Oglethorpe to Award Two Honorary Degrees During Saturday’s Commencement for 2013 Grads

Oglethorpe’s 2013 Commencement Ceremony will be held this Saturday, May 18 at 9:00 a.m. on the academic quadrangle. President Larry Schall and Board of Trustees Chair Norman P. Findley will preside over the commencement ceremony for approximately 225 graduates. During the ceremony, Oglethorpe also will present honorary degrees (Doctor of Humane Letters) to two accomplished alumni:  John Frederick (“Fred”) Agel, Sr. ’52 and Donald J. Rubin ’56.

“Oglethorpe is pleased to honor two alumni who have remained committed to this university for the past five decades,” said President Schall. “Both have generously given back in their communities and invested in the ongoing success of today’s students, embodying the Oglethorpe ideal to ‘make a life, make a living and make a difference.’”

Both honorary degree recipients will address the Class of 2013. Other speakers will include Senior Class President Carl Anthony Golden II ’13, Oglethorpe University National Alumni Association President John Cleveland Hill ’01 and Debra A. Bryant ’13, the 2011-2012 David Wills Presidential Fellow. Additional commencement details are available online.

Honorary degree recipient Fred Agel '52

Fred Agel, a World War II veteran and an Oglethorpe alumnus of the class of 1952, is a retired sales agent for Bowman Distribution and a champion of leadership in public health. Mr. Agel has remained an active volunteer with the university for many years, including serving on the Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees since 2008. Mr. Agel formerly served as President of the Oglethorpe National Alumni Association Board and has volunteered in the University Archives, the Office of Admission and the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. He is a 1985 inductee into the Oglethorpe Athletic Hall of Fame and is the 1987 recipient of the Talmage Award, which recognizes alumni who contribute time, talent or financial resources to one or more programs of the university and/or is distinguished in the business or professional world. Mr. Agel has been a generous donor to the university over the years, and established The J. Frederick Agel, Sr. ’52 Endowed Scholarship, awarded annually to two rising seniors who contribute significantly to student life and who have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Mr. Agel has been an active leader in his community, supporting and volunteering with numerous organizations, including the DeKalb County Board of Health, DeKalb County United Way Council, DeKalb County Council on Literacy, DeKalb County Community Service Board, Episcopal Charities Foundation, Jerusalem House, Brookwood Atlanta Rotary Club, and with his church, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal. He is a founder of Senior Connections and founding member and organizer of the National Association of Local Boards of Health and the Georgia Association of Community Service Boards, Inc. In recognition of his ongoing and heartfelt commitment to his community, Mr. Agel has earned numerous honors, including the national Kentucky Fried Chicken Senior Citizen Award for Outstanding Community Service. Most recently, he was named the 2013 Distinguished Older Georgian by The Georgia Council on Aging. He and his wife, Cathy, reside in Atlanta.

Honorary degree recipient Donald Rubin '56 pictured with his wife, Shelley.

Donald Rubin, an Oglethorpe alumnus of the class of 1956, is the founder of MultiPlan, Inc., a major general service PPO health provider. Now retired, Mr. Rubin is a generous philanthropist and avid arts advocate. He and his wife, Shelley, founded The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, a family foundation based in New York City that began operation in 1995 and focuses on giving to arts and culture, health and human services, and civil liberty and social justice primarily in the Himalayan region and the New York City metropolitan area. The Rubins also established the Rubin Museum of Art (New York), where Mr. Rubin currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees. The Rubins started collecting Himalayan art in the early 1980s and amassed a significant collection that became the core of the museum’s holdings. Mr. Rubin also developed the Himalayan Art Resources website  to catalog Himalayan and Tibetan art online from collections around the world. He initiated the Labor Arts Project to gather, identify and display examples of the cultural and artistic history of American working people and to celebrate the trade union movement’s contributions to that history. A member of the Global Philanthropists Circle, Mr. Rubin has demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy throughout his life. Mr. and Mrs. Rubin have given generously to support the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, including a recent record donation to the endowment and numerous direct gifts to its permanent collection throughout the years. The Rubins have loaned artwork from their extensive personal collection for OUMA exhibitions, including: Goddess, Lion Peasant, Priest: Modern Indian Art from the Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin (2011); What is Cuban Art? Contemporary Cuban Art from the Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin (2009); Tibetan Contemporary Art: From the Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin (2009); A Shower of Jewels: Wealth Deities from the Rubin Museum of Art (2008); and, Lord of Compassion: Images of Avalokiteshvara from the Rubin Museum of Art (2008). The South Gallery of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art will be renamed as The Shelley & Donald Rubin Gallery in May 2013 in their honor.

