Porsche Care Network Awards Grants to Three Student Groups

Porsche intern 5

Oglethorpe has a long-standing relationship with Porsche. Eight alumni currently work at luxury car company—a number of whom started as interns.

Congratulations to three Oglethorpe student groups who came in first with Porsche!
In 2015, three Oglethorpe student organizations were awarded a total of $1500 (of the $5,000 available) from the Porsche Care Network, the community service organization of Porsche Cars North America, headquartered in Atlanta.  Environmentally Conscious Oglethorpe Students (ECOS), Heifer International, and the Outdoors Club, each received $500 to support their initiatives after submitting an application essay describing their organization’s goals, and how the donation would be used.

Each year, the Environmental Committee of Porsche Care Network helps to promote and support organizations devoted to the environment and sustainability. As part of this, student groups at various Georgia colleges and universities are identified and rewarded for their efforts with a chance to compete for a donation.

All three organizations provide an opportunities for Oglethorpe students who are concerned about our earth to make a difference. ECOS shares weekly tips and tricks for students, organizes a Greek Row clean up, and volunteered with Trees Atlanta. The Outdoors Club frequently hosts Atlanta-area excursions for members, with events ranging from hiking at Tallulah Falls to rock climbing at Stone Summit Climbing and Fitness Center. The Heifer International club hosted a International Food Fair to raise donations to help buy honeybees and a “flock of hope” (chicks, ducks, and goslings).

ECOS will use the grant to create an off-campus compost plan for leftover food in the dining hall. The Outdoors Club used their grant to plan a day trip for 15 students to Appalachian Ski Mountain. Heifer International plans to use its grant to help increase awareness about the club on campus and to support a women’s empowerment event.

Read more about the connections between Oglethorpe and Porsche!

Oglethorpe Filmmakers to Compete for $10,000 National Prize

A team of Oglethorpe University student filmmakers has been selected to advance to the final round of the Campus Movie Fest (CMF) Fan Choice Award, presented by Western Digital. The team will be among a group of the best student-created films nationwide, competing for a chance to win $10,000.

The team accepts their CMF award at the Oglethorpe University Red Carpet premiere event

The team accepts their CMF award at the Oglethorpe University Red Carpet premiere event

Nearly 500 movies from 11 colleges were in competition within the southeastern group, with only five movies selected to advance to the final round of national competition. Also advancing from Oglethorpe’s district are University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, and The University of Tampa.

Oglethorpe’s winning team, originally named The Ugly Sweater and The Onsies, and recently renamed Nine Cents Broke, include: Amanda Turner ’17, Sonny Pimentel ’16, Elizabeth Kirkwoork ’18, and Audrey Stradler ’18, all of whom are studying studio art, photography, and video/film, as well as Jack Bishop ’17 and Amanda Ake ’17, both English majors, and Miranda Lotufo ’18, Victoria Lindbergh ’17, and Kieran Flake ’17, all theatre majors.

Amanda Turner, editor and spokesperson for the group, was overwhelmed at the honor of being selected, saying, “it’s pretty amazing to suddenly win something as big as Campus Movie Fest. I don’t think any of us knew how we were going to do or what we were up against. I think a few us were crying with joy.”

Members of the team will be making the trip to Los Angeles, Calif. in June where their movie “[fixed.echoes]” will be shown along with 19 other top voted films from three other voting groups across the country, in competition for the $10,000 price.

Good luck, Team Nine Cents Broke!

 

 

Students Uncover Long-Lost Elephant Bones on Campus

This week, as Oglethorpe students were digging beds for a community garden, a student’s shovel hit what was, at first, believed to be a rock. However, upon removal and closer examination, it was revealed to be a bone. And, not just any bone, a colossal ELEPHANT bone!

Elephant-boneYes, students have found the remains of the infamous elephant of Oglethorpe legend. For those who have not heard the story, in November 1941, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was performing in Atlanta. Sadly,18 circus elephants were poisoned by what was later determined to be arsenic. An ingenious professor in the Oglethorpe medical school,  Dr. Barnard, had one of the elephants hauled to campus and placed behind Lowry Hall, where Philip Weltner Library is located, for use in his comparative anatomy class. As the animal began to decay, a hole was dug next to the body and buried. When they were finished, no one thought to document where, exactly, the beast had been buried. So, for 74 years, the animal’s bones had stayed hidden!

