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UH Honors College Fundraiser 'The Great Conversation' to Assemble Scholars, Experts for Insightful Dinner Discussions

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April 1, 2011-Houston-

Nothing goes better with a gourmet dinner than insightful dialogue. On April 6, Houstonians have the opportunity to partake of both during "The Great Conversation," an annual fundraiser benefitting The Honors College at the University of Houston.

This event offers guests an opportunity to join scholars and experts for lively talks on an assortment of topics including sports, art, politics, history, higher education, science and more. Proceeds will benefit scholarships for Honors College students. Chairs for "The Great Conversation" are Carroll Ray, chair of the UH System Board of Regents and Catherine Campbell Brock.

"Conversation is the unifying principle of an honors education at UH," said William Monroe, dean of The Honors College. "This event exemplifies the signature activity of honors courses."

This year's event will be held at Houston's Bayou Club (8550 Memorial Dr.). Cocktails are served at 7 p.m., and dinner and discussion begin at 7:30 p.m.

For details on sponsorship opportunities or seating reservations, visit "The Great Conversation" website or contact Beth Kungel Borck in the Honors College at 713-743-3220 or bkborck@uh.edu.

This year marks 19 years for "The Great Conversation." A cross between a dinner party and academic seminar, this unique event was conceived by Honors College alumna Jane Cizik. Her goal was to share the experiences of UH honors students with the Houston community.

This year's event will feature more than 30 conversations led by top UH faculty and administrators. A complete list of topics and conversationalists is available here.

A sample of this year's table topics and conversationalists is as follows:

  • "Are We There Yet?" - UH President Renu Khator
  • "Searching for E.T.: The Viability of Life on Other Planets"- Mark Smith, dean of UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • "Why Poetry Matters" - Ted Estess, founding Honors College dean
  • "24/7: College Athletics and the Media" - Mack Rhoades, UH Athletics Director
  • "Outlive Your Doctor: Making Sense of Health Information" - Cliff Dacso, director of the Abramson Family Center for the Future of Health.
  • "Our National Discourse: Have We Become a Nation of "Angry Birds?" - Steve Smith, broadcast journalist and media consultant
  • "Beyond The Fountainhead: What Architects Really Do" - Patricia Oliver, dean of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture
  • "Dollars and Sense: The Market Value of Motherhood" - Elizabeth Gregory, director of UH's Women's Studies Program
  • "The Clash Over Religious Icons" - Cynthia Freeland, UH professor of philosophy

The Honors College at UH is a hub of excellence that serves the needs of gifted undergraduates in more than 100 fields of study and reflects the rich diversity of the University of Houston in its courses, faculty, and students. For more than 50 years, the Honors College has offered students the best of both worlds: the advantages of a small college together with the comprehensive resources and rich diversity of a large university. For more information about the Honors College, visit http://TheHonorsCollege.com.

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