Open VISIONS Forum announces its 10th anniversary season

Open VISIONS Forum announces its 10th anniversary season

Open VISIONS Forum, a distinguished lecture series of Fairfield University's University College, announces its 10th anniversary season, featuring timely and provocative speakers from the worlds of art, culture and public affairs. From Emmy-winning broadcast journalist Bill O'Reilly to civil rights educator Mary Frances Berry to MTV News Correspondent Gideon Yago, there's something for everyone in this year's informative series.

"Seeking thoughtful analysis and intelligent conversation, we have developed a remarkable intersection of community- and University-based audiences continuing their journey of lifelong education," said Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., director and moderator of Open VISIONS Forum.

Edna Wilson, Ph.D., dean of University College, agreed.

"The exciting aspect of University College's Open VISIONS Forum is the community engagement and academic integration of timely topics brought to campus by distinguished lecturers and leaders," she said. "Open VISIONS Forum is our way of energizing the mind."

All nine programs will take place in Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Tickets will be available on Thursday, June 1, for returning season subscribers and for those wishing to become sponsors and patrons to the series. All tickets go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 1.

The season begins on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. with Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," the highest-rated cable news program in the country. O'Reilly also hosts "The Radio Factor," a two-hour call-in program and he is the author of three non-fiction books, which have each reached number one on The New York Times bestseller list. His appearance at Fairfield is sponsored in part by Somerset Capital.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. author Joan Didion will take the stage. Didion is a novelist, essayist, and screenwriter and a contributor to The New York Times Review of Books and The New Yorker. Critically praised for her deft writing and perceptive take on American politics and culture in "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" and "The White Album," Didion won the National Book Award for her latest work, "The Year of Magical Thinking." The evening will take place in collaboration with Pequot Library.

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. Open VISIONS Forum will offer an Election Day Point-Counterpoint with Katrina vanden Heuvel and William Kristol. Vanden Heuvel has been the editor of The Nation since 1995, is the co-editor of "Taking Back America - And Taking Down the Radical Right," and has been a frequent commentator on American and international policies on television and in major newspapers. Kristol, who has offered his political analyses on Fox News Sunday and the Fox News Channel, is editor of The Weekly Standard. Having served in the Reagan and Bush administrations, he co-authored the New York Times bestseller "The War Over Iraq: American's Mission and Saddam's Tyranny."

On Monday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m., Open VISIONS Forum will present the annual Jacoby Lunin Humanitarian Lectureship, which is sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield University. This year's speaker is Judea Pearl, father of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002. Judea Pearl is the president of The Daniel Pearl Foundation, which strives to foster peace and understanding through music initiatives, lectures, media internships and other educational efforts.

Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will appear on Sunday, January 21, at 3 p.m. as the special 10th anniversary speaker for Open VISIONS Forum. De Montebello celebrated his 25th year as the Met's director in 2002. 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.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m., Open VISIONS Forum will welcome Mary Frances Berry, Ph.D., past chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. 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 the 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, a key contributor to the music network's Choose or Lose Campaign, will take the stage on Thursday, March 1, at 8 p.m., 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. His appearance is co-sponsored by the Fairfield University Student Association.

On Wednesday, March 21, at 8 p.m., writer Gore Vidal will take the stage. 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." The program is presented in collaboration with Pequot Library.

The Open VISIONS Forum season comes to a close on Wednesday, April 18, at 8 p.m. with James P. Moore Jr., 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.

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 "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.

Ticket are $35, $30 for senior citizens, with discounts available for students. For patrons and sponsors, there will be special meet the guest opportunities at private receptions. For more information, contact Elizabeth Hastings at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688. For tickets or subscriptions, call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

Posted On: 06-01-2006 10:06 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 252