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Gene Kozlowski (Photo by David Linnenberger)
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Services Set, Scholarship Fund Named for Gene Kozlowski

December 1, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - A service and reception in memory of Gene Kozlowski, 65, Western Illinois University's longtime theatre department chair who passed away Nov. 28 at home in Macomb following an illness, will be held Sunday, Dec. 14.

The service will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, 201 W. Carroll St., Macomb. A reception will follow from 7:30-10:30 p.m. in the Western Illinois University Lamoine Room.

Kozlowski retired in December 2005 following 32 years of service to Western Illinois' theatre (now theatre and dance) department and the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

An actor, director and playwright, Kozlowski joined Western's theatre faculty in 1973 and was named department chair in 1980. During his tenure he directed, and acted in, more than 50 productions, two of which - - "Landscape of the Body" and "Agnes of God" - - were selected among only six productions produced at the regional American College Theatre Festival (ACTF), representing the finest in university and college theatre productions.

He also served as head of Western's acting program; managing director of Summer Music Theatre; guest director of the State of Illinois Repertory Theatre; and artistic director and managing director of Western's Regional Touring Theatre Company (RTTC), for which he had won several national awards for his adaptations of traditional fairy tales and children's stories. In May 1999, the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education awarded the RTTC the annual recognition award for the company's outstanding contributions to the arts in Illinois.

Kozlowski was awarded the John F. Kennedy Center's Gold Medallion for Excellence (1994) and the Illinois Theatre Association's Life Achievement Award (2001). He was a member of the American College Theatre Festival Executive Selection Committee for Region III (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio).

He wrote nine plays that have been produced at local and regional theatres. He also has written and directed one independent screenplay, three industrial films and a children's theatre television show for Dr. C. Productions.

On two separate occasions (August 1986-August 1987; January 2003-June 2004) he served as interim dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Kozlowski earned his bachelor's (1967) and master's (1968) degrees at Western and has post-graduate studies from the University of Iowa. He taught in New Hampshire before returning to Western in 1973.

A scholarship fund - - the Gene Kozlowski New Playwright Fund - - has been established through the WIU Foundation. In lieu of flowers, donations to the scholarship fund may be made through the WIU Foundation, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390.

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