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Friday, November 21, 2003

Fredrich to deliver Cooper Lecture

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Augustine Jay Fredrich, professor emeritus of civil engineering and associate dean emeritus of the Pott School of Science and Engineering at University of Southern Indiana, will deliver the 2003 H. Lee Cooper Core Curriculum Teaching Award Lecture December 11.

He will present “I Know a Place: Medieval Cathedrals and the Good Life in the 21st Century” at 3 p.m. in the University Center’s Carter Hall. The lecture will explore how all knowledge – even knowledge that may seem “useless” - is important.

“Seeing and understanding the not-so-obvious relevance of a given body of knowledge in one discipline to the concerns and interests of those who labor in other disciplines - as typified by the interplay among spirituality, technology, art, and music in the evolution of the great churches of medieval Europe - is one of the most important objectives of the Synthesis component of the USI University Core Curriculum,” Fredrich said.

“Realization of that objective is a great step forward in preparing students to live 'the good life.'”

An interest in great church structures led Fredrich to visit and study the history, art, architecture, design, and construction of more than 100 cathedrals and other great churches in a dozen countries on three continents.

In 1992 he created the Cathedrals course as part of the USI Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program. The course’s goal is to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the relationships among art, spirituality, sociology, economics, science, and technology through the study of historic European cathedrals and other great church structures.

He now serves as instructor for both graduate and undergraduate versions of the course as well as a noncredit course for interested members of the community.

The author of more than 50 professional papers and an anthology of readings on the history and heritage of American civil engineering, Fredrich also is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He joined the USI faculty in 1979 and retired earlier this year. Fredrich holds degrees in engineering from University of Arkansas and California State University-Sacramento.

In April he received the 2003 H. Lee Cooper Core Curriculum Teaching Award. Focusing exclusively on teaching, the award honors a USI faculty member whose work in University Core courses has been especially creative and successful in furthering UCC goals.

The award includes presenting the Cooper Lecture, a stipend, plaque, and additional monies for travel and related faculty development.

The Cooper Award is named in honor of H. Lee Cooper, Evansville philanthropist and longtime USI supporter. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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