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Southwestern University’s 2012 Shilling Lecture will feature Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Robertson Center.

Friedman will speak about “That Used to be Us,” which is the topic of his latest book, co-written with Michael Mandelbaum − That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back.

Friedman is the author of several bestselling books, including Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolutionand How It Can Renew America, The World is Flat, Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism, The Lexus and the Olive Tree and From Beirut to Jerusalem, which serves as a basic text on the Middle East in colleges and universities nationwide and won the National Book Award.

This year’s lecture is being made available to the public at no charge thanks to a grant from Southwestern’s food service provider, Sodexo. Tickets for the general public may be reserved at and may be picked up at the box office on the evening of the event. The box office will open at 5 p.m. with the doors for the lecture opening at 6 p.m.

Read more here.


Some elementary and middle school children in Jarrell are getting a head start on learning foreign languages this year thanks to help from a Southwestern University professor and students.

The children are participants in an after-school language program that is funded by Georgetown resident Ned Snead. Snead’s daughter Jeannie Snead manages the program with support from the Jarrell Independent School District.

The program is held at Jarrell Elementary School and is open to students in third through sixth grade. Students who are interested in the program must apply and be recommended by their classroom teacher. The program meets four afternoons a week, so students must be serious about it before committing to it. Up to 30 students can participate at a time.

All students who are accepted into the program learn two languages – Chinese and Spanish. Typically, two afternoons a week are devoted to one language and the other two are devoted to the other language. Each class session is divided between classroom work and time in a computer lab for additional computer-based instruction. In addition to language training, each classroom session includes a short segment on culture. In a recent class, for example, the students learned about the Chinese New Year celebration.

The program has been offered since 2006, but this is the first year Southwestern has been involved with it.

Read more here.



The Austin Civic Orchestra will perform in the Alma Thomas Theater on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Guest artist Thomas Burritt, professor of percussion at UT-Austin, will perform a movement from Ewazen’s Marimba Concerto. Also on the program is music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Amram and Beethoven.

The concert is free for all Southwestern students, faculty and staff with a valid SU ID. The general public can purchase advance tickets here.


Pianist Chuck Dillard and soprano Dana Zenobi will give a guest and faculty recital on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theatre. The program includes works by Samuel Barber, Libby Larsen, and Richard Hundley. Included in the performance will be “Try Me, Good King,” a song cycle setting of the last words of King Henry VII’s wives by composer Libby Larsen.

Dillard is on the faculty of the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin and Zenobi is an assistant professor of applied music at Southwestern.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1504.


A group of students from Southwestern University has organized a documentary film festival in February and March of 2012 that will focus on the ethics of food. All films are free and open to the public.

The first three documentaries will be shown on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in Olin 105. The schedule for these films is as follows:

Feb. 8 – “King Corn”

Feb. 15 – “Forks Over Knives”

Feb. 22 – “Food Matters”

The festival will conclude on Wednesday, March 7, with a screening of the documentary “Fresh.” This film will be shown in the Campus Center Ballrooms at 7 p.m. and will be preceded by a talk by producer Ana Joanes.

Read more here.


Rev. John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, will give the 2012 Willson Lecture at Southwestern on Thursday, Feb. 9.  Rev. Jenkins will be speak during chapel at 11:30 a.m. on “Conviction and Dialogue in Contentious Time.” 

Rev. Jenkins has been a member of the Notre Dame philosophy faculty since 1990 and became the 17th president of the University of Notre Dame in 2005. A native of Omaha, Neb., Rev. Jenkins earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from Notre Dame in 1976 and 1978, and was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1983. He also holds a B. Phil. and D. Phil. in philosophy from Oxford University and advanced degrees from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. 

Rev. Jenkins is the author of the 1997 book Knowledge and Faith in Thomas Aquinas, published by Cambridge University Press, and has had scholarly articles published in The Journal of Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy and Theology, and The Journal of Religious Ethics.

The lecture is open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1527 or write


An exhibit titled “Culinary Cultures: A Ceramics Perspective” opens in the Fine Arts Gallery Feb. 13 and will run through March 9. The exhibit, which has been co-curated by Southwestern University Art Professor Patrick Veerkamp, explores topics associated with food from the perspective of 19 nationally recognized contemporary ceramists. The gallery is open 1-5 p.m. daily.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Monday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. The exhibit is being held in conjunction with Southwestern’s 2012 Brown Symposium. Read more about the symposium here.  


