Great Turnout for EIU Presentation

Thank you everyone who came out to my “legends and lore of Coles County” presentation at Eastern Illinois University last night! The event was a huge success – we actually had to move to another room to accommodate the crowd. Thanks to Becky and Lesley for helping out, and again to Morgan and Diane and the rest of the EIU Creative Writing Club exec board, As a bonus, my presentation made the front page of the Daily Eastern News today. Here’s a snippet:

Coles County Full of Hauntings
By Ashley Holstrom/Staff Reporter

The legend of the ghost of Pemberton Hall is the most well known in the area, but Michael Kleen, author of “The Tales of Coles County,” has many more to share. And he did, to an audience of about 50 students and community members at an event hosted by the Eastern’s Creative Writing Club Thursday.

Most people in the audience raised their hands when asked if they believe in ghosts, and Kleen said he was surprised that the few who did not would come to such an event. “Maybe we’ll make believers out of you,” he said.

He grew up reading ghost stories, went to Eastern, and realized not much had been written about the legends percolating around the area. So he did it himself.

This is the best quote:

The story of the ghost of Pemberton Hall hits closest to home — literally, for a few members of the audience. “Have a good night tonight,” he said, laughing, to the few women who said they live there.

My next presentation in Coles County will be at Lakeland Community College in February.

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Watershed Moment for Rock Valley College Free Speech Lawsuit

By Michael Kleen ~ Published July 24, 2013 at the Rock River Times

Free speechIn the fall of 2012, Dominic Celletti, a criminal justice student at Rock Valley College (RVC), filed suit in Federal court against RVC President Jack Becherer, Student Life Manager Quiana Preston, and the Board of Trustees. Celletti alleged that RVC infringed on his freedom of speech with burdensome and arbitrary policy restrictions concerning campus bulletin boards. In April of this year, Judge Philip Reinhard granted a motion to dismiss the case and gave Celletti the opportunity to file an amended complaint, which he did on July 15th.

The suit stemmed from an incident in the fall of 2011. On September 2, 2011, Celletti approached staff at the Student Life Center about his ability to post flyers urging students to get involved in civil rights issues around campus. The flyer was a simple design featuring a call for students to read the U.S. Constitution and a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, with Dominic’s phone number.

When Celletti inquired about posting the flyers, he was told that he was not allowed to post on campus bulletin boards because he was not a member of a campus club. As a non-affiliated student, he could be given access to one “free” and one “event” board in the Student Center Building.

Continue reading “Watershed Moment for Rock Valley College Free Speech Lawsuit”

Rock Valley College Faces First Amendment Challenge from Student

Published September 5, 2012 at Rock River Times

Campus speech codes and other rules governing expression at public colleges and universities have long been controversial. Now, Rock Valley College has landed itself in hot water over its policies concerning which students have access to campus bulletin boards and which do not. Dominic Celletti, a Criminal Justice student at RVC, is filing suit in Federal court over what he says was a systematic infringement on his freedom of speech by administrators at the college.

A letter sent last October by the Rutherford Institute to Jack Becherer, President of Rock Valley College, explained the incident that led to the civil suit. On September 2, 2011, Dominic approached staff at the Student Life Center about his ability to post flyers around campus, urging students to get involved in civil rights issues. The flyer was a simple design featuring a call for students to read the U.S. Constitution and a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, with Dominic’s phone number.

“As you can see,” a staff attorney at the Rutherford Institute wrote, “the flyers are not offensive or inflammatory and simply urge people to stand up for their civil liberties and become knowledgeable about their constitutional rights.” When Dominic inquired about posting the flyers, however, he was told that he was not allowed to post on campus bulletin boards because he was not a member of a campus club. As a non-affiliated student, he could be given access to one “free” and one “event” board in the Student Center Building.

Read the entire column at the Rock River Times

The Legend of Pemberton Hall Returns – The Sequel

It’s that time of the year again (aside from my birthday)!

Since the 1950s, a story has been told to every generation of girls who reside in Eastern Illinois University’s legendary Pemberton Hall, the first all-female dormitory in the state of Illinois. This story involves an infamous dorm mother named Mary Hawkins and the ghost of a girl who was allegedly murdered in the fourth floor piano room over ninety years ago. Pemberton Hall’s fourth floor has been closed for generations, adding fuel to the legend. Students wonder:

  • Who was Mary Hawkins?
  • What did she really look like?
  • How did she die?
  • How long has this story been told?

Now peer behind the locked doors and find out what really happened on that dark and stormy night at Eastern Illinois University. The answers to all your questions about this famous story are just a click away! This is the most comprehensive account of the legend ever written.

Click the link below to download it for free! Also, feel free to share this .pdf with your friends!

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen

 

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen
The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen

 

Citations: if you wish to use any of this in a paper or presentation, cite it in the following way (Chicago style):
Michael Kleen, The Legend of Pemberton Hall (Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2008), page#.

The Legend of Pemberton Hall – The legend returns!

Since the 1950s, a story has been told to every generation of girls who reside in Eastern Illinois University’s legendary Pemberton Hall, the first all-female dormitory in the state of Illinois.

This story involves an infamous dorm mother named Mary Hawkins and the ghost of a girl who was allegedly murdered in the fourth floor piano room over ninety years ago. Pemberton Hall’s fourth floor has been closed for generations, adding fuel to the legend. Students wonder:

  • Who was Mary Hawkins?
  • What did she really look like?
  • How did she die?
  • How long has this story been told?

Now peer behind the locked doors and find out what really happened on that dark and stormy night at Eastern Illinois University. The answers to all your questions about this famous story are just a click away! This is the most comprehensive account of the legend ever written.

Click the link below to download it for free!  Also, feel free to share this .pdf with your friends!

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen
The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen

Citations: if you wish to use any of this in a paper or presentation, cite it in the following way (Chicago style):
Michael Kleen, The Legend of Pemberton Hall (Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2008), page#.

The Legend of Pemberton Hall

Since the 1950s, a story has been told to every generation of girls who reside in Eastern Illinois University’s legendary Pemberton Hall, the first all-female dormitory in the state of Illinois.

This story involves an infamous dorm mother named Mary Hawkins and the ghost of a girl who was allegedly murdered in the fourth floor piano room over ninety years ago.

Pemberton Hall’s fourth floor has been closed for generations, adding fuel to the legend.  Now peer behind the locked doors and find out what really happened on that dark and stormy night at Eastern Illinois University!

This is the most comprehensive account of the legend ever written.

Click the link below to download it for free!  Also, feel free to save this file and share it with your friends!

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen
The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen