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HU to host lecture, symposium on fall of Berlin Wall

Huntington, Ind.- Huntington University will host two events in December to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Forester Lecture

On Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., Dr. Gale Stokes will give the Walter and Georgiana Ball Lecture as part of the university's Forester Lecture Series in the upper level of the Habecker Dining Commons.

Stokes' address, titled "Thinking about 1989," will focus on the significance of the collapse of communism and the aftermath still dealt with 20 years later.

Stokes, who has been at Rice University since 1968, is Mary Gibbs Professor of History Emeritus and previously served as the chair of the History Department at Rice. His specialty lies in the history of Eastern Europe, Balkan History and Nationalism. Stokes has received numerous awards for his published works, including "The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe," which won the 1994 Vucinich Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

Stokes earned his bachelor's degree from Colgate University while going on to Indiana University to receive his master's and Ph.D. During his time at Rice University, Stokes has won the George R. Brown for Superior Teaching three times, served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, received fellowships with Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Woodrow Wilson Center, and his expertise has been highly sought after by media organizations such as The Washington Post, National Public Radio and the Online NewsHour.

Each semester, Huntington University presents the Forester Lecture Series. The lectures are designed to bring interesting persons and topics to the attention of students and the regional community. The lectures are open to the public free of charge.

The Forester Lecture Series is coordinated by Dr. Jeff Webb, associate professor of history. For further information, contact Webb at (260) 359-4243 or


The Forester Lecture will be followed on Dec. 3 with a symposium titled "Memories of the Fall of the Wall: Religion, Politics and Society in Eastern Europe and the Fall of Communism."

The symposium will feature Dr. Richard V. Pierard of Gordon College, Dr. Paul E. Michelson of Huntington University and Dr. Stephen P. Hoffmann of Taylor University.

The three speakers will share about their individual experiences while living in Eastern European countries as communism was crumbling. Pierard's lecture is titled "The Chinese Solution that Did Not Happen: The Non-Violent Revolution in Communist East Germany." Michelson will address "Religion and the Overthrow of Communism in Romania, 1989-1990: The View from Bucureoti," and Hoffman will discuss "After 1989: Dreams versus Realities. East Germany and Russia in 1990."

Pierard was a senior Fulbright professor in East Germany in 1989-1990. He will reminisce on his experiences in East Germany, the role of the church, and the failure of the church to hold the allegiance of the people after reunification. Michelson was a Fulbright senior researcher in Romania during 1989-1990. He will discuss the religious side of the Romanian 1989 and share some of his experiences in Romania at that time. Hoffmann spent time in East Germany in June 1990 and Russia in October 1990. He will discuss the euphoria that followed 1989 in both East Germany and Russia, putting the change in perspective and contrasting the hopes that it inspired with the disappointment many felt in these two places when their expectations were not met.

The symposium will take place in the upper level of Habecker Dining Commons from 7 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about the symposium, contact Dr. Paul Michelson at (260) 359-4242 or