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Author and Religious Historian to Speak at Westminster College

Dr. Elaine Pagels, the Harrington Spear Paine professor of religion at Princeton University, will discuss "Gnosticism, Early Christianity, and the Secret Gospels" at Westminster College Thursday, Sept. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.

 "Growing up in a family of scientists, Elaine Pagels was taught that scientific discovery had made religion obsolete and irrelevant," said Dr. Bryan Rennie, associate professor and Vira L. Heinz Chair of Religion at Westminster College.  "Despite this early training, or perhaps because of it, Pagels is now one of the country's leading scholars of religion."

 Pagels gained international acclaim for her best-selling book, 'The Gnostic Gospels,' an analysis of 52 ancient manuscripts unearthed in Egypt in 1945.  The manuscripts, known collectively as the Nag Hammadi Library, include many gospels and other writings previously unknown, and demonstrate that the early Christian movement was far more diverse than previously thought.  This work earned her the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award.

 Pagels' latest book, "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas," focuses on religious claims to possessing the ultimate "truth."  She contends that as Christianity became increasingly institutionalized, it became more politicized and less pluralistic.

 In addition to receiving the Mac Arthur fellowship, Pagels has written numerous articles of scholarship and book reviews.  She has been profiled in such national publications as: "The Atlantic Monthly," "Time," "Vogue," "Mirabella," "The New York Times Magazine," and "The New Yorker."  She was named one of the 25 Most Influential Working Mothers by "Working Mothers" magazine, and was a featured commentator on the ABC special program, "Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci."

 "The Heinz Lecture Series of events focuses on the nature of study of religion in our world of plural religious traditions," Rennie said.  "Our intention is to host both cultural representatives of the world's religious traditions and the academic and theological scholars who study them."
This event is free and open to the public; a book signing will follow the talk. Contact Rennie at (724) 946-7151 or e-mail for more information.

Dr. Elaine Pagels

Ten Students Attend SIFE Competition

Ten Westminster College students recently attended a Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) competition.

The team reported on their accomplishments of the past school year, which included: holding a credit card seminar for first-year students; creating a 'Truth or Myth' financial concepts video and presentation; working with the local Ronald McDonald Children's Charities organization; teaching price and value concepts to children at the annual Mardi Gras festival; producing and recording an anti-piracy video that was submitted for competitive judging by the Motion Picture Association of America; and helping high school students to understand the ethical side of business decisions.

"Overall the team had a very successful year, made good friends, and enjoyed their opportunities to help their community," said David Smith, assistant professor of accounting at Westminster and adviser to SIFE.  "At the same time, they were able to earn one credit for their transcripts and build a place on their resumes for that extra difference-making experience that is so valuable to potential employers as they leave school."

SIFE is a club designed to provide students an opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills through learning and practicing principles of free enterprise.  Market economics, business operation, and the attitudes and ethics required for success in the global market are topics of exploration.  Membership is open to all students of all majors.

Contact Smith at (724) 946-7161 or e-mail for more information.

Westminster College Student to Give Senior Voice Recital

Soprano Amy Young, a senior music education major with an emphasis in voice, will perform her senior voice recital Monday, Nov. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel.

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Westminster College Fraternity Raises Charity Money with "Adopt-a-Ghost"

Theta Chi fraternity is sponsoring an "Adopt-a-Ghost" Wednesday, Oct. 25 through Friday, Oct. 27 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in Walton-Mayne Union grill area.

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Westminster College Confers Degrees to Over 325 Graduates

More than 325 students earned diplomas during the 149th annual Westminster College commencement ceremonies Saturday.

The ceremony began with baccalaureate service at 10:30 a.m. on the Senior Terrace with the Rev. Steve Allen, Westminster chaplain, presiding.  Music was provided by the Westminster Faculty Brass Quintet, the Senior Choir, and Dr. Nancy Zipay DeSalvo on the organ.

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Students Offer Children's Story Time

Westminster College students are offering two children's story times, Wednesdays, Nov. 8 and 29, at 7 p.m. in the Children's Library of McGill Library.

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Student Presented Paper at Conference

Brett Turk, a junior psychology/human resources major from New Castle, and Dr. Jamie McMinn, Westminster College assistant professor of psychology, recently presented a paper titled "Understanding the Relationship Among Gender, Physical Attractiveness, and Sexual Orientation" at the Midwestern Psychological Association.

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Student Receives Grant for Undergraduate Research Presentation

The Westminster College Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning awarded an undergraduate research grant to Bethany South, a senior sociology major, to present her research at the Eastern Sociological Society conference Feb. 22-24 in New York.

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Preschool Director Presents at Conference

Dr. Mandy Medvin, Westminster College professor of psychology and director of Westminster's preschool lab, was part of a panel discussion at the 43rd Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children conference Oct. 25.

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Music Professor Elected to Regional Office

Dr. Daniel Perttu

Dr. Daniel Perttu, Westminster College assistant professor of music, was elected to a two-year term as treasurer of the Northeast Chapter of the College Music Society (CMS).

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