Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to desegregate a New Orleans elementary school in 1960, will tell her story Friday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. in Westminster College's Orr Auditorium.
Bridges was a pioneer in school integration at the age of six, when she was selected to spend her first-grade year in what had previously been an all-white elementary school.
"That first morning I remember mom saying as I got dressed in my new outfit, 'Now, I want you to behave yourself today, Ruby, and don't be afraid. There might be a lot of people outside this new school, but I'll be with you. That conversation was the full extent of preparing me for what was to come," Bridges said.
Bridges and her teacher attended this school every day alone for an entire year. Both her father and grandparents lost their jobs because of the problems associated with her going to this school.
"It took me a while to realize just how important that sacrifice was that my parents made," Bridges said, who now focuses on education, children, and family. "The biggest problem today, I think, is that parents are not as involved with their children's education as they used to be."
All proceeds from Bridges book, "The Education of Ruby Nell," go to the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which provides a unique education program that brings diverse populations together to develop relationship-building skills, strategies to collaborative work for social change, and a robust appreciation of differences all carefully aligned with state standards and classroom curriculum.
The event is sponsored by the Westminster College Student Government Association, the Diversity Symposium, the First Year Program, The Education Department, and the office of Diversity Services.
The event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.
For more information, contact Dr. Amy Camardese, assistant professor of education and coordinator of this event, at (724) 946-7183 or e-mail email@example.com.
Bachelor degrees were awarded to 262 students at May 14 Westminster College commencement service.
Nineteen students graduated with highest honors, summa cum laude, and maintained an academic average of at least 3.9 out of a possible 4.0; 25 students graduated with high honors, magna cum laude, and maintained averages of at least 3.7; and 51 students graduate with cum laude honors and maintained averages of at least 3.5 over their academic career.
College Honors were awarded to 11 students. This special honor is given to those students who choose to pursue projects that go beyond the regular course work in an effort to develop the students' capacity to initiate and complete meaningful projects in their major field of study.
An additional 69 students participated in the commencement ceremony as either previous graduates or provisional graduates , those who received diplomas earlier than the annual May commencement ceremonies, or those who are sufficiently advanced so that graduation before the end of 2005 is possible.
Author David Griffith will read from his newly published creative nonfiction book and teach several workshops Thursday and Friday, March 23 and 24, at various locations on the campus of Westminster College.
Thursday's schedule includes a non-fiction workshop at 4:30 p.m. and a fiction workshop at 7:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held in the McKelvey Campus Center Club Room.
Friday's schedule includes speaking to a nonfiction class in Thompson Clark room 315 at 3:10 p.m. Griffith will read from his newly published nonfiction book, "A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America" at 5 p.m. in the McKelvey Campus Center Witherspoon/Lakeview Rooms.
"I was inspired to write by the recent Abu Ghraib torture photo," Griffith said. "My work is a personal journey through the vast catalogue of violent and sexual images that have accumulated in our collective unconscious, a journey I seek to understand through filters ranging from Flannery O'Connor to Susan Sontag to Andy Warhol."
Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking," says "Griffith offers gripping personal testimony to the difficulties of living out the Christian imperatives of love and forgiveness amid a culture that legitimizes violence as the only 'real' way to establish social order."
During the summer, Griffith teaches fiction writing at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts and chairs the Creative Writing Department. He currently teaches writing at the University of Notre Dame. Griffith has won awards from the Heinz Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh. He is a frequent contributor to "Godspy," a quarterly journal examining faith and culture. His most recent work has appeared in "Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion," for which he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
The events are sponsored by "Scrawl," Westminster's literary magazine and are free and open to the public. Contact Evann Garrison, instructor of English at Westminster College, at (724) 946-7341 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meridith Ridl's "Fragments" exhibit is on display at the Westminster College Art Gallery until Friday, Sept. 19. A closing reception and gallery talk are scheduled for Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. The gallery, located in Patterson Hall, is open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Ashley E. Davis, a 1997 Westminster College graduate, has been named special assistant for management and administration, and took her position in the West Wing of the White House Saturday, Jan. 20.
Dr. James A. Perkins, professor of English at Westminster College, has collaborated with Suh Ji-moon on Brother Enemy: Poems of the Korean War.
Award-winning poet and 1967 Westminster College graduate Jack Ridl will speak Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in Sebastian Mueller Theater in the McKelvey Campus Center.
Reg Henry, deputy editorial page editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, will discuss "Why I Love (and Hate) Politics" Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mueller Theater of the McKelvey Campus Center.
Dr. Bethany Hicok, Westminster associate professor of English, presented as part of two panels at the meeting of the Modern Language Association held Dec. 27-30 in Chicago.
William Kochemba, a Westminster College senior chemistry major, received an undergraduate research grant from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
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