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Austin College Announces 25 Years Fall of the Berlin Wall Program
Article By: by Austin College
Posted: 9/3/2014 Views: 2821  Impressions: 20802
Categories: Education, Entertainment: Travel, International, Social Services: Social Issues

SHERMAN, TEXAS-Austin College is one of 40 colleges and universities in the United States selected as grant recipients and project partners with the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., in an interdisciplinary campaign, "25 Years: Fall of the Berlin Wall." Ruth Cape and Wolfgang Lueckel of the German faculty are coordinating the Austin College partnership activities.

Initiated by the German Information Center USA, the center for public diplomacy at the German Embassy, the Fall of the Berlin Wall campaign commemorates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, which marked a new era in German history. As a former symbol of repression, the Berlin Wall's fall has become an icon of freedom and peaceful revolution. In the context of the campaign, many questions will be explored-among them what made the people in East Germany take to the streets and eventually call for a German reunification, as well as the role of foreign policies of the U.S. and other major powers in the process.

"Two years ago, we partnered with other colleges and universities in the Think Transatlantic Campus Weeks, a campaign also generously funded by the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.," said Ruth Cape, associate professor of German. "We are delighted to work on another round of interesting and fun-filled interdisciplinary projects here at Austin College and are quite grateful to the German Embassy for inviting us to be partners in this year's campaign. We hope that commemorating this significant world event through numerous activities during the campus weeks will be not only an educating but also culturally enriching experience for Austin College students, faculty, and friends alike."

The faculty and students of the Austin College German program and German Club will organize a variety of cultural events in conjunction with these campus weeks. Various other disciplines, including art, music, and theatre, will also host events. The campus-wide essay competition has begun, and a photo contest also will be held. First-, second-, and third-place contest winners, selected by a jury of faculty from various disciplines, will receive cash prizes.

Among the Austin College activities planned is an Improv performance hosted by the Theatre program on September 19 as part of Family Weekend. On September 23, ARAMARK lunch service in the campus dining hall will include a variety of German food in celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Professor Georg Schild from the University of Tuebingen, Germany, will visit on October 6 as the main speaker of the campus weeks. Professor Schild was a visiting faculty member at Austin College in the spring of 2013.

The German Embassy's 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall website describes the campaign this year as an attempt not only to commemorate the fall of the wall but also to reflect on a formerly divided Germany. Students of the German program will present voices from both sides of the wall in a bilingual reading on October 21.

"The Fall of the Berlin Wall has been a cornerstone in history, culture, politics, and many other areas," said Wolfgang Lueckel, assistant professor of German. "We want the campus community to come together and explore how various disciplines relate to the breathtaking events in Germany in 1989. A concert event with chamber music by German composers will feature Austin College musicians and lend a festive atmosphere to the anniversary."

Detailed information on the various Austin College events will be posted on the Austin College Fall of the Berlin Wall website.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 36 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of 1,250 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 12:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students' faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.

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