Distinguished Guests on Campus for Turner Lynch Campus Center Opening Celebration

There was no shortage of distinguished guests on campus for the weekend of festivities celebrating the official opening of the new Turner Lynch Campus Center.

Dialogue & Deliberation, a three-part lecture series on Thursday, October 24, featured national leaders in higher education, philanthropy, and business.

Atlanta CEOs discuss “Closing the Gap,” addressing the economy and the implications of the market for achieving the “American Dream.” Featuring: Jack Guynn, Moderator (Retired President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); John Wieland, Chairman and CEO, John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods; Robert Balentine, Chairman and CEO, Balentine; Richard Smith, Chairman and CEO, Equifax; and, Thomas Fanning, Chairman, President and CEO, Southern Company.

Atlanta area philanthropists discuss “Philanthropy and Change” and how agents of change can impact their communities locally and around the globe. Featuring:
John Stephenson, moderator and executive director, J. Bulow Campbell Foundation; Lillian Giornelli, president, CF Foundation; Penelope McPhee, president, The Arthur M. Blank Foundation; and, Kathleen Pattillo, co-founder and trustee, The Rockdale Foundation.

University presidents from around the country discuss “What Are We Doing Right in Higher Education?” addressing the state of higher education. Featuring: Kevin Riley, moderator and editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Dr. Mark Becker, president, Georgia State University; Dr. John McCardell, vice chancellor, Sewanee: The University of the South; Dr. John Sexton, president, New York University; Dr. James Wagner, president, Emory University; and, Dr. Lawrence Schall, president, Oglethorpe University.

Kinko's founding partners John and Annie Odell with their daughter Katie Odell, a 2012 Oglethorpe graduate.

Kinko’s founding partners John and Annie Odell with their daughter Katie Odell, a 2012 Oglethorpe graduate.

On Friday, October 25, the Oglethorpe Women’s Network hosted “Why OWNership Matters: Duplicating Kinko’s Success,” as part of the Rikard Lecture Series, which introduces students to current issues in business as presented by successful business and civic leaders.

Guest speakers were Annie and John Odell, parents of OU alumna Katie Odell ’12 and the founding partners of Kinko’s. They shared their inspiring personal and professional success story of growing and expanding Kinko’s. The Kinko’s business model of ownership set a standard for its founding partners and customers to live, work and play in their communities. Annie also spoke about the balance between motherhood and her career, telling anecdotes about her eldest son running around in a playpen at the back of her store, and Katie scanning her face with the copy machines. Her family became a part of the Kinko’s family, and vice versa. She says that the love she and her colleagues had for their work and their customers was the key to their success.

The weekend’s Fall Festival also drew a crowd to experience the new Turner Lynch Campus Center and to celebrate the season:

The NO Project Seminar on Human Trafficking Awareness at Oglethorpe


Oglethorpe University will host a seminar by The NO Project, a global anti-slavery public awareness initiative that focuses on the demand for human trafficking and educates through music, the arts, film, dance  and social media.

The free event will be held Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Conant Performing Arts Center and is co-sponsored by Oglethorpe University’s A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning), Oglethorpe Women’s Network, Global LEAD and The Junior  League of Atlanta, Inc.

The NO ProjectAttendees will enjoy a captivating 90-minute multi-media interactive seminar that presents the truths behind human trafficking. The seminar encourages students—and others—to use their passion, interests, talent and connections to respond and join the fight against modern day slavery. The presentation includes award-winning documentary film clips, world-class animation, music, art and dance, all of which reflect the intelligent, creative, proactive stance that youth, artists and educators are taking to address the crime of modern slavery. The NO Project seminar enables listeners to better understand forced/bonded labor, domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation.

Diamonds by Myra

The NO Project has come a long way from its beginnings at a kitchen table in Athens, Greece. It now operates globally, from Bulgaria to New Zealand, Turkey to the U.S., Romania to the Philippines. Its presentation shows that slavery is often much closer than the average person and consumer realizes, connecting slavery to items that we use and enjoy in our everyday lives. These items include electronics and food like chocolate and shrimp cocktails. While human trafficking is barbaric, violent and overwhelming, The NO Project take an approach to the global crime that is neither depressing nor gloomy.

