Alumni return to class during third annual Alumni College
On June 18, close to 20 alumni and friends returned to campus to attend a special week of classes taught by distinguished Wittenberg professors.
From June 18-22, participants explored such diverse topics as students’ attitudes during the Vietnam War, violence in schools, improvisational techniques, leisure in relation to lifestyle, and Confucian ideas and values in the East Asian and Southeast Asian economies.
Classes met daily in Wittenberg’s new academic facility, Hollenbeck Hall, and participants had the opportunity to meet with their professors informally at breaks, dinners and luncheons.
Those teaching at this year’s Alumni College were Alan McEvoy, professor of sociology, Charles Chatfield, professor emeritus of history, Corwin Georges, professor of theatre and dance, Eugene Swanger, professor emeritus of religion, and Gil Belles ’62, professor emeritus at Western Illinois University.
McEvoy, a leading authority on the problems of violence and victimization, invited alumni and friends to explore bullying in schools, sexual assault and the needs of survivors, and patterns of suicide.
Participants then examined practical strategies for effective violence reduction.
Chatfield, who has published extensively on peace and anti-war movements, asked participants to share their impressions and stories of college life during the Vietnam War era.
He then discussed the currents that swirled around campus in the late 1960s and how they related to national trends.
An expert on child drama, creative dramatics and theatre history, Georges discussed the history of improvisation and invited participants to play a number of improvisational games during his classes.
Swanger, one of the most respected East Asian scholars in the nation, explained core Confucian assumptions, ideas, values and behavioral patterns.
He then showed how these contributed to the success of the East Asian and Southeast Asian economies of the 1970s and 1980s, and how these same ideas caused the banking crises in those societies in the 1990s.
Belles, who taught history for 30 years at Western Illinois University before retraining to teach in the department of recreation, park and tourism administration, discussed the negative side of free time.
The next Alumni College will be held on June 17-21, 2001.