David M. Granger, 334/844-9999 (email@example.com)
Deedie Dowdle, 334/844-9999 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BUSH AMONG GUESTS AT AU'S FIRST WAR ON HUNGER' SUMMIT
AUBURN - After more than a year developing a student-led "War on
Hunger" campaign, Auburn University is now inviting other universities
to join its partnership with the World Food Programme by hosting the first
War on Hunger Summit Feb. 17-19 at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon
Lauren Bush, international fashion model, Princeton University student
and spokesperson for the World Food Programme's War on Hunger Campaign,
will speak at the summit on Saturday, Feb. 18. Other speakers include
Peter McPherson, president of the National Association of State Universities
and Land Grant Colleges, and Auburn University women's basketball coach
Nell Fortner, the university's spokesperson for the War on Hunger.
The idea for the three-day summit came following a presentation by College
of Human Sciences Dean June Henton, World Food Programme Executive Director
Jim Morris and two Auburn students at the annual meeting of the NASULGC
in November 2005. The presentation, "Universities Fighting World
Hunger," outlined Auburn's War on Hunger campaign and caused a swell
of interest by those attending the conference. The positive reaction from
that presentation motivated Henton to begin planning the War on Hunger
"The timing appears right for a student movement to address world
hunger," Henton said. "As the world shrinks, students are becoming
more keenly aware that a quality education involves not only technical
competence in one's chosen field of study, but an awareness of global
issues and a commitment to making the world a better place."
In 2004 Auburn was selected by the World Food Programme, the largest humanitarian
agency in the world, as its lead partner in establishing a model for a
student-led War on Hunger campaign. Since then Auburn has created The
Committee of 19, a group of Auburn students that addresses the pressing
issues of world hunger and malnutrition. The group's name is derived from
the 19 cents a day it takes the World Food Programme to feed a hungry
child. The Committee of 19 has sponsored many events to draw attention
to world hunger, including a banquet earlier this year where participants
were served a small portion of soup in handmade bowls. The bowls were
taken home by guests as a reminder of the millions of people who go to
bed hungry each night.
Henton hopes that Auburn's work during the last year will serve as a model
for other universities to begin their own programs. To date, representatives
from 25 universities have made arrangements to participate in the summit,
including Auburn, Colorado State, Emory, Florida A&M, Georgetown College
(in Kentucky), Iowa State, Kansas State, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Michigan
State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Princeton, Purdue, South
Dakota State, Tennessee State, Texas A&M, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky,
Maryland, Missouri, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Washington State.
The War on Hunger Summit will begin on Friday, Feb. 17, with an Oxfam-style
hunger banquet to symbolize the meager amount of food on which most of
the world's population subsists. Participants will then hear from World
Food Programme representatives and Auburn's Fortner.
Saturday, Feb. 18, will begin with a keynote address by McPherson, who
will discuss the role of the university in addressing "big picture"
issues such as hunger and poverty. There will be a presentation on the
AU Hunger model featuring both AU students and faculty who have led the
campaign. Bush will discuss her personal experiences as a World Food Programme
Ambassador for the War on Hunger. Also, Catherine Bertini will speak about
the economic, political and social complexities of hunger.
The summit's third and final day will focus on how universities can come
together as a collective body to advance the war on hunger across the
nation and around the world.
"Hunger is not about an inadequate food supply, but about social
inequities, conflict and war, political issues, and other factors that
prevent people from having access to food," Henton said. "For
American students, it is important that they understand that hunger is
interrelated with many of our own national issues such as peace and security
of our nation and world, health care and the environment."
Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research
institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff.
Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabama's
largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate,
graduate and doctoral degree programs.
(Contributed by Will Brinkley.)
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