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Alvernia Lecture Series Expand your mind with inspirational, thought-provoking lectures at Alvernia University

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Save the date! October 3-5, 2014 The John Updike Society Conference will return to its original location at Alvernia University in October 2014. Updike, who often spoke of “the proud State of Pennsylvania from which I come,” was born in West Reading, raised in Shillington for the first 13 years of his life, and spent three summers working as a copy boy for the Reading Eagle. Updike novels that earned major awards (two Pulitzers, a National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award) were all written about life in Pennsylvania. Alvernia’s Franco Library is the home to the scholarly archives of The John Updike Society. For more information about the conference contact James Plath at 309-556-3352.

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Updike Conference 2014

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Alvernia Lecture Series O’Pake Lecture: Sen. Robert Casey


Founders Day Lecture: Eboo Patel


Laura Schroff


Phyllis Kornfeld


Literary Festival Calendar


Chip Kidd


Jessica Buchanan


Vatican II Lecture


Batdorf Lecture


Hesburgh Lecture: Rev. Daniel Groody 17 Performing Arts Series

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O’Pake Lecture Annual Lecture The inaugural O’Pake Lecture will be delivered Sept. 5 by United States Sen. Robert Casey in the Francis Hall Theater. Sen. Casey’s talk will focus on compromise and civility, two timely topics given the nature of political dialogue, particularly in Washington and Harrisburg. There will also be a reception honoring the former staffers of the late Sen. Michael O’Pake. A bequest from Sen. O’Pake provides support for the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service, which is sponsoring the lecture.

Date: September 5 Event: O’Pake Lecture: Sen. Robert Casey Place: Francis Hall Theater Time: 1:30 p.m.

Film Series The O’Pake Film Series continues with a new set of films that will focus on “Leadership.” Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service is collaborating with Albright College, Penn State Berks, and Reading Area Community College to bring a classic series of films and panel discussions to Berks County. All showings will be in the Bernardine Lecture Hall on Alvernia’s campus or at the Miller Center for the Arts on the Reading Area Community College campus, and are free and open to the public.

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Alvernia’s Centers for Excellence

Throughout its history, Alvernia University has aimed not only to develop students’ intellectual promise but also to foster their ethical and moral perspectives and emphasize their leadership potential. The O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service seeks to build on this tradition. The O’Pake Institute is an expansion of the university’s Center for Ethics and Leadership, launched in 2006. It is named for longtime Alvernia board member, Sen.

Michael O’Pake, who passed away in December 2010. O’Pake served nearly four decades in the Pennsylvania State Senate as a champion for all those in need. The institute will continue to be a nucleus for dialogue on contemporary ethical and leadership issues with a focus on promoting interdisciplinary discourse around social justice and Franciscan values. about/ethics-and-leadership

In 2008, Alvernia received a generous gift from T. Jerome and Carolyn Holleran, a Berks County couple with a passion for community service and a personal record of meaningful community engagement. The gift of $3 million included capital to enhance the work of the center in the Reading community as well as provisions to permanently endow it. Rooted in the Franciscan identity of Alvernia University and its mission as

a teaching and learning institution, the Holleran Center identifies, cultivates, and sustains strategic partnerships to strengthen both campus and community life. By making these community partnerships an essential part of the curriculum, the Holleran Center strives to foster the university mission and improve the quality of life in our community and to develop in its students a lifelong commitment to service as engaged citizens. Visit holleran-center for more information.

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Eboo Patel Eboo Patel, author of award winning “Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation” and “Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America,” will kick off both the Literary Festival and Alvernia’s Founders Day celebration on Sept. 18 (7 p.m., Physical Education Center). Patel is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on FaithBased Neighborhood Partnerships, and is the founder of Interfaith Youth

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Founders Day Lecture Core. His messages about the need for

Date: September 18

interfaith cooperation are incredibly

Event: Founders Day Lecture: Eboo Patel

relevant in today’s world, and an often

Place: Physical Education Center

discussed topic at Alvernia University.

