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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

December 3, 2008

FREE EVENTS RING IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON – Each year at this time, Wake Forest hosts free events on campus that provide opportunities for the community to get into the holiday spirit:

  • The Seventh Annual Carols of the Bells Benefit Concert will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 4in Davis Chapel.  The concert features the Wake Forest Student Handbell Ensemble performing holiday selections, including “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Here Comes Santa Claus” and other favorites. Donations will be accepted for Brenner Children’s Hospital.
  • A Holiday Choral Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 inScales Fine Arts Center’sBrendle Recital Hall.  The concert will feature holiday musical performances and carol singing by the Wake Forest choral department. The program will include Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque”; Jeffrey Van’s arrangement of the Mexican carol “El Rorro”; Vivaldi’s “Magnificat”; Rachmaninoff’s “Blazhen muzh” from his “Vespers” and Mendelssohn’s “There Shall a Star from Jacob Come Forth.”
  • The 44th Annual Christmas Lovefeast, will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 in Wait Chapel.  This popular event features the largest single traditional Moravian lovefeast in North America.  Chaplain Tim Auman will conduct the service and the guest speaker will be Linda McKinnish Bridges, associate director of admissions at Wake Forest.  Luminaries will encircle Hearn Plaza. Donations will be accepted for the Chaplain’s Emergency Fund.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-4144.

FAMILY BUSINESS CENTER FORUM TO ADDRESS ECONOMY –  Jeffrey Kane, senior vice president and Charlotte branch manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, will speak on “Tapping the Economic Pulse” during a business forum Dec. 4 at Wake Forest’s Bridger Field House.  The forum, hosted by the Babcock Graduate School of Management’s Family Business CenterTriad, will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  It is not open to the general public, but interested members of the media may cover the event.  Also speaking will be Wake Forest’s Dan Fogel and Modern Automotive Network’s Omnia Fowler.  Fogel is the Babcock Graduate School’s associate dean for working professional programs and executive professor of strategy.  He specializes in strategic management, especially innovation processesin firms, including those located in emerging economies and industries. Fowler will present the story of Modern Automotive Network.  Beginning with the purchase of a struggling Chevrolet dealership in 1933, Modern survived both the Great Depression and the halt of automobile production in World War II.  Today, Modern Automotive employs more than 650 people and sells more than 12,000 new and used automobiles per year.

Contact: Sylvia Green, or (336) 758-3559.


OBAMA’S ECONOMIC PLANS RESEMBLE THOSE OF U.K.’S BLAIR David Coates, Worrell Professor of Anglo-American Studies, says as President-elect Barack Obama prepares his economic plan prior to inauguration, it is useful to compare the similarities of his proposals to those of Prime Minister Tony Blair entering office in London in 1997. “Superficially the contexts faced by the two incoming governments are and were different – Obama faces a global meltdown, a looming internal recession, a broken banking system and a housing crisis as Tony Blair did not,” Coates says. “But beneath the surface both face – or faced – similar entrenched problems:  a loss of international competitiveness and a shrinking manufacturing sector; a fragile currency and a large trade deficit; a skills shortfall and an over-stretched school system; unprecedented levels of personal debt and entrenched income inequality; a crisis in health care provision and persistent unemployment; and an excessive overseas military burden accumulated through years of world leadership.” Coates is available to discuss the remarkably similar responses both leaders have developed to these longer-term issues, how those responses actually worked out in the U.K. and what lessons the Obama team can learn from Blair’s experience.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, or (336) 758-5237.


Lessons from the Libby Trial and U.S. Attorney Firings Katy Harriger, professor and chair of the political science department and expert on the position of federal special prosecutor, is available to discuss the politicization of the post and presidential influence on the independent investigation process. “The Libby case and the U.S. attorney firings demonstrate the ongoing, and probably inevitable, tensions between the political role of the Attorney General as adviser to the President and the legal role as chief law enforcement officer,” says Harriger. “Few would disagree that Alberto Gonzales crossed the line, creating a highly politicized department and consequently undermining public and congressional confidence in the department. And Gonzales is not the only Attorney General to have crossed that line. The challenge for the Senate in confirming Attorney General appointments, and for the Congress as a whole in overseeing the department, is to recognize when nominees have such a strong personal political loyalty to the President that they may be unable to fulfill their role as impartial enforcer of the law.” Harriger is available to discuss her findings and the recent appointment of a special prosecutor to continue the investigation into the U.S. Attorney firings. She is also available to discuss the nomination of Eric Holder for Attorney General, who she says poses an interesting and not entirely clear case for the Senate. “Given that the U.S. Attorney investigation is still alive within Department of Justice, we should expect that the Senate will grill him on this issue as well as his ability to maintain an appropriate distance from partisan politics.”

Contact: Audrey Fannin, or (336) 758-5237.

PIRATES IN THE PAST, PIRATES TODAY – Eric Bowne, a visiting assistant professor of anthropology, can make comparisons between the modern-day Somali pirates and pirates who sailed the high seas during the Golden Age of pirates.  Bowne has taught a class called “Under the Black Flag:  the Anthropology of Piracy.”  He has studied the social and political world in which piracy in the Atlantic and Caribbean waters developed between the 16th and 19th centuries and how piracy helped shape the modern world.  He canalso comment on how pirates have been presented in popular culture.

Contact:  Cheryl Walker, or (336) 758-5237.


ADMISSIONS OFFICE OFFERS VIRTUAL INTERVIEWS – Using a webcam, a microphone and the Internet, some students applying to Wake Forest University can now sit in their living rooms at home and have a “face-to-face” conversation with an admissions counselor at the university.  Wake Forest began offering virtual interviews on a limited basis to early decision applicants in October, and about 30 students have chosen the new option. In December, virtual interviews will be available to other applicants. “While a personal visit is the first choice, the virtual interview is an innovative way to use technology to connect individually with those who, because of financial or other reasons, cannot come to campus,” said Martha Allman, director of admissions at Wake Forest. “This combines Wake Forest’s historic commitment to personal attention with our emphasis on technological innovation.” Wake Forest began strongly recommending personal interviews for all applicants in May, after it became the first top 30 national university to drop the SAT/ACT requirement for undergraduate admissions.

Contact: Cheryl Walker, or 336-758-5237.


WFU LAW SCHOOL LAUNCHES INNOCENCE AND JUSTICE CLINIC The Wake Forest University School of Law is introducing a new Innocence and Justice Clinic.  Beginning in the spring semester of 2009, students will examine the legal, scientific, cultural and psychological causes of wrongful convictions. Students will then apply this knowledge to actual cases by reviewing and investigating claims of innocence by inmates and, where appropriate, pursue legal avenues for exoneration and release from prison.  In addition to the creation of the Innocence and Justice Clinic, the student-run Innocence Project has been made a formal student organization. The Innocence Project will explore joint projects with The Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice to focus on educating the public about wrongful convictions, protesting executions and injustices in the system and supporting families of those incarcerated, among others.

Contact: Lisa Snedeker, or (336)758-5719.

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