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Wednesday, September 22, 2004
 
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Lecture series to address challenges, opportunities in education

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 22, 2004) -- Former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Education Lecture Series, set to take place at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Margaret M. Walter Lecture Hall on the Ohio University campus in Athens. The address, "Challenges and Opportunities in American Education," is sponsored in part by the College of Education and Century National Bank, part of the Park National Corporation, a $4.5 billion bank holding company with 11 affiliated Ohio banks in its network.

As Secretary of Education under former President Bill Clinton, Riley helped launch historic initiatives to raise academic standards; improve instruction for the poor and disadvantaged; expand grant and loan programs to help more Americans go to college; prepare young people for the world of work; and improve teaching. He also created the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, which today includes more than 8,000 groups.

In his second term in office, Riley helped win a historic FCC ruling to give schools and libraries discounts for Internet access and telecommunication services. He also gained increased federal support to help all children master the basics of reading and math; make schools safer; reduce class size in grades 1 through 3 by hiring 100,000 more quality teachers; modernize and build new schools to meet record-breaking student enrollments; help students learn to use computers; expand after-school programs; foster college preparation and access for underprivileged students; make post-secondary education more affordable; and promote lifelong learning.

"Richard Riley is a great statesman for education. As a former Secretary of Education who has remained active in the national dialogue on education, he is uniquely qualified to identify the challenges and opportunities of public education," says Dean James L. Heap. "Wherever Riley speaks, he wins respect for his integrity, principled leadership, commitment to children and passion for education."

With the support of a $100,000 gift from the Park National Corporation, the Education Lecture Series continues to provide an opportunity for stakeholders in education to address issues in Ohio within the context of significant research, national trends and policy initiatives. The Education Lecture Series aims to highlight significant education issues by focusing on such fundamental educational challenges as funding, curriculum, governance, testing, competency and discipline.

Daniel DeLawder, B.S.Ed. '71, chair of the College of Education's Advancement Board and a member of the Ohio University Board of Trustees, was instrumental in securing the funds to make this key event for the college possible. DeLawder serves as president and board member of the Park National Bank and chief executive officer of the Park National Corporation.

"The Park National Corporation is delighted to be a part of such an important event that brings together stakeholders in education in an open forum for discussion," DeLawder says.

The event is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP to (740) 597-2189 or acarter@madeshade.biz.  Directions to Ohio University and Walter Hall may be found online at www.ohiou.edu/athens.

Chartered in 1804, Ohio University is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools at bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Students come from every state and 100 countries. Currently enrolling more than 29,000 students on the Athens campus and five regional campuses, Ohio University offers 285 undergraduate majors through 10 academic colleges and the Center for International Studies. The university also offers master's degrees in nearly all areas, 20 doctoral degrees and a doctoral degree in osteopathic medicine.

The Ohio University Foundation is the repository for all private gifts through annual giving programs, capital and special campaigns, and planned or deferred gifts. The Foundation is an institutionally related, nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501c(3) organization.

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Media Contact: College of Education Public Affairs Coordinator Joy Rodgers, (740) 597-1947

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