A celebration of life was held recently at AU for former Associate Professor Emerita of History and neighbor Valerie French. Remarking at the service on the outpouring that followed her sudden passing, Peter Starr, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke of the special sense of community that he has experienced at AU. Valerie joined AU in 1969 as a lecturer and taught until 2005. She also was the new President of the Board of Directors of the McLean Gardens Condominium Association. She cared deeply about her community as she did for her AU connections.
The first month of 2012 has slipped away, but the coming days provide us with opportunities to work together using our combined resources and connections. The spring semester offers lots of opportunities for neighbors to come to campus, from new art exhibits to lectures, plays, concerts and sports events, or just to find a quiet corner in the library to read.
The farmers’ market is back on campus, and a new neighborhood restaurant, La Forchetta, will open soon at 3201 New Mexico Avenue.
The AU student government Community Service Coalition continues to look for neighborhood events and projects. Last year 1,717 students volunteered 4,306 hours of service working on Coalition projects. Keep them in mind for upcoming community activities.
We would like to share with our neighbors AU President Neil Kerwin’s spring semester message to the campus community. The message includes an overall update on the university, including finances and enrollments, as well as current information on the Campus Plan, the renovation of the McKinley building for the School of Communication, and other news. President Kerwin’s message is available online at the President’s Web site .
Former President Bill Clinton Received First "Wonk of the Year" Award
Bender Arena was packed for the January 27 presentation of AU’s first “Wonk of the Year” Award to former President Bill Clinton. “I loved when people made fun of me for being wonk-ish because I figured that people wanted a president who actually knew something,” Clinton told the crowd of several thousand people at the event sponsored by the Kennedy Political Union and the Graduate Leadership Council. The 42nd president, returning to AU for the third time, spoke on “Embracing our Common Humanity,” including the impact of scientific advances and mapping the human genome. “By far the most important finding is that we are all at least 99.5 percent the same,” he said. “As we look around the room today, every non-age-related difference you can see in each other, whether you’re tall or short, wide or narrow, whether you have some sort of disability, the color of your skin, and the color of your eyes is rooted in one half of a percent of your genome.” He urged students, alumni, faculty, and staff to “tap your inner work” and asked, “What kind of world do you want to live in?” Adding a personal note, he said, “I loved politics. Even the bad days were good,” he said. “But I’m telling you that when it’s over, what keeps you going, what keeps driving you, is knowing that whatever it is you do, you can make a difference. It’s what animates me today.”
AU students, faculty, and staff participated in a variety of MLK Day of Service activities, including preparing and serving dinner at Allen House Senior Citizen Housing and Regency House.
Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day brought more than 200 AU students, faculty, staff, and their families together with neighbors who all rolled up their sleeves on projects across the city. One such project was at the St. Luke’s Mission Center in Glover Park where the group made lunch bags for hypothermia shelter residents, painted and cleaned the shelter areas, organized office files, and created artwork for the center. In the mission kitchen, the amazing Chef Mary and her team from AU’s Bon Appétit food service cooked a full dinner for some 70 residents of nearby Regency House. Bon Appétit also contributed all of the food and delivered the meals to Regency House for the volunteers and residents to share together. For all of us who participated, it was a very special day.
Winter Exhibition Opens in the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
Anil Revri, Ram Darwaza 11, 2011. Mixed media on canvas. 60 x 50 in. Courtesy of the artist.
There is a lot to see in the new exhibitions at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Faith and Liberation through Abstraction highlights the intricate works by artist Anil Revri, and is sponsored by the Embassy of India. Roots features the paintings and sculpture by Spanish artist Christóbal Gabarrón (shown for the first time in D.C.) and City Limits explores the paintings of Baltimore native Raoul Middleman. Regaining our Faculties focuses on works by four AU Department of Art faculty members who recently returned from sabbaticals – Zoë Charlton, Tim Doud, Deborah Kahn, and Luis Manuel Cravo Silva. In addition, there are photographs by Kids@Katzen participants, inspired by a recent museum exhibit. Free admission. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information on the new exhibition, visit AU museum Web site.
This popular film festival kicks off Tuesday, February 7 at 7 p.m. with clips from Discovery Channel’s famed Shark Week, and a talk with the program’s Executive Producer Brooke Runnette. The series, which runs through April 3, is free and open to the public. No reservations required. The series is co-sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, headed by Chris Palmer, and Filmmakers for Conservation. All programs are held in the Wechsler Theater on the 3rd floor of Mary Graydon Center. Free parking is available in AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot. For a full list of upcoming films and programs, and to learn more about the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, visit their Web site .
