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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

February 21, 2007

MEDIA INVITED TO CONVOCATION WITH ‘HOTEL RWANDA’ HERO – Paul Rusesabagina, whose story is chronicled in the film “Hotel Rwanda,” will deliver the Founders’ Day Convocation address “Hotel Rwanda:  A Lesson Yet to be Learned” at Wake Forest University at 11 a.m. Feb. 22 in the university’s Wait Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.  Media are authorized to record only the first 10 minutes of Rusesabagina’s address.  Rusesabagina is unavailable for advance interviews and a formal press conference will not be held during his visit.  However, Rusesabagina will speak at a luncheon held in the university’s Benson University Center immediately after the convocation ceremony.  During the luncheon, Rusesabagina will receive the Ralph Bunche Medal, a bronze medal named for the first American and first person of color to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  The medal honors those who have demonstrated a commitment to the pursuit of human rights.  Past recipients include Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa.  Any members of the media who would like to attend the luncheon are asked to contact Maggie Barrett in the News Service.

Contact:  Maggie Barrett, or (336) 758-5237.

‘NOMAD:  THE RIVER’ OFFERS BLEND OF DANCE, THEATER, MUSIC – The multimedia dance-theater piece “Nomad: The River,” featuring choreographer and dancer Yin Mei, will be the next performance in Wake Forest’s Secrest Artists Series.  The performance will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22-23 in Brendle Recital Hall.  A pre-performance Secrest Signature Talk will be presented by Christina Tsoules Soriano, a member of Wake Forest’s dance faculty, at 6:40 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center, Room 208, adjacent to Brendle Recital Hall.  “Nomad: The River,” which was created out of Mei’s own experience during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, features Mei and six other dancers.  As a choreographer, Mei is known for exploring themes of artistic and spiritual significance between Asian traditional performance and Western contemporary dance theater.  Critics have called her artistry “exquisite.”  The production is a collaborative effort between Mei, media artist and sound designer Chris Salter and lighting designer Shao Lia.  It features music from a variety of sources, including works from the Cultural Revolution era in China, and is supplemented with electronic and natural sounds.  Tickets are $16 for adults; $12 for senior citizens and non-WFU students; and $5 for children under 12.  Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office in Scales Fine Arts Center by calling (336) 758-5295.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-5237.

NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK OBSERVED AT WFU – The Office of Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts at Wake Forest will sponsor several events Feb. 24 through March 3 in celebration of “Entrepreneurship Week U.S.A.”  Events begin at noon Feb. 26 with a demonstration of performance artist Adam Matta’s “bike drawings” on Manchester Plaza.  Matta produces his bike drawings by putting paint on his bicycle tires and performing tricks on a piece of canvas.  A beatbox performance by Matta at 5 p.m. in Shorty’s in the Benson University Center will follow.  A conversation on artistic entrepreneurship opportunities will be held after the performance.  The panel will feature Matta and other artistic entrepreneurs.  The entrepreneurship office will host an open house at 6 p.m. Feb. 28 in the University Center for Entrepreneurship, Room B-02 in Kirby Hall.  The event is open to Wake Forest students, faculty and staff.  Information about the entrepreneurship and social enterprise minor and upcoming programs and resources for those interested in launching ventures will be available.  Guests will have an opportunity to speak with student entrepreneurs and meet faculty from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts.  The events conclude with “Regenerative Medicine – New Approaches for the 21st Century,” a presentation by Dr. Anthony Atala, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.  During the presentation, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. March 2 in Winston Hall, Room 126, Atala will discuss how he has moved technology from the lab to the marketplace.  The event is free and open to the public.

Contact:  Maggie Barrett, or (336) 758-5237.

ILLUSIONIST MIKE SUPER TO PERFORM AT WFU – Award-winning magician and illusionist Mike Super will perform at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 in Wake Forest’s Wait Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.  Super, who is known to draw thousands to his shows, performs an interactive show with his audience that includes levitating a person four and a half feet off the ground, making it snow from his bare hands, and folding a person small enough to fit into a Japanese show box.  He has won many awards, including America’s Best Entertainer of the Year by Campus Activities Magazine.  He is one of five artists in the United States nominated for the magazine’s Best Major Performance in the U.S.  Super is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians.  The event is sponsored by the Wake Forest Student Union.  For more information, call (336) 758-5697.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-5237.

BETH TWITTY TO EDUCATE STUDENTS ON TRAVEL SAFETY – Beth Twitty, the mother of Natalee Holloway, will speak to Wake Forest students about spring break safety at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 in Pugh Auditorium in Benson University Center.  The event is free and open to the public.  Holloway, who disappeared in May 2005 while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba, remains officially missing, although Aruban authorities believe she is dead.  In response to her daughter’s disappearance, Twitty established the International Safe Travels Foundation to educate and inform the public about safe international travel.  Her nationwide safety campaign, SAFE TRAVELS, is endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Association of School Resource Officers.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-5237.

WAKE FOREST IN FOOD FIGHT WITH OTHER BIG FOUR SCHOOLS – From Feb. 1 to March 3, Wake Forest will participate with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University in the annual “Big 4 Food Fight,” a friendly competition between the schools to help feed the hungry.  Each school will be collecting food and money to support the America’s Second Harvest Food Banks in their area.  Wake Forest Student Government will be collecting Food & Funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank at the home game March 3.  Donations can also be made online at  For the purposes of this campaign, every $1 donated will equal 5 pounds of food.  The university that collects the most donations (per capita) will be deemed the winner at the March 3 game when the Deacons face Virginia.  The winner of the drawing will be announced at the game.

Contact:  Jacob McConnico, or (336) 758-5237.

1930S-STYLE MOVIE PALACE PREMIERS AT WFU EXHIBIT “The Alvin Shalimar,” a carefully preserved, 1930s-style, private working theater is available for public viewing for the first time ever in Wake Forest’s Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery.  The theater has been the hidden jewel and private sanctuary of 91-year-old, self-taught artist Gordon Brinckle for more than 50 years.  Now, a portion of The Shalimar is part of the multimedia exhibition “The Projectionist” created by photographer and filmmaker Kendall Messick.  The exhibit also features 40 photographs by Messick, a 30-minute documentary on Brinckle’s life shown on the actual Shalimar screen, original theater drawings and designs by Brinckle, and historical photographic documentation.  The exhibit will run through March 18.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-5237.

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