Campus News

Emerita scholar will give this year’s Founders’ Day talk

The UGA Alumni Association will celebrate UGA’s 219th birthday Jan. 27 by presenting the annual Founders’ Day Lecture at 3 p.m. in the Chapel.

Genelle G. Morain, emerita professor in the College of Education, will deliver the lecture, which is sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Emeriti Scholars.

Jan. 27 is the date on which 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 the Aderhold Distinguished Professor of Language Education, is a member of the Emeriti Scholars, a group of retired faculty members, organized in 2002, who continue to be involved in the university’s academic life. 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 “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 free to the public, and those attending are invited to a reception immediately afterward in Moore College.

“The Emeriti Scholars ­represent a high level of academic excellence,” says Dave Muia, executive director of the Alumni Association. “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Founders’ Day by contributing a book to the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which holds important historical documents and maps as well as collections of works of major Georgia authors.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 College of Education 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 UGA 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; Ron Carlson, law; Bernard ­Dauen­hauer, philosophy; William Flatt, foods and nutrition; Jean Friedman, ­history; Thomas Ganschow, history; ­Richard Hill, chemistry; Sylvia Hutchin­son, reading education and Institute of Higher Education; Brenda Manning, elementary ­education; Louise McBee, ­emerita vice president for academic affairs; and Ronald Simpson, education and ­Institute of Higher Education.