This month brings several musical events for our neighbors to enjoy. On February 18 – 19, talented student instrumentalists and singers from throughout the university will compete in the AU Symphony Orchestra Concerto and Aria Competition to perform with the AU Symphony Orchestra this fall. These performances are free and open to the public at the Abramson Family Recital Hall in the Katzen Arts Center. The first round is Saturday, February 18 at 7 p.m., and the second round is Sunday, February 19 at 3 p.m. Free parking is available under the Katzen building. On Saturday, February 25 at 8 p.m., the Left Bank Concert Society will offer a program titled Casting a Long Shadow, featuring the Left Bank Quartet of David Salness and Sally McLain on violin, Katherine Murdock on viola, and Evelyn Elsing on cello. Jonathan Richards will join the group on viola. The performance will include the works of Johannes Brahms’ String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 51, No. 1 (1865, rev. 1873), Anton Webern’s Sechs Bagatellen, Op. 9 (1913), and Max Bruch’s Viola Quintet in A Minor, Op., (posthumous, 1918). Tickets are $30 and $25 for seniors. For more information, available seating, and tickets, visit www.american.edu/auarts, or call the Katzen Arts Center Ticket Office at 202-885-3634.
Northwest DC Elementary School Day at Bender Area included a performance of the national anthem by local students.
More than 1,000 local elementary school students and family members cheered on AU’s men’s basketball team in Bender Arena for a home game against Holy Cross on January 14th. It was the fifth year that AU Athletics hosted its Northwest DC Elementary School Day, which this year provided free game tickets for students from Eaton, Hearst, Janney, Key, Mann, and Stoddert neighborhood schools. Leading up to the game, AU basketball team members visited several schools for skills sessions and helped lead physical education classes. On game day, in addition to watching AU win by a 67-54 final score, the students all received individual growth-chart posters of AU’s Clawed the Eagle mascot. “We’ve had great feedback from this annual event, which has continued to grow over the years. It’s great to see so many young kids and families from Northwest DC become Eagles fans,” says Robert Sherman, AU’s Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Corporate Partnerships.
Kogod Women in Business Host the Red Dress Benefit
Graduate students at the Red Dress event on Feb. 4, 2011.
Following its success last year, the Kogod Women in Business (KWIB) have organized another Red Dress Benefit on Friday, February 3 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Darlington House, 1610 20th Street, N.W. The event is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association as part of its campaign to raise awareness of women’s heart health. Tickets: $40. For more information, visit the AU Alumni Association's Web page for the event.
Don’t forget that February 3 also is National Wear Red Day®. Let’s all wear some red to show our support in the fight against heart disease.
Opening Soon - New Neighborhood Restaurant La Forchetta
Photo by Benjamin Bishop
Work continues to move along on the new Italian restaurant, La Forchetta, at 3201 New Mexico Avenue. Signs have been installed outside, and the interior work is nearing completion. You may have noticed that La Forchetta replaced the name Al Forno. It is not a different restaurant, just a name change. An opening date should be coming soon.
AU Farmers' Market Has a New Location on Campus Quad
Our Farmers’ Market is back on campus on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a new location on the quad. Just look for the familiar white tents set up near Mary Graydon Center (look for the big flag pole) and the University Library. Come meet our vendors, Agora Farms and Upper Crust Bakery, for a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, and yogurt, along with wonderful hearth-baked breads, pastries, and cookies. Visit the Agora Farms Web site to find out what produce they will bring to the market each week.
Friday, February 3, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Kogod Women in Business Red Dress Benefit. Fundraiser for the American Heart Association and to raise awareness of women’s heart health on National Wear Red Day®. Darlington House, 1610 20th Street, N.W. Open to AU Alumni. Tickets: $40 at http://www.american.edu/alumni/.
Saturday, February 4 at 2 p.m. AU women’s basketball team plays Colgate. Bender Arena.
Tuesday, February 7, 9:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.Cleaner, Greener, Better: Israeli Innovation in Greentech.Symposium in AU’s LEED-certified School of International Service Building. Conference will highlight three themes: new thinking on green technologies and ecosystems; the unique Israeli success in this sector; and the special regional/political issues. Keynote address by Michael Granoff of Better Place. Co-sponsors: American University’s Kogod School of Business, Center for Israel Studies, SIS Global Environmental Politics Program and Environmental Science Dept.; Embassy of Israel; and American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Box lunch included. Free and open to the public but an RSVP is requested via their Web site.