So, now we’ve got an elephant in the room. April Fools! While it is true that there was, in fact, an elephant dissected and buried on campus, the bones have yet to be uncovered. The elephant remains remain hidden … for now.

Einstein Makes an Appearance at Oglethorpe

photo by Travis TaylorIn celebration of the 100th anniversary of our campus, Oglethorpe University has put one of its rare treasures on display: Albert Einstein’s handwritten manuscript, “The Experimental Confirmation of the General Theory of Relativity,” on view through April 30, 2015 in the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA).

The manuscript, penned in 1920, was written by Einstein by request from his colleague Robert Lawson, an English physicist. Lawson was in the process of translating Einstein’s 1917 work, “Relativity: the Special and General Theory” and asked Einstein to give him observational proof of general relativity for the 1920 English edition. The exact documents Einstein gave to Lawson are now being exhibited for a special few months, exclusively here on campus.

Thornwell Jacobs

Dr. Thornwell Jacobs, President of Oglethorpe University, 1915-1943

Oglethorpe came into possession of the documents in a unique way that spans back to its founding in 1835. Oglethorpe originally had its roots in Midway, a town near Milledgeville, Ga. Because of the Civil War, the school closed for a while. However, Thornwell Jacobs, a generous and well-educated Presbyterian minister, was determined to restore the school. He had grown up hearing stories about Oglethorpe from his grandfather, Ferdinand Jacobs, who had been a faculty member there, and it became his dream to someday reopen the school. A skilled fundraiser, Thornwell Jacobs raised enough money and interest to organize a Board of Trustees for the college by 1912. With land donated by the Silver Lake Park Company and the help of Atlanta architectural firm of Morgan Dillon and Downing, Oglethorpe University at last reopened in 1915 and welcomed 45 students in 1916. Serving as president of the university through 1943, Jacobs accomplished many things, including launching the Crypt of Civilization and establishing a medical school. Jacobs was a true Renaissance man with a talent for writing that led him to found and publish The Westminster Magazine. He will always be remembered for his detailed letters and amazing ability to positively influence others.

As for the Einstein manuscript, it was given to Oglethorpe University by alumna Nellie Jane Gaertner ’34 in 1982. She was the daughter of Herman Julius Gaertner, one of the first faculty members appointed when Jacobs re-opened Oglethorpe at its current Atlanta location in 1915. The manuscript had been retained by Lawson for some years before it was acquired by Herman Julius Gaertner, a professor of German and Mathematics. Oglethorpe is lucky to posses the manuscript as most of Einstein’s work now resides at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jordan Michaels_Holly Bostick_John Tilford

Students Jordan K. Michels and Holly Bostick examine the manuscript with OUMA Collections Manager John Tilford.

OUMA Collections Manager John Tilford helped to illustrate the historical context of the manuscript’s creation, as well as the history of Einstein’s expansive archive. He relied on a number of rarely-seen images of Einstein and his colleagues, including personal secretary Helen Dukas and Professor Otto Nathan, both co-trustees of Einstein’s literary estate. According to John, Helen Dukas preserved Einstein’s papers for decades before they were given to Hebrew University after her death, and for this, scholars and historians owe her an enormous debt.

“Staff and faculty of Division III (Natural Sciences), OUMA, and the Philip Weltner Library, with the enthusiastic input and support of OU students, came together seamlessly to present the manuscript and a rich program of lectures, films, and other events,” says Elizabeth Peterson, director of OUMA. “We are grateful for a Georgia Humanities Council grant which supports these activities and thrilled to again be part of the Atlanta Science Festival.”

The Einstein exhibition has generated robust student involvement with interest from scholars of all disciplines and departments. Students from a variety of majors including physics, theatre, English, and philosophy came together to participate in a group reading of Einstein’s Dreams. Additionally, Oglethorpe University senior and physics major Antonio Mántica leads “A Tour through Time”, during the week of the Atlanta Science Festival. His presentation will explain the historical and current understandings of how time functions and how we can use that knowledge to inform our experience of it. Other events include three film screenings and discussions about Einstein-related movies, and an evening of astronomy with Fernbank Science Center astronomer April Whitt.

