Fall Convocation offers break from classes, free inspirational book

This Friday marks Eastern’s annual Fall Convocation in the main gym from 10 to 11:30 a.m., causing the cancellation of all 11 a.m. classes.

The main order of the day will be the installation of Dr. Chris Hall as Eastern’s first Chancellor. The former provost is taking on more responsibility with the new role, essentially becoming the university’s public face.

Several faculty members will offer challenges to Hall as he steps into his new position and explain why they believe he is ready and capable to lead the campus.

The traditional celebration features a charge from Theologian Thomas C. Oden and serves as a welcome to new students and faculty, while recognizing honor students from the 2007-2008 academic year. As part to the blessing and dedication, all entering students will receive a 64 MB flash drive as a welcome gift.

Bringing together the idea of gifts and Hall’s installation, everyone present at Convocation will receive a copy of An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography, as a gift from a friend of Eastern. Those not in attendance will receive a copy at a latter time.

An Ordinary Man follows the life of Paul Rusesabagina, whose selfless acts during the Rwandan genocide of 1994 inspired the award-winning 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda.

His book, which is co-authored by Tom Zoellner, takes readers inside Kigali’s Hotel Mille Collines where Rusesabagina housed more than 1,200 Tutsi and Hutu moderates.

“Those that go will get a free book,” said Bettie Ann Brigham, vice president of student development. A new copy of the text is listed on Amazon for $23.95.

Hall, who has been to Rwanda, is hoping to raise awareness about the area and set up some partnerships through the university, Brigham said.

“Throughout the year there will be venues, discussions and panels (about the book) set up,” Brigham said.

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