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Brooks, Hamilton to lead WFU conference on integrating values and work

February 1, 2008

Columnist David Brooks and former congressman Lee Hamilton are among a group of distinguished authorities who will speak at a two-day conference titled, “Why Work? Business, Professions and the Common Good,” at Wake Forest University March 27-28.

The conference, part of the university’s 2007-2008 Voices of Our Time speaker series, will bring together experts from the fields of business, education, government, law, medicine and religion to discuss the key challenges faced in professional life today.

A complete conference schedule can be viewed at

"By gathering scholars and active professionals from many disciplines, this conference will link theory and practice, generating ideas that we hope will illuminate ways for both students and those already in the workplace to infuse their careers with purpose and meaning,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch.  “It is our mission to challenge students and young professionals to relate their core values and commitments to the world of work and to develop a deep sense of responsibility to the common good.”

Brooks, a nationally syndicated New York Times columnist, frequent political and social commentator on radio and television and author of two books, will deliver the keynote address during the opening plenary session, “Making Sense of Modern Professional Life,” at 4 p.m. March 27 in Wait Chapel.  The opening session is free and open to the public. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hamilton, president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, will chair a panel discussion, “The Demands of Public Life,” at 1:30 p.m. March 28, in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum.  Hamilton represented Indiana’s 9th District as a U.S. congressman from 1965 to 1999 and later served as vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group.  He currently serves on the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council.

Five other panel discussions March 28 will be devoted to the challenges facing specific disciplines, all of which are represented at various Wake Forest professional schools.  Panel discussions will have free admission, but seating for the general public is limited.

The other sessions are: “Theological Reflections on Work and the Challenges of Pluralism,” chaired by Bill Leonard, dean of the Wake Forest Divinity School; “Re-examining Medicine as a Profession,” chaired by William B. Applegate, interim president of Wake Forest Health Sciences and dean of the Wake Forest School of Medicine; “The Legal Profession in the Marketplace,” chaired by Blake Morant, dean of the Wake Forest School of Law; “Integrating Work and Values: The Challenges of Professional Education,” chaired by Jack Wilkerson, dean of the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy at Wake Forest; and “Corporations and Human Flourishing,” chaired by Don Flow, chairman and chief executive officer of Flow Automotive, Wake Forest graduate and board of trustees member.

Voices of Our Time is an annual guest speaker series that exposes students, the Wake Forest community and the general public to some of the world’s leading thinkers for discussions on the important national and international issues of our time. It was established in 2006 by Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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