Oglethorpe University was selected in 2011 by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation (www.sullivanfdn.org) to have the honor of presenting the highly prized Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards to two deserving seniors. Oglethorpe joins an exclusive list of only 60 Sullivan Award Schools nationwide (including Davidson, Duke, Elon, Furman, Guilford, Rhodes and Sewanee.)
The awards were created 100 years ago to honor the husband and wife for whom the awards are named. The awards are presented to a male and female graduating senior whose nobility of character, integrity and dedication to service sets them apart as examples to others.
Sullivan Awards, represented by a bronze medallion, are highly prized. Previous recipients who have proven their ability to live up to the standards set by this honor range from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to Fred Rogers, noted star of children’s television.
The first Oglethorpe Sullivan Awards will be presented at the Honors and Awards Convocation on April 10, 2012 in the Conant Performing Arts Center, replacing the President’s Community Service Award.
“Since 1835, we have helped students make a life, make a living and make a difference through our commitment to the ideals of service, citizenship, and humanitarianism,” said President Larry Schall. “As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of our Center for Civic Engagement, we are proud to once again be recognized for the extraordinary efforts of our students, faculty, and staff.”
The deadline date for nominations is THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2012. A selection committee of faculty, staff and students has been assembled to review and choose two outstanding seniors. Nominations of worthy candidates may be made online. Oglethorpe faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the Board of Trustees are eligible to make nominations.
Attention all OU alumni, parents, students and friends—the latest issue of Oglethorpe’s award-winning Carillon magazine is here!
This issue delves into the role of liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century and features articles written by senior Foss Baker and Dr. Brian Patterson, assistant professor of computer science & mathematics, President Schall, and our new provost, Dr. Denise von Herrmann.
Read stories about Oglethorpe alumni using their liberal arts education—sometimes in unusual ways! Did you know an OU alum wrote the 2010 CMA Song of the Year? Or, that an OU alum’s thriving business was featured on HGTV, and that another alum is the editor of a top magazine?!
Get a sneak peek into the plans for a new student center. Learn about the freshman class’s new What the Dog Saw common reading program, and hear from the newest additions to the Office of Campus Life—Danny Glassmann, Kendra Hunter and Bre Berris—about the plans they have for student life at Oglethorpe.
Alumna Chloey Mayo’s “Oglethorpe in Lights” offers a glamorous twist on some campus events of Hollywood proportion with a review the TV shows, movies and commercials that have used OU as their backdrop.
John Burke, a 2011 Oglethorpe University graduate, released his first solo piano album this past fall. The OU Blog recently caught up with him to see how he managed to reach such a milestone so early in his career.
John: The album came out in October. It’s called “Synesthesia” and my goal was to provoke a sense of colors through music. All songs are named after colors and the album has a psychological edge to it that tests your mind while you’re enjoying the music.
It’s an instrumental album and I wrote and composed all the tracks. It took me about a year and a half to complete it. I actually found my inspiration during a study abroad trip to Spain I took while at OU.
OU Blog: So, Oglethorpe helped your development as an artist?
John: Yes. I chose OU because of its size and tight knit community. Looking back, I do not see myself being anywhere else but OU. I majored in Spanish and minored in Music. I also sang in the choir. Oglethorpe made it easy for me to balance between full academic load and music practice by providing access to the piano room on campus. I was able to steal little increments of time between classes to practice. It is a great place to thrive.
OU Blog: How did your love for music begin?
John: It started during my senior year in high school. My friends and I started a rock-and-roll/blues band named “Vinyl”. I had no formal schooling in music before OU. I just listened to music and tried to apply it by ear.
OU Blog: Impressive! What was the first tune you learned on piano?
John: The first tune I learned must have been “Imagine” by John Lennon. My favorite thing to play now is George Winston, whom I consider to be the most influential pianist in my life.
OU Blog: What’s your dream stage to perform on? Dream duet?
John: I would love to perform at Carnegie Hall. And a dream duet would be with Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors—piano and organ. And I would also love to compose an album for a blockbuster movie. I dream big. The sky is the limit.
OU Blog: You are obviously very talented. Do you have musical genes in your family?
John: My father is a musician; he currently leads and directs a band at church. He is my role model and motivation, and I can honestly say that if it were not for him I would not be where I am today.
OU Blog: How often and for how long do you practice? What advice would you give beginner musicians?
John: I practice every day, on a good day between 2-4 hours. Beginners, and even those with experience, should not stop practicing and always try new things and different styles. Practice and variety help you grow as an artist.
OU Blog: Music is a big part of your life. Do you have any other musical initiatives?
John: Yes, I am a choir director at a church in Brookhaven, and I have also taught music theory, reading music and also piano. I would like to spend more time teaching music and sharing my passion for it. It is very rewarding to reveal the beauty of music to someone else.
