Union's acclaimed classical concert series begins its 35th year Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. with a return performance by renowned pianist Leon Fleisher in Memorial Chapel.
He'll play works by Bach, Stravinsky, Debussy, Albéniz and Chopin.
Here's what the Boston Phoenix says about the master: “Fleisher's miraculous tone, ever youthful, can be almost unearthly, glistening and dewy, or glitteringly worldly, strings of diamonds.”
Fleisher made his debut with the New York Philharmonic at 16 and has appeared regularly on the world's great concert stages ever since. This year's campus recital comes two weeks before he plays Carnegie Hall.
Concert tickets are free for the Union community, $25 for the general public and $12 for area students. They may be picked up at Facilities. For more information, call 388-6080 or 372-3651.
Fleischer's performance is the first of 15 concerts scheduled. Visit www.union.edu/concertseries.
Café Ozone is back with organic lunches that are out of this atmosphere. A joint venture by Ozone House and Dining Services, the café serves various menu items made from locally grown produce every Monday, noon-2 p.m., in Mrs. Perkins Garden behind the Rathskeller. The lunch cost is the same as a meal at Upper Class Dining Hall; students can use their ID cards as a meal swipe.
Eugenie Mukeshimana, a survivor of the 1994 genocide that claimed a million lives in 100 days in Rwanda, will speak at Union Thursday afternoon.
Mukeshimana's talk, “Surviving the Rwandan Genocide” is scheduled for 1:55 p.m. in Social Sciences 104. The talk is free and open to the campus community.
Mukeshimana is engaged in a campaign to raise awareness about genocide and human rights issues through presentations and public speeches at educational institutions, conferences, interfaith groups and not-for-profit organizations.
Most recently, she was one of the panelists for the 59th Annual United Nations-DPI/NGO Conference on Human Security and Sustainable Development. In her academic and activist pursuits, Mukeshimana is particularly interested in gender-based violence against women in conflict regions and their empowerment in the post-conflict period.
She holds a B.S. degree in social work from the College of Saint Rose in Albany and lives in Maplewood, N.J., with her daughter Mystica, who was born during the genocide.
The lecture is sponsored by African Studies, the Minervas and the Political Science Department.
Amazon River Journey with guest lecturer George Gmelch
March 16 – 25, 2007 (Early booking fee extended – book now and save $600 per couple)
Join us on this unforgettable adventure into one of earth's most exotic natural realms – the mysterious Amazon River Basin. Your journey will be aboard one of the finest expedition vessels in this part of the world. Passengers will be led by expert Peruvian naturalists through the rainforest to see indigenous species not found anywhere else on the planet, and guide you down the Amazon's secretive, sinuous tributaries aboard special small excursion boats. You will also visit local villages to gain insight into the traditional way of live of the riberños(river people) and see a shaman perform an ancient ritual of purification.
June 16 – 27, 2007 (Early booking fee extended – Book prior to October 31 and save $200 per couple)
Discover the time-honored wonders of Sicily on this spectacular Mediterranean adventure. Make yourself at home in the beautiful hilltop town of Taormina. In its environs, discover the magnificence of Mt. Etna, Syracuse, Piazza Armerina and Agrigento. Then from the charming seaside resort of Mondello, explore Palermo, Monreale Segesta, Erice and Cefalu. Finally, spend two days amid the landmark sights of Rome, the Eternal City.
For more information visit www.union.edu/alumni and click on Alumni Travel or call the Office of Alumni Relations at (518) 388-6168.
Dr. Ingrid Mattson, the newly elected president of the Islamic Society of North America and the first woman to hold the position, will speak at 5 p.m. today in the Nott Memorial.
Mattson's talk, “The Challenge of Diversity in the American Muslim Community,” is free and open to the public.
Mattson's appearance comes at a time when many in the Muslim community remain deeply offended by recent remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI in Germany. The pope cited the words of a Byzantine emperor who characterized some teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman,” particularly “his command to spread by the sword the faith.”
In an extraordinary move, the pope publicly apologized for his remarks and insisted they did not reflect his own opinions. The pope's apology did not deter some radical Muslim groups from violent actions.
ISNA said that while it “appreciates the Pope's apology as an indication of a sincere desire for respective dialogue,” the group also wanted to correct some of the misinformation about Muslims and Islam generated by the pope's comments.
ISNA condemned those who sought retribution against Christian groups.
“Ingrid Mattson is a celebrated leader in Islam,” said the Rev. Viki Brooks-McDonald, campus Protestant minister and interfaith chaplain at the College. Brooks-McDonald was instrumental in getting Mattson to visit Union.
“Her presence at Union College will offer students and the community a chance to hear from a well respected Islamic scholar who is very good at dispelling the myths and misinformation that cloud our understanding of her faith tradition.”
Mattson's appearance, which comes during the month-long holiday of Ramadan, is sponsored by the Campus Protestant Ministry and the Muslim Student Association.
Mattson, who earlier served as the first female ISNA vice president, is professor of Islamic Studies and director of Islamic Chaplaincy at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn. Born in Canada, she studied Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario and earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago.
Mattson has numerous publications exploring the relationship between Islamic law and society, as well as gender and leadership issues in Muslim communities. She is author of the forthcoming book, “The Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Societies.” She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
ISNA, established in 1963, is the largest religious organization representing Muslims in North America.