Our Country, Our Voices: Oglethorpe Honors Our Veterans

Photo: David Dixon

November 11th is Veterans Day.  It is an occasion to honor the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our country, to recognize the families who have stood by them in service, and to reflect upon all of the freedoms that these men and women have fought to preserve.

This year, Oglethorpe University, together with various campus organizations and departments, will host a series of events throughout the week to honor our veterans called “Our Country, Our Voices: Oglethorpe Honors Our Veterans.” The events are in conjunction with the OU Museum of Art’s current exhibition “Burden of Proof: National Identity and the Legacy of War,” which runs through December 9, 2012.

Sophomore Antonio Mántica (left) and senior Jef Palframan, president of the OU Veterans' Club, form sheet metal into large "ribbons." Photo: Krista Palframan

On November 4th, the OU Veterans’ Club launched a yellow ribbon campaign to increase awareness of the day’s significance. Club members constructed and installed 10-foot high sheet metal yellow ribbons at the front entrance of campus. They also plan to hand out 1000 personal ribbons on campus and will host a remembrance event, “Lest We Forget,” on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in Lupton Auditorium. (Find out more about their efforts on their Facebook page.)

Usually closed on Mondays, the OU Museum of Art will open its doors to host a Veterans’ Open House, with free admission to all veterans on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 12 noon-7:00 p.m.. Various veterans’ assistance groups will be onsite throughout the day. Plus, the OU Veterans’ Club will be accepting donations for their clothing and coat drive for homeless veterans, and a giveaway of gift items from area businesses will benefit veterans’ services.

Later that evening, veterans of WWII, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan will discuss their experiences and struggles in a panel discussion, “Transitioning to Civilian Life,” at 6:00 p.m.  Many skills learned in combat are not applicable to the workforce, and veterans are generally required to go through an arduous process of re-qualification in order to get work.  Plus, many veterans feel isolated or out of place, unaccustomed to their new lives at home. In addition, policymakers in Washington recently failed to approve a bill that would have eased veterans’ reintegration into the civilian workforce, and recent reports estimate that 88% of veterans will drop out of college.

“It would be wrong of me not to make people aware of this,” said Jef Palframan ’13, president of the OU Veterans’ Club and a veteran himself.  “Our military size is going to decrease… Now starts the work to take care of the guys coming home.”  Admission: $5; free for veterans, OUMA members or with a Petrel Pass. Co-sponsored by OUMA, the Office of Admission and the OU Veterans’ Club.

Other events to commemorate Veterans Day include:

Open Forum/Open Mic: “Empower to Inspire Progress,” Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 7:00 p.m., OU Museum of Art
What does being American mean to you? What are you doing to make your voice heard? Do you feel you have patriotic obligations? Which American alive or dead inspire you, and why? All are welcome to join this open forum and share your opinions, ideas or a story, song or poem. Admission: $5; free for OUMA members and with a Petrel Pass. Co-sponsored by OUMA and Epsilon Iota Psi.

Lecture: “On the Downstream Biological Effects of Agent Orange,” Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 7:00 p.m., OU Museum of Art
Dr. Karen Schmeichel, associate professor of biology at Oglethorpe, will present about the hotly debated and complex subject of the widespread use by American troops during the Vietnam conflict of the defoliant called “Agent Orange” and its far reaching effects. Admission: $5; free for OUMA members and with a Petrel Pass.

Movie Screening & Discussion: Agent Orange: 30 Years Later, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 7:00 p.m., OU Museum of Art
OUMA and ECOS (Environmentally Concerned Oglethorpe Students) will co-host a screening of the award-winning 2009 film by John Trinh with open discussion to follow.  Reel Earth – Environmental Film Festival of New Zealand said, “Despite the horror, the film is at times intensely moving and beautiful, showing also the better side of human nature—qualities like kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.” This event is free and open to all.

Heifer International and Stormy Petrels Unite

Heifer InternationalLater this week, Oglethorpe University will be the first college campus to host the annual meeting of Heifer International, a nonprofit focused on “helping others help themselves.” The Heifer Sustainability Summit will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13. It will showcase leaders in the field, and showcase Oglethorpe’s growing involvement in Heifer’s mission.

