Expert On Holocaust To Speak At 159th Commencement
Posted: May 8, 2000
Michael Berenbaum, former head of the United States Holocaust Research Institute, will speak on "The Challenge of Life-Long Learning: Why Graduation Must Truly Be a Commencement" at Denison University's 159th commencement ceremonies on Sunday (May 14).
More than 500 graduates are expected to receive their bachelor's degrees at the 12:30 p.m. ceremonies on Denison's Academic Quadrangle. (In the event of rain, graduation will be held in the Mitchell Recreation and Athletics Center.) A brunch for graduates, families and friends is set for 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Curtis Dining Hall, followed by a Faculty Coffee from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the Library Quadrangle.
Traditional activities on Saturday (May 13) will include President Dale T. Knobel's reception for graduates and their guests from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the University Art Gallery in Burke Hall. The Baccalaureate service for graduates, families and friends in Swasey Chapel will be held twice in order to better accommodate the anticipated large crowds. The first service will be at 5:30 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m. The Baccalaureate Buffet Supper will be served from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Curtis Dining Hall.
Berenbaum's address will be one highlight in a program filled with highlights, including:
Six of Denison's most experienced faculty members who are retiring at the end of this academic year will be honored at commencement. They are:
Following the recognition of the retiring faculty, Professor of Religion David O. Woodyard will present Berenbaum for an honorary doctor of humane letters degree prior to the commencement address.
Berenbaum is recognized throughout the world as a scholar who has devoted much of his life to educating readers, viewers and listeners about the historical significance of the Holocaust and the lessons it can teach. He gave three addresses to Denison audiences during the semester-long "Voices of the Holocaust," an interdisciplinary series presented at the college beginning in February 1999.
Currently serving as the Strassler Family Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies in the Center for Holocaust Studies at Clark University (Worcester, Mass.), Berenbaum also has been the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (Pomona, N.J.). Preceding these appointments, he was president and chief executive officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation from 1997 to 1999. He was affiliated with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for a decade beginning in 1987, initially as a research fellow, then project director and finally as director of the United States Research Museum of the Holocaust Museum. From 1979 to 1980, he served as the deputy director of the President's Commission on the Holocaust.
Berenbaum is the author and editor of 12 books. Among the best known are: After Tragedy and Triumph: Modern Jewish Thought and the American Experience (1990), Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp (1990) and The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust (1993). He also is the author of more than 500 articles, editorial, columns and reviews on political and intellectual issues confronting the Jewish community, Israel and America. The film that he co-produced, "One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weissman Klein Story," won both an Emmy Award as the Best Informational Program in 1995 and a Cable Ace Award as the Best Educational Special on television. Berenbaum also served as the chief historical consultant on the television documentary "The Last Days" that won an Academy Award in 1998.
Born in Newark, N.J., in 1945, Berenbaum earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Queens College in 1967 and a doctorate from Florida State University in 1975. He also studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew University and Boston University.
Denison's class of 2000 includes 88 seniors who completed Honors Projects, 55 of whom have also completed all requirements to earn recognition as Honors Program graduates. One student, Ivana Rodic of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, will be awarded two bachelor of art degrees, one in mathematics and one in studio art. Amy Weigel of Vadnais Heights, Minn., is the lone graduate who completed the requirements for a triple major (German, history and education), however 98 seniors completed double majors and three completed individually designed majors.
Some 430 Denison graduates are expected to receive B.A. degrees, while approximately 70 seniors will earn B.S. degrees and eight B.F.A. degrees are scheduled to be awarded.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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