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January 22, 2001

Highlight of 2000–01 begins on Thursday

By Michael Terrazas

Emory’s Year of Reconciliation reaches its focal point and zenith this week with the opening of the much-anticipated Reconciliation Symposium, starting with a keynote address from President Jimmy Carter on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium.

The two days following Carter’s address are filled with a slate of plenary sessions, panel discussions, other keynote addresses and lunches (see full schedule, ,, culminating in a closing plenary that will feature President Bill Chace, Provost Rebecca Chopp, Executive Vice President Michael Johns and the University’s nine deans, as they grapple with the question of what the symposium means for Emory and its future.

Symposium events will be held in various locations around campus, but the “nerve center” will be in WHSCAB, where an information desk will be placed to answer questions.

“When we were working on and writing Choices & Responsibility,” said Chancellor Billy Frye, one of the symposium’s four co-chairs, “one of the things we kept hearing was how faculty wanted opportunities to talk about intellectual issues across the disciplines.

“Well,” Frye continued, gesturing literally at WHSCAB Plaza but figuratively at the symposium and all it will offer, “this is it. This is an opportunity to find out how all of us are connected through our differences, not just through our similarities.”

Frye’s fellow co-chairs include Robert Agnew, professor of sociology; Steve Kraftchick, associate dean of theology; and John Stone, associate dean of medicine. Also vital in planning and coordinating the symposium have been Jan Cahoon and Karen Poremski in Frye’s office.

According to Cahoon and the co-chairs, a “few hundred” Emory faculty have reserved space for the panel discussions, and more than a few requests have come from outside the University. Though the symposium all along has been focused on the Emory community, it has been advertised recently in local media and is expected to draw interest with names like Carter, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and naturalist E.O. Wilson (see ), not to mention the University’s own “stars.”

A number of symposium events will be broadcast live on Emory’s web site, including the addresses by Carter, Lewis and Wilson; plenary sessions with Yerkes’ Frans de Waal and former Emory President James Laney; and three of the 12 panel discussions. The webcast can be found at , In addition, TV monitors will be set up in WHSCAB plaza to accommodate overflow crowds for all events taking place in the below auditorium.

Admisson to Carter’s address requires free tickets (available at the Emory Box Office, 404-727-5050), but all other events are open to the public, and the co-chairs expect most, if not all, to be filled to capacity during the three-day symposium.

“Reconciliation is living,” said Stone. “Some people wondered why we were doing this, and it’s because the whole theme is synonymous with living. One thing we’ve learned [during the year] is how many different spheres deal with reconciliation. My mind has been stretched.”

“Look at the [John] Ashcroft hearings,” said Kraftchick, referring to the recent George W. Bush appointee for attorney general. “Look at the Georgia flag controversy. These involve polarizing social values, and this is a forum to talk about that.”


Back to Emory Report Jan. 22, 2001