Hogwarts on the Hilltop Invites Public to Magical Day of Learning

West Liberty University brings magic to campus with Hogwarts on the Hilltop, an event set for Friday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 29. Most events take place at the Elbin Library.

Hogwarts on the Hilltop will feature Harry Potter-inspired presentations, games and even a costume contest. Saturday’s activities are open to the public.

“We will be hosting nearly 100 students from three local high schools on Friday, so we’ll be busy. Then on Saturday, we’ll open it up to the public. The Friday activity gives high school students an opportunity to experience college-style lectures and learn about the kinds of things we study in the liberal arts. This is the first time we’ve done a themed version, and the result has been about three times the number of attendees we usually get,” said Nicole Naegele, instructor of English and coordinator of the Harry Potter themed event.

“I think the Harry Potter series allows readers to experience something they can’t in their everyday lives. At the same time, there are elements that we mere muggles find familiar, that resonate with our real world like friendship, loss and overcoming difficulties,” Naegele said.

Written by J. K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series has sold more than 500 million books in 80 languages, according to pottermore.com, global digital publisher of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

Saturday presentations are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are open to the public. Free childcare is available at the event and will take place at the Center for Arts and Education. Titles of the presentations include:

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  • “Monetizing Muggles” with Craig Crow, associate professor of management
  • “Harry Potter Pedagogy: Educators, Sorcery and the Seven Secrets of Successful Teaching” with Angela Curfman, assistant professor of teacher education
  • “Why is the ‘Magic’ in Harry Potter’s Universe Not Magic?” with Dominique Hoche, associate professor of English
  • “Care of Magical Creatures” with Kinsey Skalican Guthrie, animal care coordinator and Zachary Loughman, associate professor of biology
  • “The Magic of Misinformation: Fake News in the Harry Potter Series” with Brian Fitzpatrick, instructor of political science
  • “Harry Potter and Censorship” with Katy Zane, librarian

Saturday will end with a costume contest and games, with prizes.

Naegele started working on Hogwarts on the Hilltop last year looking for ways to involve more WLU students in the organization of the event.

“Several English majors are helping with the Friday portion of the event, and the students from Dr. Brian Fencl’s Mural Making and Public Arts class are creating Harry Potter murals on the whiteboards in L10. The murals will be on display both days of the event,” Naegele said.

Clubs and organizations that would like to set up a booth at the event are welcome to contact Naegele at nicole.naegele@westliberty.edu to get involved. There are no fees involved in participating or attending.

For more information on the College of Liberal Arts or WLU, visit westliberty.edu or call 866-937-8542.