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Gifts for the graduating Gator

May 17, 2006

A ceramic piece by Professor David Kuraoka is featured on an SF State note card sold at the BookstoreBooks, DVDs and tickets to performing arts events -- each with a Gator connection -- are among this year's gift suggestions for the Class of 2006.

Gator lit
Award-winning author Peter Orner, assistant professor of creative writing, brings to life stories of post-revolutionary Namibia, Africa and its people in "The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo" (Little, Brown and Company, 2006). This book makes a great gift for fiction fans and creative writing graduates.

Even if an around-the-world adventure is too expensive, Professor Emeritus Frances Mayes (M.A., '75) offers the next best thing for anyone interested in learning about other cultures. Mayes' new book, "A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveler" (Broadway Books, 2006), offers a close-up look at more than a dozen countries.

What do you get when poetry and the novel collide? "Povel" (Fence Books, 2005) by creative writing graduate student Geraldine Kim, a member of SF State's Class of 2006. "Povel" was the winner of Fence Books' 2005 Modern Poets Series and a Village Voice favorite book of 2005.

For anyone learning or interested in Arabic, Lecturer Fayeq Oweis offers the ideal travel-sized guide to the language. "Pocket Guide to Arabic Script" (Hippocrene Books, 2005) includes sections on each Arabic letter from alif to yaa, grammar, vocabulary, numerals, characters and calligraphy.

Anthropology Professor Bernard P. Wong's "The Chinese in Silicon Valley" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005) explores a Chinese American community unlike any other -- and makes a great gift for Asian American studies majors.

Gator art and music
Ann Rice (B.A., '64; M.A., '72) fans who missed the pre-Broadway world premiere of "Lestat" in San Francisco will appreciate tickets to the Broadway show, now at the Palace Theatre in New York through Sept. 24. Based on the star of Rice's best-selling vampire chronicles and featuring the music of Sir Elton John, "Lestat" is sure to be a memorable event.

Note cards featuring the work of some of San Francisco State's most distinguished artists make a great gift for graduates. The note cards, on sale at the SFSU Bookstore, feature artwork by Professor David Kuraoka and Professors Emeriti Richard McLean, Robert Bechtle and the late John Gutmann. The stylish SF State stationery is perfect for thank you notes.

Treat a music major to the sounds of SF State's Alexander String Quartet along with Turtle Island String Quartet, Cypress String Quartet and other ensembles featured at the Fourth Annual Yehudi Menuhin Seminar June 2-4. The musicians will perform, coach and hold classes at the three-day musical seminar at Knuth Hall in the Creative Arts Building.

Tickets to a Word for Word performance will delight the theatre-goer on the gift list. Founded by alumnae JoAnne Winter (B.A., '96) and Susan Harloe (B.A. '68), the professional theatre company performs short stories, quite literally, word for word. The next production, "Noir," will be held in late summer at the Project Artaud Theatre.

Headed to the East Coast this summer? Treat graduates to Professor Emeritus of Art Robert Bechtle's traveling retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. The exhibition features more than 90 of the master photorealist's paintings, watercolors and drawings. The retrospective runs through June 4 and is the last and only East coast venue.

Gators on DVD
The latest "Family Guy" DVD, "Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story," makes a great gift for followers of the animated comedy starring Alex Borstein (B.A., '92) as Lois Griffin, mother of maniacal baby genius Stewie Griffin. Meanwhile, movie fans can also find Borstein playing the part of Natalie in the film "Good Night, and Good Luck" starring George Clooney, now on DVD.

Treat jazz aficionados to the smooth sounds of one of jazz's greatest tenor sax players. SFSU Artist-in-Residence Branford Marsalis teams with Harry Connick, Jr. on "Harry and Branford: A Duo Occasion," a new DVD from Marsalis Music.

Consider a movie DVD with an unusual Gator connection. "Bee Season," based on the novel by Myla Goldberg, stars Richard Gere, who offers a convincing performance as a violinist, thanks to months of training under Professor Jassen Todorov, SF State's resident master violinist.

Celebrate the Gator way
What's a celebration without some bubbly? Berkeley-based wine merchant, author and alum Kermit Lynch (B.A., '67) offers a wide selection at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants in Berkeley.

Take graduates to a post-Commencement celebratory meal at a San Francisco restaurant with a Gator connection. Dean Biersch (B.A., '84), brewery executive and development VP, founded the successful Gordon Biersch Brewing Company on the Embarcadero. Another option: Gaylord India Restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf, founded by Kishore Kripalani (M.B.A. '73).

-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with Adrianne Bee

Related stories:
Gator Gifts 2004; Gator Gifts 2005


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Last modified May 17, 2006 by University Communications