Dennis O'Keefe Memorial Lecture Series launched at SUNY New Paltz
NEW PALTZ -- President Steven Poskanzer of the State University of New York at New Paltz will deliver the first annual
Dennis O’Keefe Memorial Lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 in Lecture Center 102.
Poskanzer’s lecture is titled “Shaking the Foundation: Are the Assumptions that Underlie the University Still Valid?" He will explore how knowledge is constructed, shared, used and valued. The talk, which will be followed by a reception in the library, is free and open to the public.
Dennis O’Keefe, a beloved member of the college and local community, graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 1973. He died on August 28, 2006 at the age of 55.
Tom Olsen, chair of the English department and member of the steering committee of the Friends of the Sojourner Truth Library, who are sponsoring the event, said that the O’Keefe Lecture Series is dedicated to his memory and will serve as a community-wide celebration of O’Keefe’s intellectual curiosity, his values and his distinctive personal style.
“In providing this annual event,” said Olsen, “the Friends of the Library hope to cherish Dennis’ memory with those who knew him and celebrate his love of learning and commitment to public service with those who never had the opportunity to know him.”
Paul Brown, chair of the Friends organization, noted that O’Keefe was not only a dedicated member of the Sojourner Truth Library Staff, but also a long-term, loyal member of the New Paltz Fire Department.
“So many of us fondly remember him at the front desk of the library and in the driver’s seat of the fire truck,” said Brown. “Dennis was passionately interested in fields across the whole range of human knowledge. Whether it be college and town history, the concept of time, maps, weather patterns or simply jotting down facts on divergent topics on old library catalog cards that he carried in his shirt pocket – he was interested in, and willing to talk about, almost anything.”
Chui-chun Lee, director of the Sojourner Truth Library, commented that she hoped the annual O’Keefe lectures would add to the intellectual and cultural tenor of the campus and the community.
“By offering a public lecture each year devoted to one of the many subjects that fascinated Dennis, we will be keeping his memory alive and continuing to benefit from his time with us all,” said Lee.
For more information, contact Morgan Gwenwald at (845) 257-3677 or visit the library Web site at http://lib.newpaltz.edu.
The Friends of the Sojourner Truth Library is an association of faculty, students, alumni and community members dedicated to promoting and enhancing the library as a shared resource. Membership in the Friends group includes borrowing privileges and access to campus parking.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.