Campus Connection

News for the WIU Community October 20, 2006   Vol. 22 No. 5

University Theme Committee Announces Lineup of Internationally-Known Speakers

To celebrate and raise awareness of Western Illinois University’s 2006-2007 theme, “Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility–Cultural Diversity,” the University Theme Committee has announced its lineup of internationally-known speakers which includes a former White House bureau chief, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

The 2006-2007 Speaker Series begins with Linda Chavez, chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity and a contributor to this year’s First Year Experience reading “Class Matters.” Chavez will present “The Truth and Consequences of Cultural Differences” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the WIU-Quad Cities campus and at 7 p.m. in Western Hall on the Macomb campus.

In addition to serving as chair for the public policy research organization based in Virginia, Chavez also writes a weekly syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country and is a political analyst for FOX News Channel.

Byron Hurt, creator and producer of “Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” will present his documentary, followed by a discussion, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the University Union Grand Ballroom.

Hurt is also the co-founder and associate director of the United States Marine Corps gender violence prevention program.

A panel discussion, “The News Media’s Impact on Shaping Our Perceptions of Culture and Diversity,” featuring “The First Lady of the Press,” former White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13 in Western Hall.

Thomas covered every president since John F. Kennedy, and for 57 years served as White House correspondent for United Press International. She recently left this post and joined Hearst Newspapers as a syndicated columnist. The panel will also include Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page; Pam Huey, a WIU alumna; and Jack Brimeyer, managing editor of the Peoria Journal Star.

Page, the 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winner for Commentary, has been a columnist and a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board since 1984. His column is syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services in close to 200 papers.

Huey, a 1972 graduate, is an editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Brimeyer has been the managing editor of the Peoria Journal Star since 1990.

On Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. in Western Hall, Reza Aslan, author of “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam” will discuss the Islamic faith. Until recently, Aslan was both Visiting Assistant Professor of Islamic and Middle East Studies at the University of Iowa and the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Slate, Boston Globe, the Washington Post and the Nation and has appeared on “Meet The Press,” “Hardball,” “The Daily Show” and “Nightline.”

Another event is tentatively scheduled for April 11 or April 18. The speaker will be announced at a later date. All presentations are open free to the public.

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