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Czech Republic President Václav Havel to receive honorary laws doctorate


August 3, 2000

Czech Republic President Havel to receive honorary doctorate

EDITORS: Photos (300 dpi .JPG/.JPEG) of Havel and program participants are available at http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/Releases/2000/Aug00/havlpics.html.

Havel photo
Havel

ANN ARBOR—Czech Republic President Václav [VAWT-slawff] Havel will receive the honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Michigan at an 11 a.m. ceremony Sept. 5 in Hill Auditorium. Following the ceremony, the playwright and statesman will participate in a panel discussion titled "Globalization's Intellectual Challenge."

Havel, who is recognized internationally for his literary and dramatic work, led the opposition to Czechoslovakia's communist dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s. He became president of the new Czechoslovakia when the communist regime crumbled in 1989.

Following his election, Havel worked to preserve the unity of his country. However, when it became clear that Slovakia and the Czech Republic would split, he resigned rather than preside over the dissolution. Havel was elected president of the Czech Republic in 1993 and re-elected in 1998.

Joining Havel on the panel to discuss globalization's intellectual challenge will be:

Bollinger photo
Bollinger
 

Lee C. Bollinger, president of the University and professor of law. Bollinger's primary teaching and scholarly interests focus on free speech and First Amendment issues. His contributions to First Amendment literature include "Images of a Free Press" (1991) and "The Tolerant Society: Freedom of Speech and Extremist Speech in America" (1986). Bollinger is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Glenda Dickerson, professor of theatre and drama and head of the African-American theatre minor in the School of Music. Prior to joining the U-M faculty, Dickerson was professor and chair of drama and dance at Spelman College. She also was chair of Rutgers University (Newark) Department of Theatre Arts and Television and taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Fordham University and Howard University. She has won numerous awards, including a Peabody Award for "For My People" and an Emmy nomination for "Wine in the Wilderness."

  Bollinger photo
Dickerson

Jan Svejnar, the U-M's Everett E. Berg Professor of Business, professor of economics and executive director of the William Davidson Institute. Svejnar, who was born in Prague, has served as Havel's economic adviser since 1995. Svejnar is co-founder and chair of the executive and supervisory committee of the Center for Economic and Research Graduate Education-Economic Institute in Prague, the only American-style Ph.D. program and research center in economics in Central and Eastern Europe.

  Bollinger photo
Svejnar


Cantor

Kennedy

U-M Provost Nancy Cantor will open the panel discussion, which will be moderated by Michael D. Kennedy, vice provost for international affairs and director of the International Institute. Kennedy also is a fellow in the William Davidson Institute and a former director of the Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies (CREES). Kennedy is the author, editor and co-editor of several volumes on Eastern Europe and international studies.

The International Institute was founded in 1993 to advance the U-M's leadership in research, education, and service in international and area studies. CREES is part of the Institute and one of 16 U.S. Department of Education-supported national resource centers for Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Each year faculty and visiting scholars offer more than 150 courses on business, culture, demography, economics, history, languages, law, literature, politics, public policy and social organization of the region. One of its principal strengths lies in Central Europe, especially in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Noting the University's historically strong ties with the people of Czechoslovakia and, more recently, the Czech Republic through the William Davidson Institute, the International Institute, and CREES's Czech studies programs, Bollinger said he anticipates Havel's visit will strengthen the University's scholarly work in the region and extend opportunities for collaboration between the U-M and artists, professionals and scholars from the Czech Republic.

Complimentary tickets for the ceremony and panel discussion will be available at the Michigan Union Ticket Office beginning Aug. 14. Ticket Office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. The Ticket Office will be closed on Labor Day.

[Map of Central Campus, Michigan Union in lower left]

Contact: Bernie DeGroat
Phone: (734) 647-1847
E-mail: bernied@umich.edu
or
Mary Jo Frank
(734) 763-7301
E-mail: mjfrank@umich.edu