Time: 7 p.m.

“Acts of Faith” (2010) is an inspiring account read by all of Alvernia’s 2013 first-year students. “Sacred Ground” (2012) will be read by students in an Alvernia World Religions course.  Patel is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, Huffington Post, and NPR.

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Laura Schroff Laura Schroff, author of “An Invisible Thread,” will discuss her book about the true story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive, and an unlikely meeting with destiny.

Date: October 7 Event: Lit Fest Highlight: Laura Schroff Place: Bernardine Lecture Hall Time: 6:30 p.m.

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Phyllis Kornfeld Phyllis Kornfeld, author of “Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America,” has been conducting visual arts programs with incarcerated men and women for 25 years – from county jail to death row – in 18 institutions in seven states.

Date: October 10 Event: Lit Fest Highlight: Phyllis Kornfeld Place: Franco Library Time: 1 p.m.

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Calendar of Events October 5-25, 2013

Saturday, October 5

Tuesday, October 8

Thursday, October 10

The Pagoda Writer’s Club pres-

Dr. Bongrae Seok, associate pro-

Phyllis Kornfeld, author of

ents an interactive workshop,

fessor of philosophy at Alvernia

“Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in

Paris at the Pagoda, with featured

University, will lecture on the

America,” has been conducting

speakers Dr. Harry Serio and Betsy

body and its amazing contribu-

visual arts programs with incar-

Chapman. (The Reading Pagoda,

tion to the moral mind as featured

cerated men and women for 25

1 p.m.)

in his book “Embodied Moral Psy-

years – from county jail to death

Monday, October 7

chology & Confucian Philosophy.”

row – in 18 institutions in seven

Laura Schroff will discuss her

(Franco Library, 1 p.m.)

states. (Franco Library,

book, “An Invisible Thread,” the true story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive, and an unlikely meeting with destiny. (Bernardine Lecture Hall, 6:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, October 9

1 p.m.)

Kyla Lacey, slam poet, who in-

Tuesday, October 15

fuses comedy into her showcase

Co-authors of the play “Trumbo,”

of her real-life situations will per-

Chuck Gallagher and Kirk

form. (Crusader Cafe, 7 p.m.)

Lawrence-Howard will present their show based on the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

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(Bernardine Lecture Hall, 1 p.m.)

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Wednesday, October 16

Tuesday, October 22

Friday, October 25

Berks County native Chip Kidd will

Local outdoor writer Bob

Alvernia’s 4th Annual Masquerade

talk about his life as a graphic de-

Ballantyne will give a presentation

Bash includes food, a costume con-

signer, including his classic creation

on his book “Woodlands Water-

test and prizes as well as an Alumni

for the “Jurassic Park” movie poster.

ways.” (Franco Library, 6 p.m.)

VIP lounge. (Crusader Café, 7 p.m.)

(Bernardine Lecture Hall, 2 p.m.)

Wednesday, October 23

Friday, October 18

Join students, faculty and staff for

Original readings and acts will be

the annual Inter-College Poetry

presented during the monthly meet-

Contest at Alvernia University,

ing of the AU Writers’ Series, hosted

hosted by Dr. Richard Law, associ-

by Dr. Tom Bierowski, associate

ate professor of English at Alvernia

professor of English at Alvernia

University. (Franco Library, 2 p.m.)

University. (Franco Library, 2 p.m.)

Thursday, October 24

Monday, October 21

Award-winning author Gale Martin

Somali “land pirates” kidnap victim

will be making an appearance to

Jessica Buchanan and her husband,

discuss her witty women’s fiction

Erik Landemalm, discuss her

book “Grace Unexpected.” (Franco

kidnapping and rescue as a defining

Library, 1 p.m.)

spiritual experience as told in her book “Impossible Odds.” (McGlinn Center, 6:30 p.m.)

