(October 19, 2010)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Lecture series presents The Holocaust, Genocides and Democracy Nov. 9

SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service) — Centenary College and the Van Thyn Lecture series presents "The Holocaust, Genocides and Democracy: Explanation and Prevention" Tuesday, Nov. 9 in Kilpatrick Auditorium at 11 a.m. with a second lecture at 7 p.m. The lectures are free and open to the community.

Rodney Grunes
Dr. Rodney Grunes

A ceremony will take place prior to the 7 p.m. lecture in recognition of the completion of funding by the Louisiana Board of Regents matching gift for the Rose and Louis Van Thyn Endowed Professorship, with reception following the lecture.

During the lecture, Dr. Rodney Grunes, professor of political science at Centenary, will share his expertise on the Holocaust, and discuss, from a social science perspective, the lessons to be learned from this horrific event, the role of democracy and other factors in explaining later genocides, and what can be done to prevent such mass murders in the future.

Dr. Grunes joined Centenary's faculty in 1986, has been chair of the Department of History and Political Science since 1992, and currently serves as faculty liaison to the Van Thyn Professorship. He earned his Ph.D. in Public Law and American Politics from Duke University in 1972.

The presentation is the second part of the Van Thyn lecture series in honor of Rose and Louis Van Thyn, Holocaust survivors who dedicated themselves to retelling their stories so that people will not forget or repeat those horrors. For her extraordinary community service, Mrs. Van Thyn was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Centenary's 2002 commencement exercises. She passed away earlier this summer at the age of 88 and literally talked to thousands of local schoolchildren during her life about the horrors of the Jewish genocide.

In order to preserve her and her husband's legacy, the Rose and Louis Van Thyn Holocaust Awareness Professorship Program was established at Centenary College in November 2009. The program will provide education opportunities to the students of the College and to the surrounding community, with a goal of teaching about the history of the Holocaust, and how to recognize signs of intolerance and provide a means for preventing prejudice and hatred.

For more information, contact call 318.869.5073.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.