Tuesday, Sept. 14 will be a day to celebrate the liberal arts and sciences at Converse College. Phifer Science Hall will be formally dedicated, an award-winning author will discuss her New York Times bestselling book, and a renowned sculpture artist will unveil his latest creation.
10 a.m.; Phifer Science Hall Dedication; Phifer Lawn
The 36,000-square-foot three-story Phifer Science Hall is the newest addition to the Converse campus, and is dedicated to the study of the natural sciences. Its design provides for 21st century flexibility, student/faculty research, and in-lab lectures.
Located prominently on Converse campus, Phifer Science Hall features a unique architectural design that combines lecture rooms with fully functional laboratories, allowing professors and students to move freely between lecture and lab activities during class meetings. Each lecture room is wired with the absolute latest in computer and audio-visual technology.
Tours of Phifer by Converse science students and faculty will begin at 10:30 a.m.
A statue of influential American scientist Maria Mitchell by sculptor Elliot Offner will be unveiled in its permanent location beside Phifer Science Hall.
11:30 a.m.; Converse College’s Formal Opening Convocation; Twichell Auditorium
Award-winning novelist Ann Patchett will deliver the keynote address during this long-held Converse tradition which formally opens the 2004-2005 academic year.
During the service, Patchett and renowned sculpture-artist Elliot Offner will be presented with honorary degrees. Patchett, whose New York Times Bestseller Bel Canto was the assigned book for the Converse freshman orientation reading project, will be presented with the doctor of letters degree. Offner will be presented with the doctor of fine arts degree. Offner served as a visiting professor at Converse in 2003 and is currently serving the college as an advisor in a statue project that shows five figurative works depicting prominent women in American history.
1:30 p.m.; Lecture on Art and Sculpture by Elliot Offner; Phifer Hall 103
Elliot Offner has received many awards and honors, has been the subject of some twenty one-person exhibitions since 1964, has received extensive commission work, and is represented by many prestigious public collections. Works by Offner, who is President Emeritus of the National Sculpture Society, are contained in numerous public collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, MA. He has won prizes from the National Sculpture Society, the National Academy of Design, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
3 p.m.; Converse Alumnae Panel Discussion: SCIENCE!; Phifer Hall 103
7:30 p.m.; Discussion with the Author: Ann Patchett on Bel Canto Daniel Recital Hall, Blackman Music Building
Novelist Ann Patchett will read and discuss her award-winning novel, Bel Canto. Patchett is the author of three additional novels and the highly acclaimed memoir Truth & Beauty. She has received the Pen/Faulkner Award, England’s Orange Prize, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.