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Chip Kidd Nationally recognized designer/author and Berks County native Chip Kidd will talk about his life as a graphic designer, including his classic creation for the “Jurassic Park� movie poster. His book cover designs helped create a revolution in the art of American book packaging. He is the recipient of the National Design Award for Communications, as well as the Use of Photography in Design award from the International Center of Photography.

Date: October 16 Event: Lit Fest Highlight: Chip Kidd Place: Bernardine Lecture Hall Time: 2 p.m.

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Jessica Buchanan & Eric Landemalm Jessica Buchanan, kidnapped by Somali “land pirates” in 2011, will be joined by her husband Erik Landemalm to discuss the kidnapping, captivity, and rescue at the hands of Navy SEAL Team Six as documented in Buchanan’s book “Impossible Odds.” In recent months, Buchanan has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Dr. Phil, Fox News, NPR and the Colbert Report among other national and international media outlets.

Date: October 21 Event: Lit Fest Highlight: Jessica Buchanan and Eric Landemalm Place: McGlinn Conference Center Time: 6:30 p.m.

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Dr. Catherine Clifford “Vatican II and Catholic Ecumenical Engagement�

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d Alvernia’s commemoration of

will present their stories about the

the 50th anniversary of the Second

council opening opportunities and

Vatican Council will continue with a

a call for lay ministry in the church.

lecture by Dr. Catherine Clifford from

Panel members will explain the

the University of St. Paul, Ottawa.

impact of the changes in each of their

Dr. Clifford will present the Vatican


II Series second lecture “Vatican II

Date: October 29

On October 23, 2014 the series will

and Catholic Ecumenical Engage-

continue with a presentation by Dr.

ment,” addressing the impact of the

Richard Gaillardetz of Boston College.

council on dialogue among Christian

Dr. Gaillardetz will speak about the

churches. Dr. Clifford will speak

theology of baptism, as shaped in the

to the idea that restoration of full,


visible communion between the

The series continues in the spring

Event: Vatican II Lecture:

churches was one of the principal

of 2015 with Dr. Massimo Faggioli

Dr. Catherine Clifford

aims of the Second Vatican Council.

from the University of St. Thomas,

Place: McGlinn Conference Center

Dr. Clifford is a professor of system-

who will address the issues of inter-

Time: 7 p.m.

atic and historical theology, and is

preting Gaudium et Spes, one of the

the founding director of the Research

council’s most important apostolic

Center on Vatican II and 21st Century

constitutions. Concluding in fall,

Catholicism. Her scholarly work is

2015 the lecture series will feature a

centered on topics in ecclesiology

presentation by Dr. Angela Camara

and interchurch dialogue.

of Seton Hall University, who will ex-

Next spring, a panel of those who

plain a half-century of work based on

entered adulthood in the years of the

the council’s declaration of religious

council and immediately following


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Batdorf Lecture Spring 2014 The annual Batdorf Lecture, supported by the Berks Bar Association, promotes dialogue on contemporary ethical issues, important for both students and the local community. More details about the 2014 Batdorf Lecture will be available online at

Seniors College The Alvernia Seniors College offers senior citizens (age 55 and over) the opportunity for lifelong learning. Alvernia University sponsors this program as part of its mission to be of service to the community. Each year, three semesters of Seniors College classes offer approximately 20-25 courses each session, running the gamut from computer classes to English literature. Visit academics/seniorscollege for an overview of our current offerings. Contact Sally Reading at 610-7968357 or for registration information.

