Rosalynn Carter to Address Denison Students At Opening Convocation on Importance of 'Home'
Posted: August 29, 2005
GRANVILLE -- Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a lifelong advocate for improving the quality of life for individuals suffering from mental illness and for supporting caregivers who tend to them, will speak at Denison University's opening All-College Convocation at 8 p.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 30) in Swasey Chapel. The convocation caps the orientation program for first-year students. Classes for fall semester begin Monday (Aug. 29). The topic of her address is "Building Communities, Enriching Lives."
At Denison, Mrs. Carter will address the importance of "home" in fostering good mental health and the important role family members and neighbors play in caring for the less fortunate in our society. Dean of First-Year Students Laurel Kennedy has designed a year-long program around the theme, "'Built by rasp and bicycle: A Year-Long Consideration of How We Make Our Homes and What They Make of Us." (The title pays homage to a poem by Denison's late Poet-in-Residence Emeritus Paul Bennett.)
Mrs. Carter has been a driving force in the field of mental health throughout her public service career. She was a member of the Governor's Commission to Improve Services to the Mentally and Emotionally Handicapped when her husband was governor of Georgia. As active honorary chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health during President Carter's administration, she helped bring about passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980.
Through The Carter Center, the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving, and her work on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, Mrs. Carter has been a tireless advocate for the poor, those without homes, those affected by mental and emotional disorders, and family and professional caregivers. Dedicated to issues affecting women and children, Mrs. Carter launched a nationwide campaign to publicize the need for early childhood immunizations in 1991 with Mrs. Betty Bumpers and served on the policy advisory board of The Atlanta Project, a Carter Center program addressing the social ills associated with poverty and quality of life citywide. She also works with Project Interconnections, a public/private non-profit partnership to provide housing for homeless people who are mentally ill.
Mrs. Carter is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Living World Award from Peace Links, the Volunteer of the Decade and the "Into the Light" award from the National Mental Health Association, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (America's highest civilian honor), and the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service. In 2001 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
She has written four books: her autobiography "First Lady from Plains"; "Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life," a book (co-authored with President Carter) about life after the White House; "Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book for Caregivers" with Susan K. Golant; and "Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends and Caregivers," also with Susan Golant.
President and Mrs. Carter have been married for 59 years and are the parents of four children (John William, James Earl III, Donnel Jeffrey and Amy Lynn).
Denison University, located in Granville, Ohio, was founded in 1831 and is a privately supported, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences, offering three different bachelor's degrees (B.A., B.S. and B.F.A.) among more than 40 majors and concentrations. Some 2,000 full-time undergraduate students represent 47 states and 34 foreign countries. Denison is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) and a founding member of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Denison's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1910. Dale T. Knobel is Denison's 19th president.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Opening All-College Convocation featuring Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter speaking on "Building Communities, Enriching Lives"; 8 p.m., Tuesday (Aug. 30), Swasey Chapel (200 Chapel Drive Contact 740-5887-6266 to confirm information.
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