The Black Box Theatre Series is presenting two plays Feb. 15-19: “Beirut” by Alan Bowne and “Night Maneuver” by Howard Korder. “Beirut” will be directed by junior Alexis Gette and “Night Maneuver” will be directed by junior Abraham Ramirez.

Beirut is the story of a Brooklyn man quarantined in the Lower East Side after testing positive for a deadly, nameless virus. His girlfriend, who has not been infected, makes the dangerous journey across the quarantine line to be with him. The plague has upped the ante on love and introduced them to sacrifice.

Night Maneuver is a story of lies, inconsistencies and the relationship between three brothers: Lou, Tim and the absent Monty whose heavy shadow follows them throughout. An underhanded power struggle between the two ensues, as Lou acts as the rather obnoxious patronizing older brother, and Tim the pathetic and helpless younger brother. It becomes clear that both of them have their secrets. Using mind games and deception, they each try to catch the other out.

Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 15 and 16, 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18, and 3 p.m. Feb 19 in Heather Hall. Tickets are $5 and may be obtained online at or by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378.

Both plays contain adult subject matter and are for mature audiences only. For more information on these productions visit

Media Coverage

KUT-FM did a story on the Southwestern alumni who organize a music festival in Austin each year in memory of a classmate who died. Read the story here.

Biology Professor Martin Gonzalez was included in a feature story the United Methodist Reporter did about professors who received Exemplary Teacher Awards from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry last fall. Read the story here.


NITLE staff members Bryan Alexander and Rebecca Frost Davis have a chapter titled “Should Liberal Arts Campuses Do Digital Humanities? Process and Products in the Small College World” in a new book titled Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). Lisa Spiro, a Houston-based NITLE staff member, also has a chapter in this book titled “This Is Why We Fight: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities.”

HBO is airing a short film by 2006 graduate Andrew Richey this week. The film, titled “Fig,” is about a young mother trying to escape a life of prostitution in South Central Los Angeles. Richey recently graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Art with a master of fine arts in film and television production.

Fumiko Futamura, assistant professor of mathematics, has had an article titled “Frame Diagonalization of Matrices” accepted for publication in the journal Linear Algebra and Its Applications. In the article, she introduces a new way of diagonalizing matrices that cannot be diagonalized through traditional means.

Junior Kristi Lenderman has received a $2,500 scholarship from the Rotary Club of Georgetown to support her study abroad this semester. Lenderman is studying in Santiago, Chile, through the SIT Comparative Education and Social Change program. While there, she hopes to continue her studies on female leadership and visit local Rotary clubs to observe how Chilean clubs function, how women are incorporated and share information on what Rotary and Rotaract are doing in Georgetown. Lenderman is a former president of Southwestern’s Rotaract chapter.

Kate Nelson, studio technician in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, has had a piece accepted into Ink & Clay 38, an annual competition of prints, drawings, ceramic ware and clay sculpture sponsored by the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. This year’s clay juror was Carol Sauvion.

Theatre Professor Rick Roemer and five students have been invited to give a concert on Thursday, Feb. 9, as part of the noon “Brown Bag Luncheon Concert Series” sponsored by the Lakeway Chamber of Commerce. They will be singing songs from the musical theatre repertoire.

Hai Zheng-Olefsky, assistant professor of music, has been invited to perform with the Round Rock Symphony in a concert that will be presented in Georgetown on Sunday, Feb. 26. The program includes three piano quartets featuring the renowned Red Violin from the motion picture of the same name. Elizabeth Pitcairn will perform on the violin, along with Toby Blumkenthal on piano, Bruce Williams on viola and Zheng-Olefsky on cello. The concert begins at 4 p.m. at the Klett Center for the Performing Arts, Georgetown High School (2111 North Austin Ave.) Tickets are $5 for students and $25 for adults and may be purchased at

The concert is a preview of the 2012 Georgetown Festival of the Arts, which will be held May 31 - June 3. For more information, visit