This year’s 3D Journeys lecture/travel series sounds like a clever oxymoron: “Croatia: the New Old World.”
The title is more than an amusing play on words. Organizers say it’s an apt description of the 2015 armchair travel topic.
Croatia really is both new and old. It’s a new republic taking shape in old Europe and a new vacation destination with major Old World appeal, currently surging in popularity with world travelers.
Croatia is also one of the most beautiful spots in Europe, with fairytale cities, impressive architecture, the inspiring Dalmatian coast and more than 1,000 islands sparkling in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea. Spectacular settings, like Dubrovnik, have provided filming locations for the TV series “Game of Thrones.”
“It is difficult … to explain how unique and gorgeous the country is,” said Dr. Mariangela Vecchiarini, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, whose native Italy sits right across the Adriatic from Croatia.
“It is very common for Italians to spend summer holidays in Croatia,” Vecchiarini said. “When you are on the beach and you look at the sea, you can see the image of ancient ruins, churches and castles reflected in the water. History is everywhere. It is just breathtaking.”
Dr. Kevin Shirley, Professor of History, will highlight that tumultuous history in the opening lecture on Jan. 26. The session is free and begins at 10 a.m. in the Dickson Assembly Room of Turner Hall.
Shirley aims to show how the Republic of Croatia, established in 1991, emerged from the “old Croatia,” which traces its roots back more than a thousand years.
Centuries of conquest and conflict brought the Romans, the Franks, the Hungarians, the Hapsburgs, the Yugoslavia of Marshall Tito and a whole lot more.
Judy Boggus, who co-chairs the 3D Journeys committee, said the chance to learn more about its history tops her list of many reasons to study Croatia.
“It is a treasure trove of Roman history, as a start,” she said. “Croatia is home to Roman temples, amphitheaters and palaces, all so well preserved.”
Retired businessman Don Russell said his interest also stems from being a “bit of a history buff.”
Russell lived in the Netherlands for four years, listening to the BBC Worldservice broadcasts.
“Every day in the early nineties, there was news from the war in the former Yugoslavia,” he said.
He looks forward to Dr. Vecchiarini’s Apr. 27 lecture on Croatia’s economic recovery from that conflict. In between are a Feb. 23 presentation on Croatian cuisine by Jeremy McCosh of Aramark, and a March 23 lecture by religion professor Dr. John Cook on Christianity in Croatia.
In May, a group of about 36 travelers will tour Croatia on a trip hosted by LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander and First Lady Celeste Myall. The trip will put an exclamation point on the lecture series, but travel is not required to participate in – or enjoy – the lectures, emphasized Ann Beason, 3D Journeys committee co-chairwoman.
“Many of our most enthusiastic lecture-goers do not travel, but appreciate the opportunity to learn about different parts of the world in the comfort of Turner Hall, with distinguished faculty members at the podium,” she said.
The college launched the lecture series five years ago with a goal of bringing community members to the campus in a way that would showcase the faculty, President McAlexander has said.
Since then, several hundred individuals have attended lectures on coastal Georgia, Ireland, Brazil and Spain. Each lecture stands alone and participants will not be lost if they must miss one or more. All are geared to be informative in an entertaining, rather than scholarly, style.
To set the tone for the Croatia lectures, Martha Pirkle, Director of Alumni and Community Relations, shared this “fun fact:” Croatia is considered the birthplace of the necktie, which evolved from the small, knotted neckerchiefs worn by Croatian soldiers serving as mercenaries in France in the 17th century.
Parisians liked the neckwear, adopted it and called them cravats.
If you go: All 3D Journeys lectures are free and open to anyone with an interest in learning. Talks begin at 10 a.m. and end by 11:15 in Turner Hall, LaGrange College. Parking is in the Vernon Street lot, near the pedestrian bridge, with tented shelter and shuttle service to the door. An optional Dutch-treat lunch, featuring a Croatian entrée, is available in Pitts Dining Hall following the lectures.
For information call (706) 880-8244 or email 3DJourneys@lagrange.edu.
In the Headlines
Freedom rider speaks at LaGrange College – wtvm.com — Jan. 22, 2015
3D lecture offers glimpse into Croatia – LaGrange Daily News, Jan. 21, 2015
Do presidents tend to lie during State Of The Union address? – LaGrange Daily News, Jan. 22, 2015
Panthers snare conference win – LaGrange Daily News, Jan. 18, 2015
Governor gives address worthy of Democrat – LaGrange Daily News, Jan. 20, 2015
LaGrange organization helps people understand what it’s like living in poverty – WTVM.com, Jan. 15, 2015
Freedom Rider to speak at LaGrange College – www. Myfoxal.com, jan. 21, 2015
This week’s profile
Choral Director Beth Everett: Teaching Life Through Music
Associate Professor of Music Beth Everett is responsible for blending dozens of talented voices into an audience-pleasing choral sound. Her students, however, receive more than just music instruction. They receive valuable lessons in cooperation, personal confidence and patience.
The Panthers (11-5, 6-1 USA South) overcame a 13-point halftime deficit for a 71-67 win at Covenant on Wednesday in a USA South contest. It was the first time since Jan. 21, 2006, that the women have won a game after trailing by double digits at halftime. Shaye Butler scored a game- and season-high 23 points to lead the Panthers. The team has USA South games at William Peace on Saturday and N.C. Wesleyan on Sunday.
Mark Wagner scored a game-high 22 points, making 6-of-10 3-point shots, as the Panthers (9-6, 3-2) beat Covenant 86-81 on Wednesday in a USA South game. The Panthers play at William Peace on Saturday and N.C. Wesleyan on Sunday in USA South games.
The Panther men competed against Birmingham-Southern and Darton State in Birmingham, Ala. last Friday. Freshman Ben Ashby had sixth place finishes in the 100 and 200-yard breaststoke events. The Panthers teams travel to Berry College on Saturday for a dual meet.
As we approach the end of January, here are some key dates to keep in mind:
Jan. 27—last day of classes for January Interim Term;
Jan. 28th—Spring 2015 new student orientation;
Feb. 2—Spring semester begins