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.

Oglethorpe Partners with Alliance Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Capitol City Opera

conant1Oglethorpe University has partnered with three leading Atlanta arts organizations—the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre, the Horizon Theatre Company, and Capitol City Opera Company—to present performances and provide educational opportunities for students of all ages at the Conant Performing Arts Center.

“With the unfortunate dissolution of Georgia Shakespeare in the fall, we were committed to exploring new partners in the arts that were not only rooted in excellence and quality, but also would offer significant hands-on learning opportunities for our students and complement our theatre and music programs,” said Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall.

The Alliance Theatre will host three satellite camps at Oglethorpe during summer 2015, two geared towards primary school children and the third for high schoolers focusing on musical theatre. Oglethorpe theatre majors will be hired as teaching assistants for each of these camps, which will run for two weeks. Each camp experience will culminate in a showcase performance. In January, leaders from The Alliance served as judges and mentors for prospective theatre students during the Oglethorpe Theatre Scholarship Competition.

The Horizon Theatre Company will bring a multi-week run of their summer production, Avenue Q, to the Conant Performing Arts Center, starting in June 2015. Specific dates and further details will be announced soon. Two Oglethorpe theatre students will have the opportunity to be on stage for this production. Lisa and Jeff Adler, co-artistic directors at Horizon Theatre, also participated in this year’s Oglethorpe Theatre Scholarship Competition.

Oglethorpe’s relationship with Capitol City Opera has grown over years. Capitol City Opera now presents multiple performances annually in Oglethorpe’s Conant Performing Arts Center, in both the spring and the fall. The Opera also offers internship opportunities for Oglethorpe students and ticketing benefits for the campus community. Capitol City Opera’s next performances at the Conant Performing Arts Center will be The Abduction from the Seraglio, from March 27th through 29th, and Hansel & Gretel on March 28th.

“Oglethorpe has a long history of offering distinctive arts experiences for both the campus and the larger community,” said President Schall. “These partnerships will help to ensure that continues.”

The Art of Living and Learning

Holly Bostick ’15 sat on the porch of her small cabin drinking a cup of coffee, watching toucans fly before the most breathtaking sunrise she’d ever seen. There was no electricity, air conditioning, or hot water—just a small wooden cot where she slept. And somehow, that was more than enough.

An art history major and Spanish minor, Holly was among a small group of volunteers who traveled to Belize this past summer to assist in archeological excavations at the Maya ruins. She pursued this “life-changing” experience after another—an Oglethorpe-sponsored short-term trip to Greece in 20Belize archeological dig 213. As part of her studies on ancient art and architecture, Holly had visited an active archaeological dig in Corinth and was captivated. She wanted to find a way to relive that experience.

Holly researched similar programs and discovered the Maya Research Program, a nonprofit that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Central America. Holly and approximately 35 other volunteers, including fellow OU student and art history major Emily Prichard ’15, trekked to Blue Creek, Belize, where they joined archaeological digs. Each morning, they jumped into the back of pickups and navigated to the excavation sites—usually Xno’ha, an “elite residential complex” discovered in 2013. There, they were “hands on,” organizing remains and piecing together skeletons. Having no experience in anatomy or anthropology, Holly admits she had a bit of a learning curve, but that it was “absolutely incredible and a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Back in the U.S., Holly was determined to continue her journey. Oglethorpe art professors Alan Loehle and Dr. Jeffrey Collins recommended that she apply for an internship at The Carter Center, which holds an extensive art collection. Given the competitiveness of any opportunity at Center, Holly felt honored to be selected for the art internship, and credits her academic and global experiences for setting her apart from other applicants. Holly has gained insight into museum operations and experience with fine art, a compliment to her work with artifacts.

“The Carter Center’s art collection is very eclectic, with no specific genre,” Holly said. “Many of the items are donations from countries around the world in thanks for the Carter Center’s worldwide efforts in peace. So, a general knowledge in many different art mediums and cultures was crucial for the internship.”

Holly graduates in 2015, and while she’s yet undecided about her career path, she knows her options are endless, crediting her ventures while at Oglethorpe.

“When I would tell people where I was going and what I was doing, they would always give me a look and ask ‘why?’. My response, of course, being ‘why not?’” she said, laughing. “[My experiences] broadened my sense of the world, and my personal world, specifically. It showed me that there aren’t limitations and I don’t have to settle for any one career. I have options and places to explore and that is what I intend to do.”

Heather Johnston ’17 is a communication & rhetoric studies major, with a minor in business administration. She is currently an intern for Pegasus Creative, the student communications agency in the University Communications department, and writes for the Stormy Petrel student newspaper.

A Short History of Oglethorpe’s Moulthrop Bowl

Moulthrop Bowl 1Large majestic trees are an important feature of Oglethorpe’s beautiful campus. I came here as a student in the ’60s, and there was a large American Beech tree that always caught my attention. It was located on the Peachtree Road side of Phoebe Hearst Hall. In past years, its huge trunk and towering limbs made one pause to acknowledge and appreciate its magnificence.

According to the history passed down, the tree was growing at that spot when the cornerstone was laid at Hearst Hall in 1915. However, in recent years it began to show signs of distress, and the efforts and attention of arborists were not successful in saving the tree. Perhaps it simply died of old age.

In thinking about how this tree, which had been a part of this campus since the first permanent building, could remain in some type of commemorative way, it occurred to me to contact Matt Moulthrop, a third-generation wood-turning artist of the internationally known and highly regarded Moulthrop family. Fortunately for all of us, Matt accepted the challenge.

When the dead tree finally had to be removed from the spot it had occupied for more than 100 years, large sections were put aside. Matt came to the campus to choose some pieces that showed potential and arranged to have them transported to his studio in Marietta, Ga. There, Matt worked his magic over the past year to give one of Mother Nature’s creations further life—in the form of a beautiful Moulthrop Bowl.

Oglethorpe University joins many fine museums, such as the Woodruff Arts Center and The Smithsonian, along with discrimination collectors throughout the world, in proudly displaying a Moulthrop Bowl, the roots of which have been intertwined with the life of this university.

Adapted from a April 25th, 2014 presentation to the Oglethorpe Board of Trustees

Robert Bowden ’66 an Oglethorpe Trustee Emeritus, lives in Marietta, Ga. and Sanibel, Fla.