|On February 13, author Pat Conroy will help Oglethorpe University celebrate Oglethorpe Day, in honor of James Edward Oglethorpe, the college’s namesake and founder of Georgia. Oglethorpe Day events are free for alumni, but reservations must be made through the Alumni Relations Office. Reserved seating is limited. There is a cost for general public.
The celebration will begin at 11:55 a.m. with a bagpipe summons on the Academic Quadrangle, followed by the Petrels of Fire Race at noon. Students participating in the race will try to run the 270-yard loop around campus before the last carillon bell tolls at noon. After the race, the bagpiper will lead the crowd into the Conant Performing Arts Center for a convocation with keynote speaker Pat Conroy.
11:55 a.m.: Bagpipe summons to the Quad
12 noon: Petrels of Fire Race
12:15 p.m.: Oglethorpe Day Address in Conant: Pat Conroy
1:00 -- 2:15 p.m.: Southern-style lunch in the Emerson Student Center
Conroy, New York Times bestselling author of The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, My Losing Season and Beach Music, was heavily influenced by his southern upbringing and the tragedies in his family. He is a graduate of The Citadel, and his experiences there were the inspiration for the novel The Lords of Discipline and the memoir My Losing Season. Conroy then wrote his book The Water Is Wide based on his experiences as a school teacher. This novel won him a humanitarian award from the National Education Association and was made into a feature film in 1974 and a television movie in 2006. In 1976, Conroy published The Great Santini, which was made into a film of the same name three years later. In 1986, Conroy published The Prince of Tides, another novel about a dysfunctional South Carolina family. Again, the novel was made into a film in 1991, which starred and was directed by Barbra Streisand and earned Nick Nolte an Academy Award nomination.
Following the convocation lunch will be served in the Emerson Student Center.