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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

January 21, 2009

SPEAKER SERIES EXAMINES CHALLENGES OBAMA FACES – In the weeks following the inauguration of Barack Obama, Wake Forest will host a series of speakers examining foreign and domestic policy challenges facing the new president. All events are free and open to the public.

  • “Challenges Facing the New President” begins at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum, Room 111, with a faculty panel titled “Advice to the New President on Policy Issues.” The discussion will cover a broad range of domestic and foreign policy issues, and will include law professor Mark Hall on health policy and political science professors David Coates on economic issues and Charles Kennedy on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Stephen Hess, Senior Fellow Emeritus in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, will give a talk at 5 p.m. Feb. 2 in Annenberg Forum on “The Obama Transition: Hitting the Ground Running.” Hess is author of “What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-Elect” and “Organizing the Presidency.”
  • The series continues at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in Wait Chapel with “Fulfilling the Promise: David Gergen on the New American President.” Gergen was an advisor to four presidents and is currently editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report and a senior political analyst for CNN.
  • The speaker series wraps up at 5 p.m. Feb. 17 in Benson University Center, Room 401, with “Looking to the Future: Will Young People Stay Involved in Politics?” A panel of leaders from the student Democratic, Republican and Libertarian political groups will reflect on the impact of young voters on the 2008 election and their likelihood of continuing engagement with the incoming administration.

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

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF OBAMA PRESIDENCY – For African-Americans, the election of a black president is not only a historic milestone but may represent a psychological catharsis akin to South Africa’s election of Nelson Mandela in 1994, says Anthony Parent, professor of history at Wake Forest. “African-Americans went to the polls in record numbers to demonstrate their support for Obama,” Parent notes. “They see within him the embodiment of hope for a brighter future that has eluded generations of their ancestors who had to endure enslavement, second-class citizenship and institutional racism. Obama promises a transformative presidency. At the very least, one that would begin to break down the great racial divide. His personal story — raised by his white grandparents and mother — offers him a unique perspective to address this most pressing American problem.” Parent, an expert on African-American history, world civilizations, colonial America and the civil rights movement, is available to talk about the historical significance of the Obama presidency.

Contact: Eric Frazier, or (336) 758-5237

LEGAL SCHOLAR AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS GITMO CLOSING President-elect Barack Obama has expressed his desire to close the remote U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but his transition team is having trouble finding countries to take the prisoners once they are released.  Wake Forest Law Professor Bobby Chesney suggests that the new Obama administration should capitalize on its reservoir of international good will.  “There’s some talk that, with a new administration on the way, other states, perhaps some European states, may be willing to take in some detainees,” Chesney recently told National Public Radio’s Jackie Northam. “But a lot of the smoke signals in that area suggest that the United States has to be willing to do some of the same.” Chesney is available to comment on national security, Guantanamo Bay and other legal issues.

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


FAMILIES INVITED TO CELEBRATE ‘YEAR OF THE OX’ Wake Forest’s Asian Student Interest Association (ASIA) will host a celebration of the “Year of the Ox” at the 10th Annual Chinese New Year Festival from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 31 in Wake Forest’s Reynolds Gym, Room 201.  The festival, which is free to the public, is a popular family event that has drawn more than 2,000 attendees each year.  This year, it will feature a new costumed giant panda that will greet attendees and be available for photographs.  A contest will be held to name the new mascot.  Other festival activities will include martial arts demonstrations; dance performances, including the traditional lion dance; arts and crafts activities; and traditional Chinese toys and games.  In addition, students will present a fashion show featuring Chinese costumes from various dynasties.  Chinese merchandise and authentic Chinese cuisine will be available for purchase.  Special performances will begin at 2 p.m.

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

NOOYI, BARTIROMO TO SPEAK AT MBA MARKETING SUMMIT – Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the third-largest food consumer products company in the world, will join in a dialogue with CNBC news anchor Maria Bartiromo at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in Wake Forest’s Wait Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.  Fortune magazine named Nooyi the “Most Powerful Woman in American Business" in 2006, 2007 and 2008.  She served as president and chief financial officer of the company prior to succeeding Steve Reinemund, who became dean of business for Wake Forest’s business schools after retiring from the top spot at PepsiCo.  Nooyi’s visit is part of the Babcock Graduate School of Management’s 19th MBA Marketing Summit, which brings teams of students from the world’s top business schools to compete in an intense 36-hour case competition to solve a strategic marketing challenge faced by the summit’s corporate sponsor.  As this year’s sponsor, PepsiCo is offering a record $50,000 cash prize to the winning team.

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

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