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In Focus: 10/20/2011

Weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

CARGILL FOUNDATION GRANT WILL ENABLE SOUTHWESTERN TO FUND OPERATION ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM FOR FIVE MORE YEARS

It’s 4:10 p.m. and a bus from Tippit Middle School has pulled up near the Olin Building right on time. About 20 students get off the bus and are met by a group of Southwestern students who escort them to Room 305 in the Olin Building. The students grab packages of granola bars off a desk at the front of the room and settle in for two hours of studying, learning and fun with their Southwestern mentors. The afternoon ends with a hands-on CPR demonstration by an EMT from the Pflugerville Fire Department.

It’s just another afternoon of Operation Achievement, a mentoring program for middle school students that Southwestern has been running for nearly 25 years in partnership with the Georgetown Independent School District.

Southwestern officials thought they might have to discontinue the program next year due to a budget shortfall, but a recent gift from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation of Minnesota will enable the university to continue offering it for at least five more years.

“We’re thrilled the program will be able to continue,” said Joni Ragle, a retired middle school teacher who has run the program since 2005. “This program is a win-win for everyone.”

Read more here.

Events

GUEST ARTISTS TO GIVE RECITAL OCT. 21

Soprano Rebecca Renfro Grimes and pianist Kevin Clifton will give a guest recital on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Le Bestiare and Guillaume Apollinaire.

Grimes is the director of opera workshop and vocal area coordinator at Sam Houston State University and is the co-founder of Boston-based Opera del West. Clifton is an assistant professor of music theory at Sam Houston State University. 

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at 512-863-1504.

ENTREPRENEUR AND PHILANTHROPIST RED MCCOMBS TO VISIT SOUTHWESTERN FOR BOOK SIGNING OCT. 25

San Antonio businessman Red McCombs will visit Southwestern University Oct. 25 to autograph copies of his book, Big Red: Memoirs of a Texas Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. The book signing will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the McCombs Campus Center.

Big Red is based on a series of oral history interviews with Don Carleton, executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin.

The book begins with an account of McCombs’s childhood in the West Texas town of Spur, where he first went into business for himself at the age of ten by selling peanuts to farm workers. After attending Southwestern and The University of Texas at Austin,  McCombs started selling cars in Corpus Christi and before long was one of the most successful Ford dealers in the country. He moved to San Antonio in 1958 and built a business empire that included automobiles, cattle, oil and gas, broadcasting, insurance, racehorses, motion pictures, real estate, politics and professional sports.

Read more here.

HISTORY COLLOQUIUM SET FOR OCT. 27

Laura Mitchell, associate professor of history at the University of California-Irvine, will give this year’s History Colloquium lecture on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 4:30 p.m., in Olin 110. The lecture is titled  “Watercolors and World History: Art in the Service of Empire.”

Mitchell’s first book, Belongings: Property, Family and Identity in Colonial South Africa, An Exploration of Frontiers 1725-c. 1830 was published by Columbia in cloth and as a Gutenberg-e book. For more information about Mitchell and her work, visit here.

OPERA THEATRE TO PERFORM OCT. 28-29

Southwestern University’s Opera Theatre will offer performances on Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The performances will consist of two scenes from “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Cosi fan tutte,” both by Mozart, and one scene from “The Ballad of Baby Doe” by Douglas Moore. Arias will be drawn from “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” “Street Scene,” “Cosi fan tutte,” “La Boheme,” “Vanessa,”  “The Consul,” and “Orfeo ed Euridice.”

This performances are free and open to the public. For more information, call The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at 512-863-1504.

Media Coverage

Religion Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster was interviewed for a story that appeared in The New York Times. The story was picked up by other media outlets across the country. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on how several Southwestern students are helping the Boys & Girls Club of Georgetown start a garden.

Notables

Shana Bernstein, associate professor of history, gave an invited talk at UC Santa Cruz on Oct. 11 titled “From Civic Defense to Civil Rights: The Growth of Jewish-American Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Los Angeles.” She also was an invited visitor on Oct. 19 at an interdisciplinary faculty and graduate student seminar at Northwestern University, where her book, Bridges of Reform: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles, was discussed.

Michael Saenger, associate professor of English, has received a contract from McGill-Queen’s University Press to publish a collection of essays titled Interlinguicity, Internationality and Shakespeare. The volume will include 14 essays, including an introduction by Saenger, from internationally recognized scholars in the field of Shakespeare and Renaissance studies. The volume is part of a current re-evaluation of translated and multilingual texts, both in Shakespeare’s time and in our own.