Founder’s Day Lecture marks UGA’s 219 birthday

ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia Alumni Association will celebrate UGA’s 219th birthday Jan. 27 by presenting the annual Founders’ Day Lecture at 3 p.m. in the University Chapel.

Genelle G. Morain, emeritus professor in the College of Education, will deliver the lecture, which is sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Emeriti Scholars, a group of retired faculty members who continue to be involved in the university’s academic life.

The lecture will be on the date that UGA was established in 1785 when the Georgia General Assembly adopted a charter creating the university as America’s first chartered state university.

Morain, who was Aderhold Distinguished professor of language education, is a member of the Emeriti Scholars, which was organized in 2002. Group members, who are especially known for their teaching abilities, carry out part-time teaching, research and service assignments for the university.

A pioneer in the academic field of cross-cultural understanding, Morain will speak on the topic “Dissecting Diversity: Human Commonalities and Cultural Differences.” Her talk will be followed by brief commentaries from Robert Pratt, associate professor of history and author of a book on the desegregation of UGA, and student Daniel Del Portal. The program is open and free, and those attending are invited to a reception immediately afterward in Moore College.

Dave Muia, executive director of the Alumni Association, said faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend the program. “The Emeriti Scholars represent a high level of academic excellence, and we hope the university community will take advantage of the opportunity to benefit from the experience and talents of these outstanding teachers and scholars.”

The Alumni Association and the Emeriti Scholars will also continue a practice started last year of commemorating Founders’ Day by contributing a book to the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library in the UGA main library. The Hargrett library holds many important historical documents and maps as well as collections of works of major Georgia authors.

The book to be donated this year is “Education and the Creative Potential” by E. Paul Torrance, an international leader in creativity research who was on the education college faculty for more than 30 years prior to his death in 2003.

Morain retired in 1996 after a 28-year career in higher education. A recipient of the Josiah Meigs award – UGA’s highest teaching honor – she developed a number of courses aimed at helping students understand cultural differences. The syllabus for her course on cross-cultural understanding was included in a directory assembled by the International Curriculum Content for Teacher Education Project.

She served on a task force created by the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages to write national standards for teaching foreign languages. In 1982, she won the Paul Pimsleur Award for research in foreign language education.

A former member of the editorial board for the University of Georgia Press, Morain is a charter member of the Emeriti Scholars, all of whom are also members of UGA’s Teaching Academy and were Senior Teaching Fellows. In addition to developing the Founders’ Day lecture, members of the group have worked with the Honors Program, teaching courses and seminars, lecturing at special events and serving as mentors to Honors students.

Other members of the Emeriti Scholars are Gilles Allard, geology; Robert Anderson, physics, Joseph Berrigan, history; Jean Bowen, Institute of Higher Education; William Flatt, foods and nutrition; Thomas Ganschow, history; Richard Hill, chemistry; Bernard Dauenhauer, philosophy; Sylvia Hutchinson, reading education and Institute of Higher Education; Ronald Simpson, education and Institute of Higher Education; Ron Carlson, law; Jean Friedman, history; Brenda Manning, elementary education; and Louise McBee, who was vice president for academic affairs.