Tuesday, February 7 at 6 p.m. Spring Arts Colloquia presents Broadly Speaking: Working Across Disciplines, featuring artist Mira Schor. Free and open to the public. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Tuesday, February 7 at 7 p.m. 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series. Meet Executive Producer Brooke Runnette of Discovery Channel’s famed Shark Week annual event. Sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation. Free and open to the public. No reservation needed. Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center.
Wednesday, February 8, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.So Happy Together: A Reception for AU Couples. AU Alumni Association reception for AU couples that include AU President Neil Kerwin, SPA/BA ’71, and Ann Kerwin, CAS/BA ’71. Submit a favorite photo by e-mail of your time together at AU for the event’s slideshow. Cost: $25 per couple, $12.50 per person, order tickets online.
Thursday, February 9 at 7 p.m. AU men’s basketball team plays Lehigh. Bender Arena.
Saturday, February 11 at 2 p.m. AU women’s basketball team plays Holy Cross. Bender Arena.
Saturday, February 11, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Gallery talk with artist Raoul Middleman whose works are featured at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Free and open to the public. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Sunday, February 12 at 12 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse exhibition game against Wales. Jacobs Field.
Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse exhibition game against Villanova. Jacobs Field.
Tuesday, February 14 at 7 p.m. 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series. Filmmakers Keith Heyward and Jennifer Berglund of Prehensile Productions will discuss their film Defending Eden about Ecuador’s Waorani people. Sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation. Free and open to the public. No reservation needed. Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center.
Wednesday, February 15, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Chris Matthews, host of Hardball and The Chris Matthews Show will discuss his latest book Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. Free and open to the public in the atrium of the School of International Service.
Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. AU men’s basketball team plays Navy. Bender Arena.
Thursday, February 16 at 4 p.m. Lecture by Gershon Baskin, Israeli academic/activist credited with a critical role in the Gilad Shalit deal. Co-sponsored by AU’s Center for Israel Studies and the School of International Service (SIS) International Peace and Conflict Resolution program. Free and open to the public. Abramson Family Founders Room in the SIS building.
Thursday, February 16 to Saturday, February 18 at 8 p.m. and also 2 p.m. on February 18. The French play Ubu Rex(Ubu Roi), written by Alfred Jarry, translated by Cyril Connolly and Simon Watson Taylor. Contains mature themes. Discretion is advised. Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre, 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Tickets: $15 general; $10 seniors. For tickets call (202) 885-ARTS or visit american.edu/auarts.
Friday, February 17, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.Arts Management Spring Colloquium. Free and open to the public. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center.
Saturday, February 18 at 12 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse season opening game against Davidson. Jacobs Field.
Saturday, February 18 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 19 at 3 p.m. AU Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto and Aria Competition. AU students and staff from across the university compete to become part of the AU Symphony Orchestra. Preliminary round on February 18. Final round on February 19. Free and open to the public. Free parking is available under the Katzen Building.
Tuesday, February 21 at 6 p.m. Spring Arts Colloquia presents Broadly Speaking: Working Across Disciplines featuring artist Tim Davis. Free at open to the public. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Tuesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series. Exploring the Potential Power of Film in Protecting America’s National Parks. Stephen Shackelton, Chief Ranger with the National Park Service, will show stunning stills and clips of iconic national parks including Yellowstone and Yosemite. Sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation. Free and open to the public. No reservations required. Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center.
Thursday, February 23 at 7 p.m. AU men’s basketball team plays Bucknell.
Thursday, February 23 to Saturday, February 25 at 8 p.m. and February 25 at 2 p.m. Student production of Bare. Contains mature themes. Discretion is advised. Studio Theatre at the Katzen Arts Center. Tickets: $15 general, $ 10 seniors. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Saturday, February 25 at 12 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse team plays Columbia. Jacobs Field.
Saturday, February 25 at 4 p.m. AU men’s basketball team plays Lafayette. Bender Arena.
Saturday, February 25 at 8 p.m.The Left Bank Quartet: Casting a Long Shadow. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Tickets $10 - $30. Call (202) 885-ARTS or visit american.edu/auarts. Free admission to those under 18 only by calling the box office. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series. Mark Breeze, producer of the “Memorial and Museum” episodes of the recent six-part Discovery Channel/Spielberg documentary on the rebuilding of Ground Zero. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation. No reservations needed Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center.
Wednesday, February 29 at 3:30 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse team plays Richmond. Jacobs Field.