. Voted Best of the Bay 2003 by SF Weekly, O-maya's self-titled album is also on sale.

Alternatively, join Kent Nagano (BA '76) as he celebrates his 25th year as conductor of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra with tickets to a performance on Jan. 21, 2004. The SFSU Chamber Singers are presenting a candlelight Christmas performance at St. Albert's Priory in Oakland on Saturday, Dec. 6. For more information, see the SFSU Web site.

Image of the cover of Anne Rice's Blood CanticleFor the avid reader, SFSU's alumni and faculty boast an exceptional list of books.

Enter the gothic world of Anne Rice (BA '64, MA '65) with her latest addition to the Vampire Chronicles, "Blood Canticle." A sequel to "Blackwood Farm," Rice's world of witches and vampires meet again.

Carol Muske-Dukes' (MA '70) "Sparrows" is a stunning collection of poems on love and loss, as she meditates on the death of her husband, actor David Dukes.

A treat for rock and roll fans, SFSU's 2003 alumnus of the year, Ben Fong-Torres (BA '67) presents "Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock and Roll," a collection of 34 Woodstock-era articles and photos from various magazines including Rolling Stone -- where Fong-Torres worked as editor in 1970s.

Try holiday recipes from alumnus Rick Rodgers' cookbooks, "Christmas 101," "Thanksgiving 101" and "Dip It! Great Party Food to Spread, Spoon and Scoop," available at Rodgers' Web site.

Jewish studies Professor Marc Dollinger co-edited "California Jews," a collection of articles, photos and artwork that examines the aspects of Jewish life in the West Coast. This coffee-table style book is a fitting gift for Hanukkah.

Gifts with a twist
Photo of a bottle of Fire Station Red wineFor low-carb holiday treats, The Protein Bakery, founded by Stephen C. Lincoln (BA '91) offers yummy chocolate chip, oatmeal or almond cookies that are high in protein. Gift packages are available at The Protein Bakery Web site.

For gamers, Eric Hedman (BA '91), art and animator director of "The Sims" recommends "The Sims: Unleashed," an expansion pack for "The Sims Double Deluxe." This addictive collection from EA Games allows users to create neighborhoods, play cupid and decide the fate of characters.

Tis' the season of giving -- enjoy fine wine and help support America's fire fighters. Fred Nunes (attended '92) joined forces with other fire fighters to produce Fire Station Red, a Sonoma wine company that gives a portion of proceeds to fire service agencies.

For a big-ticket item, consider a reproduction of Frances Mayes' (MA '75) furniture at Bramasole, her 200-year-old villa that is the centerpiece of her international best seller "Under The Tuscan Sun," available at Drexel Heritage's Web site.

-- Public Affairs Student Writer Audrey Tang with Ellen Griffin





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Last modified December 2, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs