AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Cherry trees in bloom

April 2012

Bountiful is a good word to describe life at AU in April. An early, warm spring spread ribbons of glorious color across our campus Arboretum, including a new grove of transplanted cherry trees. Earth Week this month offers activities and events that welcome neighbors, including a chance to test drive electric cars. On April 17 – our annual Campus Beautification Day – you’ll see students, faculty, and staff work together to beautify the campus. Recently, the White House presented us with a special seeding from a magnolia tree planted there by President Andrew Jackson. This also is a busy month on campus with classes, exams, and activities that cap the semester before our commencement ceremonies on May 12 and 13. Our students’ musical efforts culminate in performances for our neighbors to enjoy this month at the Katzen Arts Center with the AU Symphonic Band, the AU Jazz Orchestra and Workshop, the AU Chamber Singers, and the AU Symphony and Chorus. The AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center celebrates the opening of its Spring Exhibitions, including works by our students, with a free artists’ reception that welcomes the community.

AU’s new Campus Plan has been approved by the D.C. Zoning Commission. You can read AU President Neil Kerwin’s message to the campus community below.

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Campus Plan Update from AU President Neil Kerwin

Architect's rendering of proposed East Campus (looking east from Nebraska Avenue intersection)

On March 8, the DC Zoning Commission voted to approve AU’s 2011 Campus Plan, allowing the university to move forward with plans to build new facilities over the course of the next decade. Plans include new residence halls, academic space, an addition to Mary Graydon Center, and a new Washington College of Law on the Tenley Campus. AU President Neil Kerwin shares his Memorandum to the Campus Community at: www.american.edu/president/announcements/March-21-2012.cfm.

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How to Contact Us

Office of Community Relations
(202) 885-2167
communityrelations@american.edu

Public Safety
non-emergency: (202) 885-2527
emergency: (202) 885-3636
Community Incident Reporting Form

Dean of Students
(202) 885-3300
www.american.edu/ocl/dos

Parking & Traffic Office
(202) 885-3111

 

 

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Campus

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama came to AU’s Bender Arena for a mini-Olympic competition as part of Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. (Photo: Jeff Watts)

To highlight her “Let’s Move!” initiative and promote the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London, First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit recently to AU’s Bender Arena with Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron. They were joined by members of the U.S. Olympics and Paralympics teams who led children from area schools in basketball, tennis, and running activities. Mrs. Obama, who also announced that she will lead the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremonies at the Olympics, told the young students that the Olympics were less about which country wins the most medals, and more about teamwork “and finding our inner strength.”

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White House Gift: A Very Special Tree

Seedling from the White House

Seedling and White House presentation card. Photo by Maralee Csellar.

AU received a very special gift from First Lady Michelle Obama on her recent visit to campus, recognizing the university’s status as an officially designated Arboretum. She presented Anita McBride, executive in residence at AU’s School of Public Affairs and former chief of staff for First Lady Laura Bush, with a seedling from the Jackson magnolia tree near the South portico of the White House. The tree was planted by President Andrew Jackson in honor of his wife Rachel, who died shortly before he moved to the White House. The seedling already is sprouting new leaves in the care of the AU Arboretum staff which will work with the president’s office to decide where and when it will be planted on campus.

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Earth Week and Campus Beautification Day

During Earth Week celebrations from April 16 to 22, the AU campus will bustle with lots of activities, and we invite our neighbors to attend. Activities include:

  • a chance to test drive electric vehicles including the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and learn about free campus charging stations
  • discussions with the Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers and the Administrator of the EPA Lisa Jackson
  • a garden workshop to show off our new community garden and plant new fruit trees donated by Casey Trees
  • a service project with the DC Department of the Environment to label storm drains on Saturday, April 21
  • Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, when you can take a sustainability tour of the campus

For more information and a schedule of events, visit: http://www.american.edu/finance/sustainability/Earth-Week.cfm.

An important part of Earth Week is our annual Campus Beautification Day on Tuesday, April 17, when students, faculty, and staff all pitch in to help plant new trees, shrubs, and flowers, and do other tasks to help beautify the campus. It’s a great morning of fun from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., followed by a barbeque in the amphitheater. If you’d like to join us, contact Penny Pagano, Director, Community and Local Government Relations at pagano@american.edu or (202) 885-2167.

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Campus Cherry Trees Saved with Gift from AU Parents

You may have noticed a new grove of 20 cherry trees blooming along Nebraska Avenue adjacent to our School of International Service. Thanks to a gift from the parents of an AU student, the 20 trees were moved from the front of Nebraska Hall, which is about to undergo construction, to their new location in the Korean Garden. They join three surviving Yoshino cherry trees given to the university in 1943 by the provisional Korean government. The donation that enabled the younger trees to be moved was the largest parents’ gift to the AU Arboretum, and coincides with the arboretum’s 10th anniversary.

For more information on the AU Arboretum and how you can become a member, visit: http://www.american.edu/finance/fas/Arboretum.cfm.

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Cherry Blossom Festival Features Japanese Art at AU

Tomokazu Matsuyama, Mr. Alpha, 2011. Acrylic on canvas. 72 in. dia. Courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery.

In honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival Centennial, AU’s Bender Library is featuring a special exhibit of our 17th and 18th century Japanese Ukiyo-e Woodblock Collection. The collection of books assembled for display by University Archives and Special Collections includes brilliant prints by the Japanese artist Hiroshige. The display is on the third floor of Bender Library outside the Archives office Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., through April 25. Across campus, at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, the exhibit Floating World: 19th Century Japanese Prints features 70 prints about Sakura, U.S. and Japan relations, and Japonism. This exhibition is on loan from the Sakai Collection of the Japan Ukiyoe Museum and is supported by the Embassy of Japan. Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., through May 20.

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This Month at the Katzen Arts Center

AU Symphonic Band poster design by Chemi Montes

April features a plethora of cultural events to enjoy at our Katzen Arts Center:

  • April 13, 8 p.m. – AU Symphonic Band performs A Song and a Dance
  • April 14, 8 p.m. – AU Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Workshop presents Then and Now
  • April 20-21, 8 p.m. – AU Chamber Singers presents For Praise and Peace: Bach & Handel
  • April 26-28, 8 p.m., also April 28 at 2 p.m. – Senior Capstone: A Senior Mash-up
  • April 26, 8 p.m. – Linden String Quartet performs Works by Beethoven, Bartok, and Ravel
  • April 27-28, 8 p.m. – AU Symphony Orchestra and AU Chorus present Songs from the Homeland

For more information about each of these events, and for tickets, visit www.american.edu/auarts, or call (202) 885-ARTS.

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AU Museum Reception for New Spring Exhibition

A public gallery talk at the Katzen Arts Center. Artwork in background: Linn Meyers, A Very Particular Moment.

Join us Thursday, April 5 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. for a free Artists’ Reception to celebrate the opening of the Early Spring 2012 Exhibitions (April 25 – May 20) at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. The new exhibitions feature local artist Lou Stovall’s Vertical Views. The latest iterations in his 60-year career take form in silkscreen monoprints reconstructed into three-dimensional collages. The featured works of New York-based artist Tomokazu Matsuyama’s Thousand Regards combine traditional Edo and Meiji period imagery with contemporary motifs and patterning to blend Eastern and Western aesthetics. A gallery talk with Matsuyama will be held April 5 prior to a reception at 5 p.m. The AU Art Department will present work by first-year Master of Fine Arts candidates.

On Wednesday, April 4, from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m., join us for AU’s Art History Distinguished Scholar Lecture, Building a 21st Century Collection, featuring John Ravenal, curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Free and open to the public. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.

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Kogod School of Business Speaker Series

Laura Evans

Laura Evans, SPA/BA '99, MA '00

Kogod School of Business offers the Alan Meltzer CEO Leadership Speaker Series that brings top business leaders to campus. The annual series of lectures is free and open to the public. Join us on Wednesday, April 11, at 4 p.m. in the Kogod Student Lounge to hear Laura Evans, Chief Experience Officer and Vice President of Research at The Washington Post. In her job, she focuses on audiences and advertisers through strategic research, product development, and data analysis for all digital, mobile, and offline properties of Washington Post Media. A reception will follow her talk. Evans holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Politics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Law and Society from AU. This lecture series is made possible by Kogod alumni and American University Trustee Alan Meltzer who founded the Meltzer Group in Bethesda, Maryland.

You also can check out the latest issue of Kogod’s digital magazine Kogod Now at http://kogodnow.com/. The latest edition features the articles “Russia’s Corrupt Free Market” and “I May Be Wrong About This...” which examines the effects of feminine speech patterns on workplace development.

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Alumni Reception with AU President Neil Kerwin

Are you an AU alum? Join AU President Neil Kerwin SPA/BA ’71 and fellow alums, parents, and friends at a reception on April 25 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Hotel Monaco, 700 F Street, N.W. Dr. Kerwin will provide an update on the state of the university. Complimentary admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Register for this event online. For more information, contact Rebecca Vander Linde at (202) 885-5968 or vanderli@american.edu.

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Take an Arboretum Tour

Neighbors on an arboretum tour

The Arboretum offers free guided tours, or you can download their audio tour and explore at your own pace.

With this year’s early spring, April is a beautiful month to take a tour of the AU Campus, which was officially designated a local arboretum in 2004. The original campus plan for AU was created by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., America’s most noted landscape architect and the designer of the U.S. Capitol grounds and New York’s Central Park. Today, AU has more than 2,500 trees, pocket parks, sculpture gardens, ponds and streams, rain gardens, and green roofs. Recently, we even added some beehives. Our landscape architects and staff arborists offer free tours to neighbors, garden clubs, and schools. If you are interested in planning a tour, please contact Landscape Architect Michael Mastrota at (202) 885-1145 or mastrot@american.edu, or Penny Pagano, Director, Community and Local Government Relations at (202) 885-2167 or pagano@american.edu.

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Calendar of Events

Tuesday, April 3, 11 a.m. Spring Exhibitions open at the AU Museum. Free and open to the public. To view a listing of current and new exhibitions, visit http://www.american.edu/cas/museum/.

