The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire was honored to recognize a special gift from dramatist, playwright, and professor Tess Onwueme on October 18. Dr. Onwueme joined the English department at UWEC in 1994 as the first Distinguished Professor of Cultural Diversity and later assumed the position of University Professor of Global Letters in 2010. She has generously provided the university with material gifts as well as inspiration for her students, encouraging them to think critically about the world around them throughout her time here.
The performance of Onwueme’s play, “The Reign of Wazobia,” in which the female character Wazobia challenges traditional customs and rebels against discrimination against women, celebrated the donation of over thirty years of manuscripts, papers, photographs, lectures, reviews, and multimedia from the world-renowned playwright. Although other institutions had expressed interest in acquiring the collection, Dr. Onwueme chose to donate it to UW-Eau Claire where she has spent over twenty years teaching her students, sharing her knowledge, and inspiring people to become more aware of social issues. The collection has been made available to scholars in the UWEC McIntyre Library Archives.
“The Reign of Wazobia” production, which was free and open to the public, drew people from all over the area to UWEC. As a celebration of Onwueme’s donation and her commitment to social justice and equality, the stunning performance will not be quickly forgotten by the attendees that filled Schofield Auditorium.