The album is available at www.johnburkemusic.com. John’s music also airs on Best Smooth Jazz and Best Smooth Grooves, two radio stations in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Mario Chandler and Dr. Viviana Plotnik, together with President Schall, led a group of OU students on an educational trip to Cuba over winter break as part of a course focusing on Cuban history, politics and culture. This is the first Oglethorpe University educational trip to this country.
The course, taken for academic credit, included extensive lectures, readings, films, homework, and other requirements. The trip focused on hands-on exploration of Havana’s extensive Asian heritage, the historical and contemporary importance of Cuba’s tobacco industry as well as the island’s economic importance. After the trip, each student had to turn in a journal and each are required to write a reserach paper due later in the semester.
The trip coincided with Delta Airlines’ adding direct flights from Atlanta to Cuba in December 2011. The decision allows for flights for passengers with close relatives in Cuba, for those who are involved in the medical or agricultural business sectors, or for education or religious activities. OU’s group was on one of the first flights to Cuba, just a few days after Christmas. Dr. Chandler shared his thoughts on the trip with the OU Blog.
OU Blog: How did the trip to Cuba come to fruition?
Dr. Chandler: The idea for the OU trip to Cuba was inspired, in fact, by President Schall, who has great interest in the Spanish language and Latin American issues. The President approached me and my colleague in Spanish, Dr. Viviana Plotnik, and shared with us his desire to see such an opportunity come to fruition for our students. Dr. Plotnik and I designed the itinerary and course, which received an enthusiastic and immediate response from the campus community. We were able to put all of the organization pieces together during the Fall 2011 semester.
OU Blog: Why was this trip important?
Dr. Chandler: For me the trip to Cuba symbolized one important, but all-encompassing notion: opportunity. This trip constituted an opportunity for Oglethorpe students to engage Cuban culture, history, and society on that country’s terms rather than through a five-decade long filter of misunderstanding and distrust between Cuba and our country. Unfortunately, the average American students’ views about Cuba are often imbued with misunderstanding, so an opportunity to challenge popular opinion by allowing students to meet Cubans and engage issues from an internal perspective is a powerful and potentially transformative educational experience. As Spanish professors, Dr. Plotnik and I couldn’t be more proud than to have had the chance to shepherd our students in their navigation of this wonderful opportunity, an exercise that takes place, ideally, in the people’s language…Spanish.
OU Blog: How was the Oglethorpe group received by the local people?
Dr. Chandler: Our OU group members were consummate ambassadors throughout our Cuban journey. We were proud to see our students using the Spanish language for engaging in daily contact with Cubans, for holding conversations and maintaining discussions, and for cultivating acquaintances that extended beyond the typical tourist demarcations. Frequently, throughout our Cuban travels, we used public transportation alongside Cubans going about their daily tasks or ate peanuts while strolling the country’s prados and malecons, in small but significant ways bringing us closer to our Cuban hosts and erasing barriers on both sides whether real or invented.
If you would like to learn more about this trip, Dr. Chandler, Dr. Plotnik, and Oglethorpe students will give a presentation about their experiences as part of tomorrow’s OU Day celebrations. Join the conversation, “OU Student Reflections on Cuban Culture–What Happens in Cuba Doesn’t Stay in Cuba,” on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 12:10 p.m. in the Conant Performing Arts Center. For more photos from the Cuba trip, check out Flickr. For more information about Oglethorpe’s study abroad program, check out OUSA’s page.
A new exhibit opens at the OU Museum of Art on February 5, 2012. “The Secret Round: Mandalas by the Patients of Carl Jung” features 40 original mandalas created by the famous Swiss psychoanalyst’s patients during their treatment between 1926 and 1945. This first ever exhibit is courtesy of the C. G. Jung Institute in Switzerland.
Mandalas were used during therapy to help patients express both the conscious and unconscious. Included in the exhibit is a handmade book containing one patient’s dream descriptions and drawings, hailed as the feminine version of Jung’s famous The Red Book.
The exhibit is accompanied by a series of guest lectures, presented in partnership with the C.G. Jung Society of Atlanta, and featuring top Jungian analysts. Each lecture will unveil a different aspect of the mystery that is the mandala.
The Public Opening will take place on Sunday, February 5, 12 noon – 5 p.m. A special lecture by exhibit curator Vicente de Moura, C.G. Jung Institute archivist and Jungian analyst, will start at 3:00 p.m. As always, OU students, staff and faculty have the amazing opportunity to visit the exhibit for free with a Petrel Pass. The exhibit will run through May 6, 2012.
Join us and immerse yourself in the inner world of mandalas!
The OU French Club organizes exciting French experiences and culinary adventures for their club members and the rest of the Oglethorpe community.
