Oglethorpe Day: A Beloved Tradition Grows

The Petrels of Fire Race ca. 2012

Oglethorpe Day is an annual celebration of Oglethorpe University’s namesake, and as Dean Michelle Hall puts it, a “pride-in-my-school-and-organizations day.”

And this year, there are numerous ways to show your school pride. Student organizations (and maybe even some staff and faculty) will be decorating shopping carts for the parade of shopping cart floats (contact Kendra Hunter for more details). And, to celebrate President Schall’s affinity for wacky socks, the Programming Board is sponsoring a sock decorating event today in The Petrel’s Nest. Then, at 12:45 p.m. tomorrow, on Wednesday, February 13, put on your craziest socks and head to the quad for the exhilarating annual Petrels of Fire race!

While the race usually begins at noon sharp, this year it will begin at 1:00 p.m., due to class scheduling… which doesn’t mean that the bell will only ring once! It will ring 12 times, and runners will race around the quad in hopes of arriving back before the last bell tolls. To my knowledge, no one has ever won this race—maybe you will be the first?

This year's Oglethorpe Day speaker: President Schall

After the race, a surprise guest (a local celebrity!) will lead attendees to Conant Performing Arts Center for the Oglethorpe Day annual address. This year’s speech will be delivered by our own President Schall on the topic of “Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone): What is the Role of a University President in Liberal Society?”

“We have a very student-centered president,” said Dean Hall.  “Students know they are known and loved by their president…The theme (of his speech) will focus on how to make a difference, and that’s something we want all our students to think about.”

The occasion will include The Ogletones, our new a cappella group, and end with Oglethorpe’s Alma Mater and Fight Song (The Stormy Petrel March), courtesy of OU Winds and Singers. Attendees are then invited to enjoy Coke floats and peach cobbler and ice cream, all served in observance of the day’s Georgia theme.

“We’re building some more traditions into this tradition,” said Dean Hall, who went onto explain that the Presidents of other schools and organizations will be recognized during the event, and that the class with the most participants will win a prize. “Come if you want to support your class, if you are an athlete or the head of an organization… or if you just want to see what socks Dr. Schall is wearing.”

I know my curiosity has been piqued. Join us at Oglethorpe Day, this Wednesday, February 13th starting at 12:45 p.m. on the quad!

Clinton Global Initiative: A Chance to Change the World

Do you want to change the world?  Here’s a place to start….

Last October, Awet Woldegebriel ’14 submitted an application to attend the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), launched in 2007 by President Clinton to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world to turn ideas into action. CGI U builds on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges.

Awet’s passion and commitment, coupled with his story of an early life as a refugee, stood out. He was not only invited to attend, but asked to be a speaker.

Awet was welcomed to the stage by The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart, which he says was “a true honor.”  During his speech, he talked about his nonprofit Knowledge Aid, which gathers and ships books from the United States to libraries in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya. “The initiative,” he explained, “is driven by an old but still widely referred to proverb that states: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The goal of Knowledge Aid is to make aid sustainable and to offer children the chance to enjoy their childhood through books. Awet, who still has memories of the devastation he faced in war-torn Ethiopia and his home country of Eritrea, was able to regain some of his lost childhood through reading books by Dr. Seuss.

“They made me laugh, they made me silly, they made me imagine what a full childhood would have been like,” he says. “And that is why my initiative is so important to me… whatever your initiative, make sure it does justice and represents the passion you have for it.”

Thanks to Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Awet was able to meet and gain support for Knowledge Aid from many influential people, including former journalist Amanda Lindhout, musician Hugo Levy, supermodels Christie Brinkley and Anna Maria Lewiarz, and Argentinian Education Minister Esteban Bullrich.  His facebook page for Knowledge Aid, which had 147 “likes” before the conference, now has over 2200.

Awet, who is now a CGI ambassador and recruiter, will be co-hosting an informational meeting with President Larry Schall on Monday, October 22, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in Lupton Auditorium.

“We want to encourage more Oglethorpe students to take part in the conference and also grow their ideas,” said Awet. “You (will) have access to the people you don’t have access to, so your ideas can expand and grow through CGI. We will help you to accomplish those ideas and initiatives.”

If you’re interested  in nonprofit work, social enterprise, or in giving back—then this meeting is for you! Come learn more about CGI’s purpose, benefits, and how you might get the chance to attend the next CGI meeting…and learn how you can propel your ideas and make a difference.

