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Stories this week at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
Sept. 28, 2005

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE GINSBURG TO VISIT WFU — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will visit Wake Forest University today. Sponsored by the Wake Forest School of Law, "A Conversation with Justice Ginsburg" will begin at 4 p.m. in Wait Chapel. The event is part of a series that brings role models in the legal profession to Wake Forest to discuss their professional lives. The program will follow an interview format. Suzanne Reynolds, professor of law at Wake Forest, will ask Ginsburg questions about her life as a legal professional. Wake Forest law students will also have an opportunity to ask Ginsburg questions. The event is free and open to members of the Wake Forest community and their guests.

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

WAKE FOREST RECOGNIZES 'GOD'S OCTOBER SURPRISE' — This year, and for the next two years, two strands of time that are celebrated in two communities now often at odds with one another will be woven together in a seldom seen way. Tishri, the month during which Jews observe Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, will begin Oct. 3 at sundown. Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, will begin early next week with the first sighting of the crescent moon. In recognition of these and several other important religious dates during the month of October, the Wake Forest Divinity School will recognize what is being referred to nationally as "God's October Surprise" with a series of chapel events. The Rev. Robert McGee, Wake Forest's Episcopal campus minister, will lead a service celebrating the Feast of St. Francis Oct. 4. Julie Ostergaard, a Catholic campus minister and a Franciscan scholar, will speak during the service. On Oct. 11, Imam Khalid Griggs, the imam of the Community Mosque of Winston-Salem, will lead a service on Islam. On Oct. 18, Miroslav Volf, the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School, will lead the chapel service. Karen Dresser, a Wake Forest Divinity School student and local artist, will lead a chapel service on Judaism during the final October chapel event Oct. 25. The free, public chapel services all begin at 11 a.m. Other important dates recognized this October include Mahatma Gandhi's birthday Oct. 2, and Worldwide (Protestant/Orthodox) Communion Sunday the same day. In mid-October, parallel to Sukkot, there are major Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu festivals.

Contact: Jake McConnico, or 336-758-5237.

SUPREME COURT VOTE POSES POLITICAL DILEMMA FOR DEMS — With the Senate poised to vote on the nomination of John Roberts as Supreme Court Chief Justice, a Wake Forest political science professor says the main question is not whether Roberts will be confirmed but how many votes he will get from Democrats facing pressures from outside groups. "On the one hand, Roberts' testimony before the senate judiciary committee received quite favorable reviews, and so a no vote could well be difficult to explain to constituents, particularly for senators up for reelection in 2006 in moderate states," said John Dinan, author of "Keeping the People's Liberties: Legislators, Citizens, and Judges as Guardians of Rights." "On the other hand, Democratic-leaning interest groups will want as many Democrats to vote against the nomination, and, especially for any Democrat who is considering a run for the 2008 presidential nomination, the pressure to vote no will be quite strong." In the end, Dinan said, the decision for many Democratic senators will likely come down to a strategic calculation of whether a yes or a no vote on the Roberts nomination would be more likely to maximize Democratic leverage regarding the second Supreme Court nomination battle.

Contact: Jake McConnico, or 336-758-5237.

DANCERS ON STILTS TO TAKE STAGE AT WAKE FOREST — Kotchegna Dance Company will perform at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 in Scales Fine Arts Center's Brendle Recital Hall. Based in New York City, the dance company describes itself as a highly dynamic, racially diverse group of dancers and drummers promoting the musical and folkloric culture of the Ivory Coast. Kotchegna Dance Company's performance will feature stilt dancers, eye-catching costumes and rhythmic drummers. Admission is $3 for students with Wake Forest ID, $5 for general public. The event is sponsored by Wake Forest's Office of Multicultural Affairs.

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

LIBRARIAN TO SHARE CROSS-STATE BIKE RIDE WITH AREA SCHOOL CHILDREN — Craig Fansler, a library technician at Wake Forest's Z. Smith Reynolds Library, will join about 1,200 other cyclists for the seventh-annual Cycle North Carolina cross-state tour, which starts Oct. 1 in Asheville and ends Oct. 8 in Wilmington. As part of the tour, Fansler will participate in the Blue Bikers program, which allows him to communicate with fourth-graders via e-mail from laptop computers during regular tour stops. Fansler will be communicating daily with students from High Point's Immaculate Heart of Mary School to share his experiences from the road. The tour is designed to promote physical fitness and health, provide economic impact and publicity to rural communities across the state and showcase the state's beauty, scenic attractions and cultural diversity. More information about the tour is available on the Web at Fansler is available for media interviews.

Contact: Jake McConnico, or 336-758-5237.

RELIGION, POLITICS CONNECTED IN MIDDLE EAST, UNITED STATES — Charles Kimball, professor of religion at Wake Forest University and an internationally known Islam expert, says when it comes to the intersection of politics and religion, the Middle East and the United States share common ground. "In the United States, we recently had two different Supreme Court rulings concerning the posting of the Ten Commandments," Kimball said. "The connections may not be as obvious as religious dimensions playing out in the drafting of the constitution in Iraq, but we can see many examples of difficulties in trying to draw the lines that separate religion and politics." Kimball will address some of the ways politics and religion have been connected throughout history and are connected today in a public lecture titled "Politics, Society and Religion under Islam, Christianity and Judaism," at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in the university's Carswell Hall, Annenberg Forum, Room 111. The event is free and open to the public.

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

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