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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

April 2010 AU in the Neighborhood

April 2010

Reaching out and sharing our resources.


Whether it's sponsoring a spring plant sale, partnering with the Smithsonian Institution's Resident Associates to bring new programs to AU, hosting a neighborhood Shakespeare reading group on campus, a reception for our new art exhibitions, or having the weekly farmer's market on the quad, our outreach to neighbors continues to grow.

This month, the campus is brimming with programs, events, and activities as our spring semester comes to a close as classes end on April 26 and final exams get underway through May 4. Commencement weekend activities take place the weekend of May 7-9.  We'll take a quick breath and get ready for summer sessions that begin May 10. 

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Campus Beautification Day

Eagle sculpture

Photo by Benjamin Bishop

Tuesday, April 6 is a busy day on campus.  It is AU's annual Campus Beautification Day, which means you will see a lot of staff, students, faculty, alums, and some neighbors working together to beautify and green our main campus as well as our Tenley campus.  AU is the greenest campus in the city and the only university campus in the city officially designated as a local arboretum.  We take sustainability seriously at AU and have great pride in our plantings, landscape, and more than 3,500 trees.  Among the scheduled projects for April 6, we'll add 50 new trees that were a gift from the Tree Campus USA program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation (AU is one of five universities nationwide receiving these trees).  We also will be installing a new rain garden at the Kogod School of Business.  Our student group ECOSENSE is coordinating various sustainable educational activities at the nearby Horace Mann Elementary School and at our Child Development Center on campus. Onsite registration to participate in the Campus Beautification Day activities is from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Rain date is April 7.  We welcome you to join us for a fun and worthwhile time.  

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Spring Plant Sale and Container Gardening Demonstrations on Campus

Container Gardening

Join us on Saturday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to noon on our campus quad as the AU Arboretum and Gardens sponsors its first plant sale and "how-to" gardening event.  At 9:30 a.m. and again at 11 a.m., AU's landscape team will offer free demonstrations on how to create your own container gardens.  Complimentary coffee and pastries will be provided, courtesy of ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance.  Free parking is available in the Nebraska Avenue parking lot at the corner of New Mexico and Nebraska Avenues.  



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Diane Rehm Wins Peabody Award

Photo of Diane Rehm

Diane Rehm (Photo courtesy of WAMU)

Join us in congratulating Diane Rehm, host of The Diane Rehm Show on American University's WAMU 88.5 radio station, for winning the George Foster Peabody Award for her 30 years in public broadcasting and more than 15,000 hours of radio.  The show has 2.1 million listeners weekly.  What you may not know about Diane is that she began her radio career as a volunteer for WAMU in 1973.  In 1979, she was selected to host the station's local morning talk show, Kaleidoscope, which was renamed The Diane Rehm Show in 1984.  "Diane has set the standard for engaging, civil, and intelligent conversation," said Caryn Mathes, WAMU's general manager. "This award is a testament to the long-term impact and the numerous contributions The Diane Rehm Show has made to public media."  Her show is produced at the WAMU studios in Tenleytown and distributed by National Public Radio, NPR Worldwide, and SIRIUS XM satellite radio.  WAMU is the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington, DC, area, with more than 735,000 listeners in the region..

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AU’s Partnership with Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associates

Smithsoninan Associates

Photo by Benjamin Bishop

The Katzen Arts Center celebrates an exciting new partnership between AU and the Smithsonian Institution to bring some Resident Associates programs here. This month's program schedule will feature a discussion on the future of museums, a jazz program with pianist, scholar, and humorist John Eaton on jazz, evening programs featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author E. O. Wilson, White House correspondents, veteran producer and film education Chris Palmer, and the Jerome Sabbagh Trio.  For more information and tickets, see Calendar of Events below or go to

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The US and the World – 10 SIS Professors on 10 Thursdays

School of International Service logo

AU's School of International Service and the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) have teamed up this spring to offer a series of discussions on The United States and the World with ten different SIS professors talking about topics ranging from foreign policy challenges for the Obama Administration to perspectives on the global financial crisis to an analysis of US engagement in Afghanistan. The programs, which started in March, take place through May 6 on Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. at the Temple Baptist Church at 3850 Nebraska Avenue. For more information, contact OLLI at or call (202) 895-4860.

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Enjoy Our AU Alumni Events

Enjoying art in the Katzen Arts Center

Neighbors are welcome to join us for several upcoming AU alumni events for this month.  On Friday, April 9, AU's Alumni Office will launch a new DC Luncheon Panel series with Reinventing Yourself in Journalism, featuring three prominent AU alums and moderated by AU alum Wendy Rieger, anchor for News4 at 5. The luncheon panel will be from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the National Press Building.  Cost is $15. To register, go to and click on Alumni (even if you are not an alumni) or call 885-5902. The public is also welcome to attend a free cocktail reception hosted by Louis Goodman, Dean of the School of International Service on April 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Clyde's of Tysons Corner, 8332 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA. The event will feature an interactive lecture by Professor Arturo Porzecanski, Distinguished Economist-in-Residence, on "The International Repercussions of the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis: What Did We Learn?" To register, call (202) 885-5962.



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Neighbors Reading Shakespeare Together at AU

D09_238 Bender Library at night.

Photo credit: Jeff Watts

When the District of Columbia cut Sunday hours at public library branches, the local Shakespeare Readers group needed a new place to meet to read plays.  Neighbors contacted AU which now hosts the group's monthly meetings at our Bender Library. At each meeting, the group reads a different play with everyone having a chance to read. The next meeting is Sunday, April 18 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room 306 at the library to read The Comedy of Errors.  The Shakespeare Readers have been around for about 25 years, according to the group's current leader Jocarol Robb, who welcomes others to join them. "If you like Shakespeare, come and read with us once a month or whenever you can join us, you are more than welcome." Just bring a standard version of the play.  The group often attends performances of Shakespeare plays together.  If you are interested, call Jocarol Robb at (202) 669-1638.

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AU’s Student Service Fraternity Co-Sponsors Conference to End Poverty


AU's student service fraternity, Alpha Phil Omega (APO) will join the local award-winning non-profit group A Wider Circle on Saturday, April 24, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. to co-sponsor the first annual student conference focused on ending poverty. The event Join the Movement to End Poverty will be held at the School of International Service building on campus. As one of the most popular and active student groups on campus with more than 150 members, our APO chapter provides more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service each semester across the city that includes working at area food banks, delivering food to the elderly, cleaning parks, staffing events for non-profits organizations, and participating in the DC Reads program at Wilson Senior High School in Tenleytown.  A Wider Circle, based in Silver Spring, Md., recently was named "one of the finest small charities Greater Washington has to offer" by the Catalogue of Philanthropy.  Founded in 2001, the group's mission is to lift individuals and families out of poverty. Founder and Executive Director Dr. Mark Bergel spent 15 years managing health and wellness initiatives and serving as a part-time faculty member at AU. Several APO students serve as interns for the nonprofit.  "We are very connected to AU," says Nicole Newman, community outreach coordinator for A Wider Circle.  "AU has been awesome."  And we would say the same thing about our APO chapter on campus..

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April Calendar of Events