The idea behind Heifer International is simple: rather than raising money and donating it to the needy, Heifer uses raised funds to buy and donate livestock (cows,  chickens,  sheep, etc.) to  groups of people in need to help to increase their self-sustainability. Not only can they rely on the animals for renewable resources like wool, eggs or milk, but when the Heifer-gifted animal reproduces, the  resulting livestock provides even more possibility for income.  The self-sufficiency people gain from having their own source of income also helps to improve quality of  life. Suddenly, a family can go from surviving to thriving; a village can go from impoverished to self-reliant. The independence that comes with a Heifer gift is often even more valuable than the gift itself.  Heifer operates in more than 50 countries and has been a driving force against poverty worldwide since 1944.

The summit will focus on the needs of a world stricken by hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation, and Heifer’s current and future plans to help. Special guest speakers will include National Center for Civil and Human Rights CEO Doug Shipman, Heifer International President and CEO Pierre Ferrari, and Oglethorpe University’s own First Lady, Betty Londergan, the wife of Oglethorpe’s President Schall.

Betty and children in a Heifer-assisted country

Heifer International has gained quite a following at Oglethorpe, due in part to  Londergan’s involvement with the nonprofit. She is on a mission to showcase the benefits of Heifer’s work through Heifer 12×12, a blog project launched by Heifer International, which is taking Londergan to 12 countries in 12 months. Since January, she’s traveled to 11 Heifer-assisted countries, including Uganda, Haiti and Rwanda, and has shared her experiences through blogs and photography.

Heifer 12x12

Betty Londergan's blog highlights Heifer's accomplishments around the world

Thirty of Londergan’s photos will be on exhibit in Oglethorpe’s Lowry Hall in honor of National Photography month. The exhibit, titled “Unforgettable Faces,” will debut during the Summit’s opening dinner reception on Friday, October 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art and remain open through December 9, 2012. The photographs will be available for purchase to benefit Heifer International.

But, Londergan isn’t the only Stormy Petrel hoping to make a difference through Heifer. Sophomore Ruwa Romman and a small group of OU students were inspired by Londergan’s involvement with Heifer and decided to get active. They are starting the OU Heifer Club, the first on a college or university campus in the Southeast.

“Oglethorpe’s a good place to have a grassroots initiative [like Heifer],” said Romman. “They focus on self-sustainability, on passing on the gift… We hope to get a movement going. We can’t donate huge sums of money, but if we can donate $10 for chickens and help send someone’s kid to school, that’s still huge. It’s all about giving back.”

The OU Heifer Club will officially launch during the Heifer Sustainability Summit.

“Mandalas by the Patients of Carl Jung” Exhibit at Oglethorpe University Museum

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.

Curator Vicente de Moura, archivist at the C.G. Jung Institute.

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!

Oglethorpe presents “Chagall – The Early Etchings of the 1920s”

The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is now featuring an exhibition of sixty-five rarely viewed etchings and aquatints by Russian-born painter and printmaker Marc Chagall.  The exhibition also features five colored lithographs from the private collection of Drs. Isaac and Yolanta Melamed. The show will run through December 11, 2011.

Oglethorpe students are invited to a special students-only opening reception at the Museum on Tuesday, October 4, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hear about the artwork and enjoy some refreshments as well!

The exhibit focuses on the early etchings of the 1920s when Chagall and his young bride Bella (Berta) Rosenfeld moved to Paris following the Russian Revolution of 1917.  Included in the exhibit are the famous etchings based on Dead Souls and the La Fontaine Fables.  Chagall was prolific in his artistic endeavors and he became a master in many pursuits that included painting, tapestry design, stained glass, mosaics and the graphic arts.  His interest in etching began when he was thirty-five years old while still living in Berlin before moving to Paris.  He was passionate about learning all the technical aspects of using the burin and drypoint in this newly discovered art form. 

During the exhibit’s run, OUMA will also offer lectures and the Skylight Gallery Concert Series. Visit the OUMA website for more information. 

OUMA is open Tuesday-Sunday, 12 noon – 5 p.m., with docent tours offered at 2 p.m. on Sundays. General admission is $5.00, but if you have a Petrel Pass it’s free!  OU students, you can earn a Petrel Point by attending the student reception or by checking out the exhibit. Don’t miss it!

Pictured: Lloyd Nick, director of the OU Museum of Art.