For more information regarding this event, please go to noproject.oglethorpe.edu.

Oglethorpe’s First Lady on the Road in Uganda

Last month the OU Blog told you about a lecture and book signing by author Twesigye Jackson Kaguri and organized by Oglethorpe’s Women’s Network.

In Kaguri’s book, A School for My Village: A Promise to the Orphans of Nyaka, he describes his amazing journey from a small farm in Uganda to the ivy halls of Columbia University, and then home again to build a tuition-free school for almost 500 Nyaka orphans.

Affected by the Kaguri’s story, Betty Londergan, President Schall’s wife, journeyed to Uganda, to see the work of Kaguri’s Nyaka AIDS Orphan School wtih her own eyes. Read about her experiences and follow her journey on her blog:

Nov. 11 – You are welcome here, Bet-ty!
Nov. 14 – Somewhere over the rainbow…
Nov. 17 – Not the same old song.

‘A School for My Village’ Author at Oglethorpe this Thursday

Don’t miss this lecture and book signing by author Twesigye Jackson Kaguri on Thursday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art.

In his book, A School for My Village: A Promise to the Orphans of Nyaka, Twesigye Jackson Kaguri captures his amazing journey from a small farm in Uganda to the ivy halls of Columbia University, and then home again.  He will share his story of returning to his village of Nyaka, Uganda and building a tuition-free school for almost 500 Nyaka orphans. The author lost two siblings to AIDS  leaving behind their children as orphans.

The event will include author’s remarks, a book signing, and a Taste of Uganda Feast.

Presented by the Oglethorpe Women’s Network and The Georgia Center for the Book.


Project Compassion Impacts Oglethorpe

Project Compassion founder Kaziah Hancock unveils a portrait of a fallen Columbus, Georgia soldier last night in Conant Performing Arts Center. Though she has personally painted more than 800 portraits, she rarely sees the reaction from families of her subjects.

In November 2010, at the Conant Center for the Performing Arts, Tony Bailey peered at an oil painting of his daughter and smiled.

Fighting back tears, he remarked, “it’s one of those things that—even though she sacrificed her life, I would not trade this moment for nothing else; …if I had to have this moment.”

Bailey, his wife, Phyllis, and daughter, Candace, came to Oglethorpe to witness the unveiling of a “hero portrait” of his daughter, U.S. Army Seargent Lakeshia Bailey.  It is one of over 2500 oil paintings of fallen soldiers by a Utah native Kaziah Hancock.  In 2003, Hancock founded Project Compassion, a nonprofit devoted to helping families heal by offering them handpainted oil-on-canvas likenesses of their loved ones.

"It really captures who she is...always smiling," remarked Tony Bailey, as he, his wife, Phyllis, and daughter, Candace, looked over the painting last night. He said that Lakeshia always smiled, even in her official military photo, and he felt that Kaziah captured that in the hero painting.

Before the unveiling, Hancock shared with the audience the motivation behind her project, which is made possible with the help of five other artists, and sponsored by generous donations from around the country.

“You want to know how I’ve survived painting over 800 portraits of soldiers?… It’s because God gave his very best.  And my heart is so full of gratitude for all that I have, guys.  I just want to give something back.”

At a young age, Hancock lost her father and after the first Utah casualty in the Iraq war, she sought out the family of the deceased to offer her condolences and a framed portrait of their son.

“When I heard of the first soldier, I was so affected…I remember my back just raised up against the base of my couch, and there were tears streaming from my eyes.  And after I began, some people would say, ‘Why gosh Kaziah—you can’t paint all of them.  There’s been almost 80!’  I say:  I’ll paint as many of them as I can, every year, until I get them all painted or expire trying.  It’s a celebration of a life, so that their memory won’t be lost.  And it’s to show people in a real form how beautiful that person was.”

Betty Londergan, wife of Oglethorpe University President Dr. Lawrence Schall, presents Kaziah Hancock with a donation on behalf of the Oglethorpe Women's Network.