Multiple activities are taking place at Hope College in anticipation of the annual A.J. Muste Memorial Peace Lecture, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2.
The events will begin on Friday, Jan. 25, and will include a variety of presentations, concerts and a three-day film series in addition to the Feb. 2 lecture itself. The public is invited to all of the activities, and admission is free.
The lecture series is named for A.J. Muste, a 1905 Hope graduate who was a noted peace activist. This year's program has been extended in honor of this year's speaker, Dr. Donald Cronkite of the Hope biology faculty, who played a leadership role in establishing the annual series in 1985 and has since chaired the event's coordinating committee.
"Don led the way in establishing the lecture series to honor A.J. Muste and has made a major contribution to the campus community through his leadership of the series for more than two decades," said Dr. Brad Richmond, who serves on the college's A.J. Muste Memorial Committee and is coordinating this year's program. "He's helped Hope bring in a variety of notable national and local speakers to help us think about issues of peace in the tradition of A.J. Muste."
"As we considered speakers for this year, the rest of us felt that he was the ideal person," said Richmond, who is an associate professor of music and director of choral activities at Hope. "We're excited to have the opportunity to feature him, and see expanding the program in advance of his talk as a way of celebrating the work that he has done and what he has brought the campus and West Michigan communities through the series."
The events will begin on Friday, Jan. 25, at 5 p.m. in the De Pree Art Center with a lecture presentation on the national traveling exhibition "Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam." Exhibition curator Dr. Nora Taylor, who is the Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art with School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will speak in Cook Auditorium in the De Pree Art Center. Following the lecture, Dinh Thi Tham Poong, one of the exhibiting artists, will discuss her own work in the gallery.
The Knickerbocker Theatre will show the films "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" on Monday-Wednesday, Jan. 28-30. On Monday, Jan. 28, and Wednesday, Jan. 30, "Flags of Our Fathers" will be shown at 6:45 p.m. and "Letters from Iwo Jima" will be shown at 9:15 p.m. On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the order will be reversed, with "Letters from Iwo Jima" shown at 6:45 p.m. and "Flags of Our Fathers" shown at 9:15 p.m.
The college's Chapel Choir and members of the campus community will present poetry and song on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The choir, directed by Richmond, will present the premiere of a piece composed by Richmond and set on poems by World War I poet Wilfred Owen. In addition to the choir's performance, members of the Hope faculty and students will present poetry on topics of peace and war.
A concert on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel will feature "Quartet for the End of Time," composed by Olivier Messiaen while interned as a prisoner during World War II. The performance will be interspersed with readings presented by Dr. David Klooster, professor of English and chairperson of the department at Hope. The quartet will be performed by Jonathan Holden, clarinet; Jennifer Walvoord, violin; Eileen Brownell, cello; and Jennifer Wolfe, piano.
Cronkite will present the address "I Cannot Love: Variations on a Theme by A.J. Muste" as the A.J. Muste Memorial Peace Lecture on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. He will use previous addresses in the Muste lecture series as a basis for his talk.
The A. J. Muste Lecture began in 1985 to commemorate the hundredth birthday of Abraham Johannes Muste (1885-1967), a 1905 graduate of Hope College who became a word-famous advocate for social justice and international peace. Muste, an ordained minister of the Reformed Church in America, became a pacifist at the outbreak of World War I and then began working with the fledgling American Civil Liberties Union. During the 1920s he served as chair of the religious pacifist organization the Fellowship of Reconciliation, becoming executive secretary of the organization in 1940. Tirelessly active, Muste was instrumental in the formation of the Congress on Racial Equality in the 1960s. He demonstrated against the war in Vietnam and in 1966 met with the North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh.
Cronkite has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1978. He has received a variety of national awards for his work as an educator, including most recently the "Evolution Education Award" from the National Association of Biology Teachers in the fall of 2006 and recognition as "College Teacher of the Year" by the Michigan Science Teachers Association in 2005. Hope students have honored him as well - in 1988 he was named a co-recipient of the college's Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award by the senior class and served as Commencement speaker.
The De Pree Art Center is located at 160 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College. Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.