South-central West Virginia is the location for plenty of West Virginia University information and entertainment during WVU Days in the Kanawha Valley Sept. 23-25.

Highlighting this years activities in Kanawha, Putnam and Boone counties will be a performance by the Mountaineer Marching Band on Tuesday evening, Sept. 23, at the Charleston Daily Mail Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival at Charlestons Laidley Field.

WVU Days, now in its 15th year, provides us with an opportunity to go into various communities throughout the state and talk to young people about the importance of higher education,said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.It also allows us to showcase the many academic, research, service and cultural opportunities available at a major land-grant research university.

For three days, WVU faculty will go into the tri-county areas 16 high schools to presentmini lectureson subjects related to their areas of expertise. Whether they teach forensic identification, chemistry, journalism, nursing or teacher education, WVU s professors win awards for both their research and for their teaching. They always have time to help their students reach for their own greatness. High school juniors and seniors in Kanawha, Boone and Putnam counties will hear lectures on King Tuts tomb, forensic entomology, DNA fingerprinting, 9-11 and the Muslim world, biotechnology and more.

At the same time, WVU administrators and students will visit eighth-grade classrooms to talk about career choices, college expenses and time management.

Kicking off the three-day trip is a performance byThe Pride of West Virginia, WVU s award-winning Mountaineer Marching Band, during the half-way point of the 57th Annual Charleston Daily Mail Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival. The festival begins at 6:30 p.m. WVU s band is slated to perform at approximately 8 p.m., featuring 49 musicians from Kanawha, Putnam and Boone counties, including one of the bands feature twirlers Michelle Elmore from South Charleston.

Its always good to get back to the capital city,said John Hendricks, marching band director.We have a great fan base in that area of the state. We like performing for them.

The band will play for about a half-hour, including some of its more popular arrangements likeCountry Roads,Simple GiftsandMountain Dew.

The 325-member band has performed throughout the U.S.from nationally-televised bowl games to presidential inaugurations. Formed in 1901 as an all male ROTC Band comprised of eight members, todays band is recognized as one of the outstanding collegiate marching bands in the nation. In 1997,The Pridereceived theSudler Trophyfrom the John Philip Sousa Foundation, a national honor voted on by college band directors across the country and presented to only one band each year.

Admission to the festival is $6 in advance; $7 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased at any of the participating high schools: Capital, George Washington, Herbert Hoover, Nitro, Riverside, Sissonville, South Charleston or St. Albans. They also can be bought at Kerrs Music World in Charleston or Gorbys Music in South Charleston.

Started in 1989, WVU Days has been an annual event designed to take the University to various communities across the state to promote higher education.