“The manuscript should be viewed in person to truly appreciate its uniqueness as each word, diagram and calculation, including a few corrections, were all penned by Einstein’s own hand,” says Tilford. “Anyone can read the transcribed text in print and digital formats but the power of the handwritten documents must be witnessed first hand.”

Ariana Feiner is a writer and a student at Oglethorpe University. She enjoys art history and recently published her first children’s book, Ariana Rose: A Story of Courage.
This online story was adapted from an assignment for her journalism class.

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, Atlanta arts leader Richard Garner to speak at Oglethorpe Commencement

The 2015 Oglethorpe University commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 16 at 9:00 a.m. on the academic quadrangle of campus. Oglethorpe President Lawrence M. Schall and Board of Trustees Chair Ceree Eberly, Chief People Officer at The Coca-Cola Company, will preside over the commencement ceremony for approximately 170 graduates.

Thomas Frieden

Dr. Thomas Frieden

During the ceremony, Oglethorpe University will bestow honorary degrees on two outstanding leaders in their respective fields:  Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will be presented with a Doctor of Science, and Atlanta arts leader Richard Garner will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts.

Richard Garner

Richard Garner

“This year we have chosen to honor two individuals who represent the value, depth, and impact of an education in the liberal arts and sciences,” said President Schall. “As head of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden leads our nation’s efforts to positively impact the current and future health of the U.S. and the world. Richard Garner, a longtime friend of our university, has enriched the lives of generations of Atlantans through his commitment to presenting and preserving the arts.”

Both honorary degree recipients will address the graduating class. Additional speakers will include student leaders in the graduating class and Austin Gillis ’01, President of the Oglethorpe University National Alumni Association. Further details may be found at oglethorpe.edu/commencement.

Dr. Thomas Frieden became Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2009 and oversees efforts to control health threats from infectious diseases, respond to emergencies, and battle the leading causes of suffering and death in our nation and around the world. As the director of the nation’s health protection agency, Dr. Frieden is leading the CDC in addressing these challenging health priorities: improving health security at home and around the world; reducing the leading causes of death and illness; and strengthening public health and health care collaboration. A physician with training in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health, and epidemiology, Dr. Frieden is especially known for his expertise in tuberculosis control. Dr. Frieden worked for CDC from 1990 until 2002. He began his career at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the New York City Health Department. Dr. Frieden speaks Spanish and graduated from Oberlin College. He received both his medical degree and a master’s of public health degree from Columbia University and completed infectious disease training at Yale University. He has received numerous awards and honors and has published more than 200 scientific articles.

Richard Garner served for 29 years as co-founder and producing artistic director of Georgia Shakespeare from 1986-2014. As a mainstage director for Georgia Shakespeare, he directed numerous productions, including Hamlet, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Glass Menagerie, an original adaptation of The Odyssey: A Journey Home, an original musical adaptation of Antigone, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, Metamorphoses, Pericles, Richard II, Julius Caesar, and Titus Andronicus. He also edited and directed Shakespeare for Students tours and the inaugural production for Shake at the Lake, free Shakespeare in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. He has served as adjunct faculty at Emory University, Oglethorpe University and Kennesaw State University, and has been a guest lecturer at Georgia Tech, Mercer University, the University of North Georgia/Brenau University, and West Virginia University in Shakespearean performance and audition technique. Richard is the past president of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America, and is the recipient of the 2015 Community Artist Award from the Emory University Center for Creativity and Arts, the 2008 Flourish Award in Arts Leadership from Kennesaw State University, the 2004 Distinguished Career Award from the Georgia Theater Conference, the 2000 ABBY Award for Outstanding Arts Professional, and the LEXUS Leader of the Arts Award. Richard studied in the Professional Actor Training Program at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where he received a two-year Conservatory Certificate, and at Berry College, where he earned a B.A. in English and Theater.