WFU continues dialogue, civil discourse theme

Wake Forest University will continue its celebration of the theme “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community” during the spring semester with a guest lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Anna Quindlen, a talk by physician Patch Adams, an Akoni celebration to honor great African ancestors and a symposium on the road to peace in Ireland.

The theme, which has been celebrated throughout the 2003-2004 academic year, is designed to explore how free people with passionate interests and beliefs can communicate openly without turning dialogue into discord. Fall semester events during the theme year have included a Moroccan film and discussion series, an Asian film festival, a student dialogue program with senior university administrators, spoken word forums and a variety of other lectures, musical performances and activities.

Spring events start at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 with a free, public lecture by Tim Wise, senior advisor at Fisk University’s Race Relations Institute. Wise will give the lecture “Beyond Diversity: Challenging Racism in the Age of Backlash” in Annenberg Forum (Room 111) in Carswell Hall. Dr. Hoda Hosseini, co-founder of the Broward County Institute for the Healing of Racism, will give the lecture “The Destiny of America: RACE-ing into the 21st Century” at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Annenberg Forum (Room 111) in Carswell Hall.

Fosterinig Dialogue 2003-2004 logoOn Feb. 16, the Divinity School will host a free, public lecture by Delman Coates of Columbia University at 7 p.m. in Wingate Hall’s lower auditorium. Coates will speak on “The Black Church in the 21st Century.” In addition, the Divinity School will host an Akoni service at 11 a.m. Feb. 17 in Wait Chapel. The service, which will be led by Coates, will celebrate great African ancestors.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Anna Quindlen will give the Founders’ Day Convocation address at Wake Forest University at 11 a.m. Feb. 19 in Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

On Feb. 20, Retired Col. Roger H.C. Donlon, U.S. Army Special Forces, will lead an open discussion forum titled “Teamwork and the Vietnam War” at 9 a.m. in Room 162 of the Information Systems Building. Donlon, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor for Valor in the Vietnam War, is now the executive director of The Westmoreland Scholar Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding understanding between the United States and Vietnam through academic scholarships and exchange programs for students. He is the author of “Beyond Nam Dong” and “Outpost Freedom.”

Donald C. Johanson, probably the best known American paleoanthropologist, will give a free, public lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in Wait Chapel. Johanson’s discovery in 1974 of a 3.18 million-year-old hominid skeleton — popularly known as “Lucy” — in the Hadar region of Ethiopia has had an extraordinary influence on the modern understanding of early hominid evolution. The lecture will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the discovery of “Lucy.”

At 7 p.m. Feb. 29, renowned physician Patch Adams will give a public talk in Wait Chapel. The program is intended to help raise money for Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity and for Adams’ free healthcare hospital “The Gesundheit Institute.” Tickets can be purchased for $12 in the Benson University Center Ticket Office.

From March 15 to 19, the university will host two Irish symposiums scheduled to coincide with the annual Wake Forest University Press Irish Festival. The symposiums, “Opposing Views and Common Ground: Examining the Road to Peace in Ireland” and “Dialogue through Poetry,” bring to campus several noted Irish historical and literary scholars to discuss the path ahead for the peace process in Ireland.

At 9 a.m. March 22, Congressman Rick Boucher will give a free, public talk as part of Wake Forest University’s Second Annual Technology Consortium. Boucher, who represents Virginia’s ninth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He originated the House Internet Caucus in 1996 and serves as one of two House co-chairmen of the more than 170 member group. In that position, he is a leading architect of federal policy for information technology and the Internet.

On March 23, best-selling novelist Orson Scott Card will give a free, public lecture at 7 p.m. Card is the author of “Ender’s Game” and its sequel “Speaker for the Dead,” as well as many other books. Location to be announced.

The Divinity School will sponsor a program by Father Thomas Keating titled “Global Prayer, Peace, and Interfaith Dialogue” from April 5 to 6. Keating, a leader in the Centering Prayer Movement, is a Cistercian Trappist priest, monk and abbot. He resides at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. He is the former abbot of Spencer Abbey in Spencer, Mass.

A celebration on University Plaza (Quad) is planned for the end of the academic year that draws on London’s tradition of allowing speakers to express their views in a public forum. The Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner Day will give participants a chance to climb up on a soapbox and express their views about a number of topics.

The events listed are only a sampling of the events that will take place during the spring semester at Wake Forest. A full schedule of events and additional information about the theme year is located on the Wake Forest University Web site at

“Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community” is the first of two theme years to be funded through a $1.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis. The grant, awarded to Wake Forest in 2001, is also being used to support a center for vocational exploration for undergraduate students for five years at Wake Forest. The Pro Humanitate Center opened in 2002 and offers programs designed to encourage students to explore the nature of vocation as they consider possible careers, including the ministry.

Categories: Events, Speakers