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Jan. 16, 2008

Contact Bill Reese at 608-796-3708 or wjreese@viterbo.edu

“FRIENDSHIP: THE OTHER FAMILY” HUMANITIES SYMPOSIUM AT VITERBO UNIVERSITY FEB. 4–5

LA CROSSE, Wis. – At a time when our world appears increasingly perilous, Viterbo University has chosen to emphasize friendship as the theme of its annual humanities symposium Monday, Feb. 4 and Tuesday, Feb. 5. “Friendship: The Other Family” will feature more than a dozen presenters and other activities and is open to the public.

The political, theological, gender, and cross-cultural appeals of friendship will all be explored by symposium presenters who will bring their expertise to the discussion of friendship.

“Audiences will hear and learn from the experiences of those who have researched, taught, and lived friendship,” said Bill Reese, Viterbo religious studies professor, and chairperson of the event. “The public is welcome to come and take away a more developed understanding of friendship and the ways in which you and others can experience this encounter with life in partnership with others.”

Keynote speaker Mary Garman, a professor of religion at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., will present “A Particular Kind of Love: The Kaleidoscope of Friendship.”

Garman earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise and studies include Women with the Quaker (Circle of Friends) Movement, religious and secular applications of friendship, and African-American religions. She will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

Another prominent speaker, Paul Wadell, a religious studies professor at St. Norbert College, will speak earlier in the day Feb. 4. Wadell earned a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. His areas of expertise and study include Christian thought, mission and identity, and the purposefulness of human friendship in living a virtuous life.

The symposium schedule includes:

Monday, Feb. 4

“Friendship: A Gift for a Lifetime” 9 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Tom Thibodeau, assistant professor of religious studies at Viterbo University.

“Cross-Cultural Friendship; Valuing Hospitality and a Limitless Family” 10 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Katie Krueger, resource development manager for Sun Prairie Area Schools.

“The Good Things Good Friends Do for Us: Friendship’s Role in the Moral Life” 

11 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Paul Wadell, professor of religious studies at St. Norbert College.

“Panel Discussion ­– Friendship Close to Home: Special Ways for Special People” 1:15 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby with morning speakers and other invited guests.

“Film Discussions – Cinema Paradiso (Italian) and The River Runs Through It 

3 p.m. in the Reinhart Center Board Room and Reinhart Center 127 with Viterbo honor students.

“A Particular Kind of Love: The Kaleidoscope of Friendship” 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Mary Garman, professor of religion at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind.

Tuesday, Feb. 5

“Spiritual Friendship” 9:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Marci Madary, affiliation co-minister for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

“Gender Differences in Friendship” 10:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Marlene Fisher, associate professor of sociology, social work, and criminal justice at Viterbo University.

“Friendship across Political Divides” 11:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Keith Knutson, assistant professor of history at Viterbo University.

“Panel Discussion – Friendship: Where Do We Go from Here?” 1:15 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby with morning speakers and invited guests.

“Film Discussions: Without a Trace (Mexican) and Midnight Cowboy 3:30 p.m. in the Reinhart Center Board Room and Reinhart Center 127 with Viterbo honor students.

The symposium is presented by the Viterbo School of Letters and Sciences. A free soup luncheon will be held both days in the Reinhart Center Board Room. All events are free and open to the public and registration is not required. Please contact Bill Reese at 608-796-3708 or wjreese@viterbo.edu with any questions. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.viterbo.edu/sls.aspx?id=31810.

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