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Leading higher-education policy specialist to deliver Syracuse University’s Charles V. Willie Lecture
Leading higher-education policy specialist to deliverSyracuse University’s Charles V. Willie LectureFebruary 26, 2004Michele Barrettmibarret@syr.edu
John N. Gardner – a university professor and administrator, author, editor, public speaker and consultant who focuses on student retention and the issues of first-year students – will deliver Syracuse University’s second annual Charles V. Willie Distinguished Lecture. Gardner will speak March 3 at 3 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium, with a reception following his presentation. Gardner’s visit reflects one of Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw’s “full-throttle” items for his final year in the Chancellorship, as Gardner will give insight to faculty, staff and administrators involved in creating holistic experiences for first-year students. The event is free and open to the public.
Gardner is the executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College and Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership at Brevard College. He is the senior fellow of the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, and has been named Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Gardner has received the University of South Carolina’s highest award for teaching excellence, the Division of Student Affairs Faculty Award for outstanding contributions, seven honorary doctoral degrees and other honors for his contributions to American higher education. He is known for initiating an international reform movement in higher education coined “The Freshman Year Experience.”
During the Fall 2003 semester, Shaw outlined a series of issues requiring immediate attention, including the installation of a more holistic orientation program for first-year students.
The Syracuse Welcome program, which Gardner will address in his presentation, is a collaborative effort to upgrade such students’ intellectual engagement. Gardner will also share his expertise from leading hundreds of development events and writing several books, including “The Freshman Year Experience”(1989) and “The Senior Year Experience” (1997), which he co-authored.
“John’s visit to our campus couldn’t come at a better time. As we prepare for Syracuse Welcome 2004, he will share insights and examples that will resonate with those planning events and programs for the Class of 2008 upon their arrival at SU,” says Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “His work truly symbolizes the student development philosophy that Dr. Willie embraced and advocated during his tenure here.”
The distinguished lecture, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, is named after Charles V. Willie, SU’s vice president of student affairs from 1972-74. Before his appointment as vice president, Willie was affiliated with SU as a graduate student, professor and chairman of the sociology department. The grandson of slaves and a college classmate of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Willie has written more than 100 articles and 25 books on race, education and urban communities. His most recent work, co-authored with Richard J. Reddick, is “A New Look at Black Families” (2003). Willie is currently the Charles William Elliot Professor of Education Emeritus at the Harvard University School of Education.
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