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Edmundson To Speak At U.Va.’s Fall Convocation On Friday
Thomas Jefferson Award Also To Be Presented At Convocation, Which Kicks Off Family Weekend Activities

October 18, 2005 -- Mark W. Edmundson, the Daniels Family – NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor of Arts & Sciences and a member of the English department faculty, will speak at Fall Convocation on Friday, at 2 p.m. in University Hall.

Fall Convocation, which officially opens U.Va.’s Family Weekend, recognizes undergraduate students for their academic excellence. Intermediate honors will be presented to the top 20 percent of students who earned at least 60 credits of course work at U.Va. during their first two years.

Edmundson, a Guggenheim Fellow who is on leave this year to write a book on Sigmund Freud, said being selected to give the address is an honor. “How many chances do you have to talk to all the best of the third-year students?” he said.

A teacher for more than 25 years, Edmundson is the author of several books, including “Why Read?” and “Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference,” his two most recent books on education.

“Why Read?” asks questions about the meaning found in books and their applications to real life. “Teacher” was a more personal project, a memoir on a high school teacher who believed in reading books and asking questions. Edmundson said this teacher, called Lears in the book, was a major influence on him and the one who introduced him to the works of Ken Kesey, Albert Camus and Freud.

Edmundson is also the author of “Nightmare on Main Street: Angels, Sado-Masochism, and the Culture of Gothic,” “Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida: A Defence of Poetry,” “Towards Reading Freud: Self-Creation in Milton, Wordsworth, Emerson and Sigmund

Freud,” and has written for The New Republic, the Nation, Harpers and the New York Times Book Review, among others.

At Fall Convocation, U.Va. President John T. Casteen III will announce the recipient of this year’s Thomas Jefferson Award, U.Va.’s highest honor, given annually since 1955. It recognizes a member of the University community who exemplifies the ideals of the University’s founder through character, work and devotion.

Parking for both Fall Convocation and the Ring Ceremony, which will be held on the Lawn on Friday at 5 p.m., will be at University Hall.  Those attending the Ring Ceremony should take the UTS "blue line" bus from University Hall to the Lawn.  

For more information, visit the Fall Convocation Web site at www.virginia.edu/majorevents/convocation.html.

Contact: Matt Kelly, (434) 924-7291

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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