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Ohio University to celebrate 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17

ATHENS, Ohio (May 11, 2004) -- Ohio University will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, Brown v. Board of Education on Monday, May 17. Ohio University's celebration is part of a national commemoration, established and signed into law by President George W. Bush on Sept. 18, 2001.

The theme of the university's yearlong celebration, "Ohio University Reflects: 50 Years after Brown v. Board," suggests the celebration's focus: To look at the University's educational past, to assess where the University is today and to set future educational goals for the University. Through a variety of events and activities, the University hopes to inform the community about the significance of this anniversary and encourage reflection on the legacy of Brown v. Board.

The May 17 celebration begins at noon on the west portico of Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium with an opening ceremony featuring remarks from Ohio University Provost Stephen Kopp, Athens City Mayor Ric Abel and other featured guests and performances by local choirs. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place at Baker Center Ballroom.

From 1:30 to 4 p.m., area students in grades 4 through 8 will display their individual Brown v. Board of Education projects in the Baker Center Ballroom.

At 2:30 p.m. in the Baker Center 1804 Room, there will be a panel discussion titled "Personal Reflections on Brown." Panelists include Ohio University employees Nancy Bain (professor of geography), Glenn Doston (professor of education), Gary North (vice president for administration and finance), Kathleen Sullivan (professor of political science), G. Christine Taylor (associate vice president for administration) and Cincinnati resident and wife of recent Ohio University Founders Citation recipient Donald Spencer, Marian Spencer.

The celebration shifts back to the Baker Center Ballroom at 8 p.m. for the showing of "With All Deliberate Speed," the PBS documentary that marks the 50-year anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

At 9 p.m., Ohio University President Robert Glidden will award the first annual Ohio University Brown v. Board of Education Diversity Awards in three categories: Faculty, staff and students. The awards were created to honor individuals and organizations that have been successful in promoting diversity on campus.

The final activity is a 9:15 p.m. broadcasting of a pre-taped panel discussion on Brown v. Board of Education. The moderator is director of the Telecommunications Center Carolyn Lewis. Panelists include William Allen (associate dean of University College), Kathleen Sullivan, William Smith (director of the Office of Institutional Equity) and Kevin Mattson (professor of history).

All activities are free and open to the public and media.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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