|Conversations with Honored Guests|
Conversations with Honored Guests
Seniors, their families and friends are cordially invited to hear brief presentations by several of the distinguished people who will receive honorary degrees from Amherst College at Sunday's Commencement ceremony. All presentations will take place on Saturday, May 25, at 3:30 p.m. in the locations indicated. There will be discussion after the presentations if time allows.
Novelist Anita Desai will speak on the topic "The
Invisible Writer." The award-winning author of In Custody and many
other novels and short stories, Desai has a fictional range that encompasses Indian,
American and European cultures. A professor of writing at M.I.T., she tells students
that the writer's best preparation is to learn by reading other authors.
John W. Dower '59 will speak on the topic "Rethinking
East and West." A specialist in modern Japanese history, Dower is the author
of many books including, most recently, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake
of World War II, which won both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
He is the Elting E. Morison Professor of History at M.I.T.
Cole Assembly Room (Converse)
Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will speak on "The Current
Reparation Debate." Ogletree, a legal theorist also active in civil rights,
is Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He served as legal counsel
to Prof. Anita Hill in 1991 during the Senate confirmation hearings for Justice
Clarence Thomas, is a public television commentator, prolific writer, and co-author
of a book, Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct
in Minority Communities.
Georgios Papandreou '75, Greece's Minister of Foreign Affairs,
will talk about international relations. A leader of his country's Panhellenic
Socialist Movement and member of the Greek Parliament since 1981, Papandreou has
held a series of earlier governmental posts including Minister of Culture, and
Minister of Education and Religious Affairs.
Dennis B. Ross will speak from his experience as a former
ambassador and authority on Middle East conflicts and prospects for peace. He
served as special Middle East Coordinator for the Clinton administration, helped
achieve the 1995 Interim Agreement, and brokered the Hebron Accord in 1997. He
is now distinguished fellow and counselor at the Washington Institute for Near
Filmmaker David O. Russell '81E will speak on the topic "The Ongoing Meditation that Began at Amherst with Robert Thurman in 1978." He has won acclaim for writing and directing three recent films, Spanking the Monkey (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), and Three Kings (1999).
Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather)
Writer and literary critic Philip Edward Simmons '80 will
speak on the topic "Learning to Fall: A Primer for Grownups and Everyone
Else." The title refers to his most recent book, Learning to Fall: The
Blessings of an Imperfect Life, in which Simmons discusses the challenge of
living with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, formerly known as Lou Gehrig's
Public Affairs Office, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 24, 11:30 a.m.
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