University College at Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum 10th anniversary season continues with illustrious line-up

University College at Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum 10th anniversary season continues with illustrious line-up

Open VISIONS Forum, a distinguished lecture series of University College at Fairfield University, continues its 10th anniversary season, showcasing topical subjects and inspiring speakers. Civil rights educator Mary Frances Berry, writer Gore Vidal, and Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Philippe de Montebello are among the featured speakers.

Philip Eliasoph, Ph. D. is the director and moderator of Open VISIONS Forum. "From the beginning, Open VISIONS Forum has been about celebrating the life of the mind. It is designed to enlighten and challenge the public who seek thought-provoking analysis and intelligent dialogue from stimulating speakers. This lecture series is truly an avenue for checking the pulse of the nation today."

Edna Wilson, Ph.D., dean of University College, agreed. "We are proud to present this distinguished group of speakers who will undoubtedly appeal to the community and the University-based audience. Open VISIONS Forum is essentially a dynamic classroom. It is about our commitment to lifelong education."

The lecture series takes place at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The Quick Center now offers patrons the convenience of online ticketing for all Quick Center events. Visit and just click on the yellow box that says, 'Click here to buy tickets,' then choose seats for an event. Tickets also can be obtained by calling the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m., Mary Frances Berry, Ph.D., past chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, will speak. Berry, now a professor of American social thought and history at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of seven books on American justice, women's rights, child care, racism and other provocative issues.

Her appearance is co-sponsored with Fairfield University's Center for Multi-Cultural Relations and is funded, in part, by the Patrick J. Waide Jr. Fund for Ethics and Public Policy.

MTV News correspondent Gideon Yago will take the stage on Thursday, March 1, at 8 p.m. His appearance is co-sponsored by the Fairfield University Student Association. He is a key contributor to the music network's Choose or Lose Campaign, an initiative to make young people aware of the importance of voting and getting informed about political candidates. In his six years with MTV, Yago has interviewed presidential candidates and other political leaders and has produced and hosted award-winning MTV specials on the war in Iraq, AIDS, drugs, national disasters and hate crimes.

On Wednesday, March 21, at 8 p.m., Gore Vidal, one of America's great writers, will take the stage. Versatile and prolific as a novelist, essayist and playwright, Vidal published his first novel, "Williwaw," in 1946 and continues to produce notable works of non-fiction and thoughtful fiction from "Myra Breckinridge" to the National Book Award winner "United States." Similar to past programs with writers Joan Didion and John Irving, this program is presented in collaboration with Pequot Library.

James P. Moore, Jr. will be the guest on Wednesday, April 18, at 8 p.m. He is the founder of Ameritrade, the groundbreaking Internet brokerage firm. Moore is also the author of "One Nation Under God: The History of Prayer in America," which will soon be a PBS special. His speech is the annual University College Ignatian Lecture. The lecture series is named for the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius Loyola who advocated a method of reflection on one's actions to recognize one's true vocation. Guided by its Jesuit and Catholic mission, University College offers this annual lecture integrating Jesuit values while exploring ethics, morality, integrity, and the engendering of the human spirit in service to others.

The 10 th Anniversary Lecture is with Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the longest serving director in the museum's history. The Metropolitan Museum is approached in size only by the Louvre in Paris.

He was the very first Open VISIONS speaker, and will appear on Sunday, April 22, 2007, at 3 p.m. (The event was previously scheduled for January 21.) He will celebrate his 30th year as the Met's director in 2007. Under his leadership, the museum, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, has nearly doubled in size, acquired significant collections and masterpieces and created wide-ranging educational programs.

Open VISIONS Forum is an art, culture and public affairs lecture series designed to challenge "the life of the mind." Since its founding in 1997, the series has attracted a range of notable speakers, including Fox News broadcast journalist Bill O'Reilly, "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, PBS filmmaker Ken Burns, author Salman Rushdie, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, lawyer/activist Anita Hill and acclaimed author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

Posted On: 12-18-2006 10:12 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 106