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Stories this week at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
Oct. 5, 2005

WFU COUNSELING PROFESSORS RETURN AFTER ASSISTING KATRINA VICTIMS — Donna Henderson and Laura Veach, professors in Wake Forest's counseling department, can share their experiences working as Red Cross mental health volunteers in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Henderson was sent to Jackson, Miss., and worked in four different shelters that were set up by churches. "It was demanding, varied work - listening to horrible stories, helping with solving problems, celebrating finding a lost loved one," Henderson said. Veach went to Shreveport, La., and provided counseling to evacuees sheltered at the Hirsch Coliseum and to some of the Louisiana National Guard troops working at the shelter. The Guardsmen were among the first to be deployed in New Orleans. She is using the experience to help teach her counseling students empathy skills: "I ask them to imagine that all of us are suddenly living in the Greensboro Coliseum on cots and air mattresses for weeks on end without any income, no care, no belongings, lost family members, friends and neighbors without any recognizable landmarks, all routines completely wiped out and no way of knowing if we even have a home remaining."

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

'IT PAYS TO READ' — So says Michael Verde, author, teacher, founder and president of Reading for Life. Two years ago, Verde started a literature discussion initiative in the Chicago area. Those professional group book discussions have now grown into an innovative dinner series benefiting charity. Verde will discuss this entrepreneurial venture as well as his involvement in The Cicero Memory Bridge Initiative (CMBI), an initiative promoting communication with and memory preservation for people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, at Wake Forest Oct. 6. "It Pays to Read," will be held at 4 p.m. in Tribble Hall, Room C216. "The Memory Bridge" will be held at 6 p.m. in Kirby Hall, Room B02. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Contact: Pam Barrett, 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 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.

LAUGHS FOR RELIEF — Friends of Wake Forest's Gamma Omicron chapter of Theta Chi fraternity were among those affected by Hurricane Katrina, and the fraternity wants to help. Theta Chi will host a comedy fundraiser featuring comedian Evan Wecksell at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 in Pugh Auditorium of Benson University Center. A stand-up comedian and singer/songwriter, Wecksell has been compared to comedic superstars Adam Sandler and Stephen Lynch. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. Proceeds raised from the show will go to the American Red Cross.

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

WAKE FOREST PREPARING FOR INAUGURATION EVENTS — Two academic symposiums and a community prayer service will be among the events in October leading up to a Wait Chapel ceremony in which Nathan O. Hatch will be installed as Wake Forest's 13th president. A week of activities will celebrate Hatch's inauguration, beginning Oct. 18 with a community prayer service featuring Wake Forest professor and author Maya Angelou and concluding Oct. 22 with a home football game between Wake Forest and North Carolina State University. The culmination of the week will be the 3 p.m. Oct. 20 ceremony in which Hatch is installed as president. A detailed news release on inauguration is located at The public is invited to the prayer service and to the Oct. 19 symposiums.

Contact: Kevin Cox, or 336-758-5237.

NEWS SERVICE TO PROVIDE PARKING PASSES, MEDIA CREDENTIALS FOR INAUGURATION — The News Service is currently contacting news media in North Carolina to offer parking passes for October's presidential inauguration-related activities. The News Service encourages news organizations to respond quickly to the parking pass offers. In addition, the News Service will provide media credentials that will enable media to enter Wait Chapel at 3 p.m. Oct. 20 for the ceremony in which Nathan O. Hatch will be installed as Wake Forest president. The credentials will be distributed at a table set up on Oct. 20 in front of the Wake Forest Post Office, near Wait Chapel.

Contact: Priscilla Wood, 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, began Oct. 3 at sundown. Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, began this 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 is recognizing what is being referred to nationally as "God's October Surprise" with a series of chapel events. A service led by the Rev. Robert McGee, Wake Forest's Episcopal campus minister, on Oct. 4 celebrated the Feast of St. Francis. 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.

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