Oglethorpe President Published in Huffington iPad Magazine

President Schall’s personal blog post was published in a recent edition of Huffington, a new iPad magazine produced by The Huffington Post.

Dr. Schall first posted the article on his personal blog, My Own Stormy Petrel Words, reflecting on the question “why do people cheat” in response to the news of a data reporting scandal at Emory University. He says that cheating starts because people are acting to attain the unattainable “when so much is at stake and the wrong thing is being measured, even good people will bend the truth.” Dr. Schall’s article was picked for publication in the August 24th edition of Huffington magazine and will reach more than 115,000 iPad readers worldwide, with more users downloading every  day.

The free weekly iPad magazine was launched mid-June 2012 as a part of a HuffPost “slows news movement” initiative, a way for readers to dive more deeply into stories than is possible online. iPad users can download the app to read Dr. Schall’s article in the iTunes store, and other readers can  read the article directly on his blog. Consider subscribing to get his latest blogs delivered directly to you.

Relive Oglethorpe’s 2012 Commencement

The academic quadrangle is set up, awaiting commencement.

The Oglethorpe University 2012 Commencement ceremony was held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 9:00 a.m., on the academic quadrangle of the OU campus. For a full recap of this special day, see our 2012 Commencement Scrapbook.

President Larry Schall presided over the ceremony honoring more than 250 graduating seniors. During the ceremony, Oglethorpe presented three honorary degrees to:

Zhanna Arshanskaya Dawson, an accomplished pianist, Holocaust survivor, and former faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters.

– Sue Adcock Frueauff, a foundation and community leader, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

– Ted Turner, a renowned leader in business and philanthropy, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Each honorary degree recipient addressed the Class of 2012. Past recipients of honorary degrees include President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Woodrow Wilson, and Amelia Earhart.

Zhanna Arshanskaya Dawson

Zhanna Arshanskaya Dawson is a Ukrainian-American pianist and former faculty member of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (Bloomington). Dawson came to national prominence in 2009 after her son, journalist Greg Dawson, published the book Hiding in the Spotlight chronicling his mother’s escape from the Holocaust. A young prodigy, Dawson began piano lessons at age five and made her performance debut at age 6 on the radio. She later received scholarships to attend the Moscow State Conservatory. In 1941, she was forced to flee the persecution of Jews in her hometown. She escaped only to find herself forced to survive by playing her music for Nazi soldiers from the army that had killed their parents. Dawson was eventually adopted and brought to the United States, where she studied music at the Juilliard School of Music.

Sue Adcock Frueauff

Sue Adcock Frueauff has served as a trustee at the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation in Little Rock, Ark. for 22 years. From 1996-2001 she also worked as a program officer at the foundation, and since 2001 has served as chief administration officer. Prior to the foundation, Frueauff worked for 16 years as an elementary school principal in Russellville, Arkansas, and 13 years as a classroom teacher in the Arkansas Public Schools. Frueauff has served on numerous boards and in leadership positions at the Arkansas Tech University Foundation, University of the Ozarks, American Association of University Women (Branch and State President), Arkansas Curriculum Development Association, Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect, Centers for Youth & Families, and many more. She is an active volunteer and leader in her community, having given her time and talents to Arkansas Rice Depot, Stewpot, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Single Parent Scholarship Fund, Arkansas Literacy Council, Child Protection Team, and numerous others. Frueauff earned her Master of Science in Education at the University of Central Arkansas and her bachelor’s at Arkansas Technical University.

Ted Turner

Throughout his career, Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities, and his unprecedented philanthropy. Whether in billboard advertisement, cable television, sports team ownership, sailing, environmental initiatives or philanthropy, Turner’s vision, determination, generosity and forthrightness have consistently given the world reason to take notice. Turner is chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world; co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; chairman of the Turner Foundation, which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect the earth’s climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates; and co-founder of Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant chain, which operates 44 locations nationwide. Turner is also chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc., which manages his business interests, land holdings and investments, including the oversight of two million acres in 12 states and in Argentina, and more than 55,000 bison.

Oglethorpe Magazine Examines “The Art of Critical Thinking”

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.

 Read the Carillon here or look out for the magazine at your home—and let us know what you think!