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Hesburgh Lecture

Rev. Daniel Groody “Dying to Live: Theological Perspectives on Undocumented Migration” and articles that have been translated

supports the event. The lectures

into six languages, including “Border

perpetuate the example of President

of Death,” “Valley of Life: An Im-

Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh

migrant Journey of Heart and Spirit,

as a lifelong learner, and further the

and Globalization, Spirituality,” and

Alumni Association mission by provid-

“Justice: Navigating the Path to Peace.”

ing meaningful opportunities to Notre

As a Catholic priest, a Holy Cross

Dame alumni, parents, and friends.

religious, a scholar, and an award-

Hesburgh lectures are presented

winning teacher, author, and film

by Notre Dame faculty members on

producer, Groody has worked with the

topics related to art/architecture,

U.S. Congress, the U.S. Conference of

business, communications, con-

Catholic Bishops, the World Council of

temporary social issues, economics,

Churches, and the Vatican on issues of

environment, ethics, government,

theology, globalization, and immigra-

history, law, social concerns, and

tion. He is an associate professor of

many more. Annually, almost 5,000

Hesburgh Lecture that both embodies

theology and the director of the Cen-

alumni, parents, and friends attend a

the university’s core values and brings

ter for Latino Spirituality and Culture

Hesburgh Lecture.

attention to topics that are relevant to

at the University of Notre Dame.

Each spring, Alvernia hosts a

today’s local and global communities. Drawing on years of work in Latin

Since 1986, the Hesburgh Lecture Series has brought a taste of Notre

Date: March 26, 2014 Event: Hesburgh Lecture: Rev. Daniel Groody

America, particularly along the U.S-

Dame’s academic excellence to

Mexico border, Daniel Groody, CSC,

Alvernia’s campus courtesy of the

Place: McGlinn Conference Center

Ph.D., has authored various books

Notre Dame Club of Reading, which

Time: 7 p.m.

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Performing Arts Series The arts are alive at Alvernia with five major events scheduled for 2013-14. Visit for details and ticket information.


CORE ENSEMBLE, “Los Valientes”

September 22, 4 p.m.

October 13, 4 p.m.

Francis Hall Amphitheatre

Francis Hall Theater & Recital Hall

The five-member vocal band, Ball in the House, brilliantly

Created by the acclaimed chamber music theatre group

blends a wide range of influences, from classic R&B to

The Core Ensemble, “Los Valientes” is a production for a

pop, hip-hop and gospel. This Boston-based indie band

chamber music trio and solo actor that explores the art

has performed with such artists as The Temptations,

and politics of Diego Rivera, the unwavering commit-

Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, The Jonas Brothers and

ment to human rights of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar

The Beach Boys to name a few. Bring your lawn chair

Romero, and the social justice of Mexican-American

and join us!

desperado Joaquin Murrieta, aka Zorro. An Evening with DEANNA REUBEN November 24, 7 p.m. Francis Hall Theater & Recital Hall Join international recording artist Deanna Reuben ’79 as she performs a very special holiday concert. As one of the finest interpreters of the Great American Songbook working today, Reuben has shared the stage with artists such as Marvin Hamlisch, Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman,

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and performed in venues such as The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the Mann Center.

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Calendar of Events 2013 - 2014



January 19, 2014, 4 p.m.

Friday, February 21

Francis Hall Theater & Recital Hall

7:30 p.m.

Mr. Carney takes the stage in a recital that will feature

Francis Hall Theater & Recital Hall

favorite works by Brahms, the Strauss sonata for violin and

Juno Award-winning banjo player Jayme Stone brings

more. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Carney served

to stage a performance inspired by the legacy of famed

as concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax.

in London and currently serves as concertmaster for the

Joining Stone will be Bruce Molsky (vocals, fiddle),

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Julian Lage (guitar), Margaret Glaspy (vocals, guitar).

Miller Gallery Located in historic Francis Hall, the Miller Gallery houses artwork by local artists and works created by current Alvernia students and faculty. An ongoing partnership with the Reading Public Museum also brings major works to the gallery. For information on the latest exhibits, visit

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Contact Us:

1-888-ALVERNIA (1-888-258-3764)

400 Saint Bernardine St. Reading, PA 19607

Connect with us on Facebook: Alvernia University Follow us on Twitter: AlverniaUniv

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Alvernia Lecture Series 2013