Tuesday, April 3, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Spring Speaker Series sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at AU presents Local Painting Goes National, a Washington Art Panel with art critic Paul Richard and artists Lou and Di Stovall, Leni Stern, and Sam Gilliam. Free and open to the public. Temple Baptist Church, 3850 Nebraska Avenue. Room 6/Lecture Hall. Parking is available at AU’s Katzen Arts Center.

Tuesday, April 3, 7 p.m. 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series presents Dolphin Tails, Whale Tales and Fin Facts: Why Truth and Integrity Are Needed in Media Coverage of Marine Mammals. Trevor Spradlin, a marine mammal biologist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, discusses the important contributions that films and documentaries can make to support conservation of marine mammals, and the unintended consequences when artistic license misleads the public. Free and open to the public. No reservation needed. Weschler Theatre, 3rd floor, Mary Graydon Center. Free parking is available at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot. Sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation. For more information, contact Chris Palmer at palmer@american.edu or at (202) 885-3408.

Thursday, April 5, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Free artists’ reception to celebrate the opening of the Spring Exhibitions at the AU Museum. Katzen Arts Center. Free parking under the Katzen building.

Tuesday, April 10, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Spring Speaker Series sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at AU presents Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, new owners of Politics & Prose Bookstore since June, 2011. They will talk about the joys and challenges of independent bookselling in an age of ebooks and digital media. They also will discuss their own transitions from the worlds of journalism, government, and politics to stewardship of a cherished local retail business.

Friday, April 13, 8 p.m. AU Symphonic Band presents A Song and a Dance. Abramson Family Recital Hall. Tickets $5 - $10 at www.american/auarts or (202) 885-ARTS.

Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14, 8 p.m. Student Spring Dance Concert: Upside Down/Inside Out. Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theater, 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Tickets: $10-$15 at www.american.edu/auarts or (202) 885-ARTS.

Saturday, April 14, 8 p.m. AU Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Workshop performs Then and Now. Abramson Family Recital Hall. Katzen Arts Center. Tickets: $5 - $10 at www.american/auarts or (202) 885-ARTS. Free parking under the Katzen building.

Sunday, April 15, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium. Katzen Arts Center. To register for this event, visit www.american.edu/cas/EALS. Free parking under the Katzen building.

Tuesday, April 17, 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. AU Campus Beautification Day. Join AU students, faculty, and staff as we beautify the main campus and Tenley Campus. Registration begins at 8 a.m. on the Quad in front of Mary Graydon Center. At 12 p.m., we’ll gather in the amphitheater for a barbeque and raffle.

Tuesday, April 17, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Spring Speaker Series sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at AU. David Keplinger, poet and Associate Professor and Director of the Creative Writing Program at AU, discusses his latest project, By and By: the Copybook Songs of Isaac P. Anderson, about his great-great grandfather who fought in the Civil War. Temple Baptist Church, 3850 Nebraska Avenue, N.W. Room 6/Lecture Hall. Free and open to the public. Parking is available at AU’s Katzen Arts Center.

Tuesday, April 17, 7:30 p.m. A book talk by award-winning Israeli author Talia Carner who will discuss her latest book Jerusalem Maiden, winner of 2011 Forward National Award for Historical Fiction.Reception and book signing follow talk. Free and open to the public. Mary Graydon Center. First floor, Room 4. Free parking at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot. Sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies at AU. To RSVP or for more information, contact Laura Cutler at cutler@american.edu. For information on additional programs offered by the Center, visit http://www.american.edu/cas/israelstudies/index.cfm.

Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, 8 p.m. AU Chamber Singers presents For Praise and Peace: Bach & Handel, Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center. Tickets: $5. Free parking under the Katzen building.

Monday, April 23, 3:30 p.m. Book talk on The Crisis of Zionism with author Peter Beinart, followed by book signing and reception. Abramson Family Recital Hall. Katzen Arts Center. Parking is available under the Katzen building. Co-sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies at AU and AU’s Jewish Studies Program.

Wednesday, April 25, 7:30 p.m. AU Alumni Association reception with AU president Neil Kerwin (SPA/BA ’71) who will offer an update on the state of the university. Hotel Monaco, 700 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Complimentary admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. To register, visit www.american/alumni or contact Rebecca Vander Linde at vanderli@american.edu or (202) 885-5968.

Thursday, April 26 – Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m., and also Saturday, April 28, 2 p.m. Senior Capstone: A Senior Mash-up. StudioTheatre. Katzen Arts Center. Tickets $10 - $15 at www.american/edu/auarts or (202) 885-ARTS.

Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m. Linden String Quartet performs works by Beethoven, Bartok, and Ravel. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Tickets $5 - $10 at www.american/edu/auarts or (202) 885-ARTS.

Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m. AU Symphony Orchestra and the AU Chorus perform Songs from the Homeland. Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center.Tickets $10 - $15 at www.american.edu/auarts or (202) 885-ARTS.

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For event details and a full list of all upcoming events, see the University Events Calendar.

For a listing of upcoming events for AU alumni, please visit the Alumni Events Calendar.