AUBURN – When Bettye B. Burkhalter retired a decade ago as vice president for student affairs after 22 years at Auburn University as a professor and administrator, she began the journey of a lifetime – several lifetimes.
Even before leaving Auburn with emerita status, Burkhalter had become intrigued by her aging father’s tales of the Burrell family history going all the way back before the American Revolution. Cecil Burrell, then 83 and in declining health, wanted to make sure future generations of the family knew about the lives of their ancestors in the 18th and 19th centuries and earlier, as well as his own experiences through much of the 20th century.
AUBURN – The Scottsboro trials of the 1930s will be the subject of a talk on Monday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in the University Chapel by two authors who have written on the subject. The speakers, who will provide insight on the conviction of the Scottsboro Boys and the trials that followed, will be James Miller, professor of English and American Studies and chair of American Studies Department at George Washington University, and Susan Pennybacker, a modern British and European specialist on the faculty of Trinity College in Connecticut.
The story of the Scottsboro Boys and subsequent trials began in 1931 in Alabama, when nine black youths were charged with raping two white women. Despite little and contradictory evidence, all nine were found guilty and eight of the defendants were sentenced to death. The trial and the fate of the young men became an international cause and influenced not only the legal system but also American culture at large.
AUBURN – James Dawsey, former faculty member in the Auburn University College of Liberal Arts, will talk about his newest book, “Masters and Savages,” on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. in the Auburn University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Department. A reception will follow.
“Master and Savages” is set in Africa and onboard a contract labor ship headed to Brazil after the Civil War and centers on questions of conscience, faith and humanity. Power struggles with the ship’s captain, a rebellion among the laborers, horrific weather and British warships in hot pursuit reflect the main character’s state of mind.
AUBURN – Successfully transitioning from high school to college can be one of the toughest assignments in a student’s life but an Auburn professor hopes to help smooth the process.
Michael Bozack, a physics professor who has taught at Auburn for 20 years, recently wrote “Street-Smart Advice to Christian College Students (From a Professor’s Point of View).” Bozack covers multiple aspects of student life, including how to choose a major, how to manage a schedule, how to study and even how to understand professors.
AUBURN – Twenty-three years after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Auburn University Professor and author James Hansen has helped produce a compelling book recounting exactly why the U.S. space program’s first fatal in-flight accident occurred.
Hansen, professor of history and director of Auburn’s Honors College, teamed up to write the new 626-page book “Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster” with Allan McDonald. McDonald was an engineer who warned NASA officials that Challenger’s solid rocket motor could explode at ignition if launched that very cold morning on Jan. 28, 1986.
In the book, which was just released by the University Press of Florida, Hansen assists McDonald in telling how his words of warning were ignored and the fateful consequences of that decision.
AUBURN – David Housel, athletic director emeritus at Auburn University, will speak at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m., on “Victory Auburn Style.”
Housel’s talk is part of the museum’s monthly Free Night offering and will be followed by a reception and a free wine tasting provided by Gus’s Fine Wine and Beer. His presentation is in conjunction with the exhibition, “Visions of Victory: 100 Years of Sports Photography, on display in the museum through Nov. 29.