“The French Club is here to benefit anyone who is interested in being exposed to French culture,” said Alexus Whilby, club president. “You do not have to speak the language to have French fun! We share French food, fashion, language, and hospitality with all who come to visit our group.”
Events organized by the French Club include a French cuisine cooking class, a Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans, and regularly scheduled French movie nights. Last semester the club took advantage of having the exhibit Chagall: The Early Etchings of the 1920s on-campus at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, by hosting French arts-themed event in the museum.
OU French Club encourages everyone to join in the fun. “You do not need an invitation to any of our meetings,” said Whilby. “They are held every Thursday from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Hearst 101. Come one and all and experience the journey of the true “French life”, right here on the Oglethorpe campus!
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced the 2011 NCAA Men’s Soccer Division III All-Region teams recently and four Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels received recognition: Senior center back Mark Lavery (Woodstock, Ga.) and senior midfielder Aaron Walker (Woodstock, Ga.) were tabbed as members of the All-South Atlantic First Team while sophomore defender Nikos Papanikolopoulos (Atlanta) and junior goalkeeper Frank Petersen (Woodstock, Ga.) received Third Team nods.
Just days later, the NSCAA named Lavery to the First Team of the NSCAA/Continental Tire 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer All-America Team. Lavery is the first Stormy Petrel in school history to receive a First Team All-America designation in men’s soccer. He was also named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Defensive Player-of-the-Year.
These individual postseason honors come on the heels of unrivaled team success for an Oglethorpe squad that won a conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011—all during Oglethorpe’s 50th anniversary year of soccer.
“I’m thrilled that four deserving players like Mark, Aaron, Nikos and Frank were recognized…” said Oglethorpe head men’s soccer coach Jon Akin. “It’s the icing on the cake after all the hard work these kids put in to push us to our first conference title and first trip to the NCAA’s in program history.”
Congratulations to all!
The Oglethorpe University Women’s Basketball team had some special fans in the stands during their recent game against Birmingham-Southern. Residents of the Sunrise Senior Assisted Living community visited the campus to support the team as part of the new Silver Petrels program.
Initiated by Head Basketball Coach Aaron Nester and organized by OU’s Center for Civic Engagement, the Silver Petrels service program was formed inspire teamwork both on and off the court, and to make a positive impact in the community. The players focus on nurturing friendships with the residents at the Sunrise Assisted Living in Buckhead. The team has made a commitment to spend quality time with the residents. The groups’ first gathering in November was spent playing bingo during an afternoon spent at the assisted living center.
“This is a great partnership and hopefully one we keep for many years,” said Coach Nester. “It is neat to see our student-athletes be involved in something bigger than themselves and, ultimately, that is what it is all about.”
“The residents were so excited…to visit a college campus and to see a sporting event,” said Heather Staniszewski, assistant director at OU’s Center for Civic Engagement. “They loved seeing new people, clapping, and of course the food. [One resident] took notes and cried he was so touched to be cheering on the team.”
The residents were impressed to find out that OU students do not play for athletic scholarships but out of pure love for the game. They hope to return for another game and in the meantime they are preparing to host the team again at Sunrise for another Bingo Day.
Oglethorpe University students Christina Bayne, Will Jones, Misty Love, Katie Odell, Corey Ray, Kristy Williams, Ashley Causey, Awet Woldegebriel, Joseph White, and Maya Hayes will discuss that question during a live webcast titled The Future of The American Dream on December 1 at 6:00 p.m. The webcast is organized by the The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and is part of their Speaker Series. The discussion will feature Bob Herbert, journalist and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, and Deborah Bial, president and founder of The Posse Foundation. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Garrow will moderate the discussion.
“We are delighted that a number of Oglethorpe students will join us for our live speaker series event,” said Penny McPhee, president of the The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
Oglethorpe University students were invited by the foundation to take part and will participate alongside students from several other metro Atlanta universities, including Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Agnes Scott College, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Georgia State University.
Join the live webcast at http://bit.ly/ambdream, no registration needed. The page also contains links to speaker bios, interviews with area college students on The Future of the AmericanDream, and links to resources and news articles.
Last month the OU Blog told you about a lecture and book signing by author Twesigye Jackson Kaguri and organized by Oglethorpe’s Women’s Network.
In Kaguri’s book, A School for My Village: A Promise to the Orphans of Nyaka, he describes his amazing journey from a small farm in Uganda to the ivy halls of Columbia University, and then home again to build a tuition-free school for almost 500 Nyaka orphans.
Affected by the Kaguri’s story, Betty Londergan, President Schall’s wife, journeyed to Uganda, to see the work of Kaguri’s Nyaka AIDS Orphan School wtih her own eyes. Read about her experiences and follow her journey on her blog: