Wake Forest academic symposiums to mark inauguration of Nathan Hatch

By Cheryl Walker
Oct. 11, 2005

As part of a week-long series of events celebrating the inauguration of Nathan O. Hatch as president of Wake Forest University, two academic symposiums will be held Oct. 19.

The symposiums will be held in Brendle Recital Hall and are free and open to the public.

The first is titled "Why the Liberal Arts? Exploring the Aims of a University Education" and will be moderated by historian Stanley N. Katz of Princeton University. It will run from 10 a.m. to noon.

"I think we need to reflect on why a great university dedicated to training young people to succeed in the world and to improve the world after graduation needs liberal, in addition to practical, higher education," said Katz, professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. "We need to defend the proposition that undergraduates need a broad and human education basis for their intellectual and civic development."

Katz is president emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies, the leading organization in humanistic scholarship and education in the United States and author of numerous articles on higher education issues.

Four panelists will contribute to the discussion.

Andrew Delbanco, Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, is the author of "The Death of Satan: How Americans have Lost the Sense of Evil," "Required Reading: Why our American Classics Matter Now," and several other books. His essays appear regularly in the New York Times Review of Books, the New Republic and other publications on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education.

Ken Miller, professor of biology at Brown University, is the author of "Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution" and co-author of three high school and college biology textbooks. His research work on cell membrane structure and function has produced more than 50 scientific papers and reviews in leading journals, including CELL, Nature, and Scientific American.

Harry Stout is Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Christianity at Yale University. Stout is the author of several books, including "The New England Soul," a Pulitzer Prize finalist for history and "The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism," which received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for biography as well as the Critic's Award for History in 1991. He is co-editing "Religion in American Life," a seventeen-volume study of the impact of religion on American history for adolescent readers and public schools.

Jean Elshtain, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at The University of Chicago, is a political philosopher whose books include "Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social Thought," "The Family in Political Thought," and "Just War against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World," which was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2003 by Publisher's Weekly.

E.J. Dionne Jr., senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, will moderate the second symposium titled "The Moral Challenges of Professional Life." It will run from 2 to 4 p.m.

Dionne is a senior advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. He is a regular political analyst for National Public Radio and the author of three books, among them the best seller, "Why Americans Hate Politics."

Four panelists will contribute to the discussion.

James Autry, a former Fortune 500 executive, is the author of ten books including the 1992 book, "Love and Profit, the Art of Leadership." Autry has been featured on Bill Moyers' series, "The Power of the Word," and on Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Corner."

Dr. Charles K. Francis, a cardiologist, is the Rudin Scholar in Urban Health and Director of the Center for Health Disparities at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. His numerous writings on racial and ethnic health disparities, medical education and health services research have received national attention.

A native of Croatia, Miroslav Volf is Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School and Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. The author of nine books and more than 60 scholarly and popular articles, Volf often addresses the intersection between faith and aspects of contemporary life such as economics and politics.

Ann C. Williams is a judge serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. When appointed, she was the third African-American woman to serve on a federal appeals court. She serves on the board of directors of the "Just the Beginning Foundation," founded in 1993 to educate the public about the African-American judiciary and to award law scholarships to minority law students.

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