AU Press Releases

Buckwalters open enduring Bergren series

Alfred University’s (AU) longstanding lunchtime series, the Bergren Forum, opens for the 2014-15 academic year at 12:10 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center. The program is free and open to the public.

The first talk for fall semester, marking the continuation of the weekly forum presentations which have consistently welcomed lunchtime guests the 1970s, will feature Laurel and John Buckwalter of Alfred who will share “What We Learned in a Year about Chinese Higher Education.”

The couple will discuss what they learned about the educational system in China during their academic year (2013-14) teaching assignment at the Xiamen University of Technology in southeast China, where they taught English (Laurel) and science (John).

Laurel is a technical specialist in music and University carillonneur at AU. John retired in May 2013 as a professor of biology at Alfred State College.

The Bergren Forum is sponsored by the Division of Human Studies and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Guests are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch; coffee and tea will be provided.

The series known as the Bergren Forum began in 1970. Rick Bergren, who taught at the University in the ’70s, started the forums after being inspired by learning of the gatherings that (AU) students in the 19th century were known to conduct in Alumni Hall to discuss community issues. After Bergren’s death in 1974, the University decided to continue the tradition in his name. Various faculty members have taken on the coordinator duties since that time. William S. Dibrell, professor of philosophy, is the current coordinator.