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. Bonaventure University alumnus Dan Barry, author of this year’s common read, “The Boys in the Bunkhouse,” will visit campus Monday, Sept. 26, for classroom discussions and a keynote address.
Barry will address the Class of 2020 during a keynote address at 7 p.m. Monday in the Richter Recreation Center on campus. The talk is free and open to the public. Afterward, Barry will sign copies of “Bunkhouse” and his other books in the Richter Center.
“The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland,” released by HarperCollins in May, tells the story of dozens of men with intellectual disabilities who endured decades of exploitation — living in an old schoolhouse and working at an Iowa turkey-processing plant for little pay — before finding justice and freedom.
St. Bonaventure’s first-year students received copies of “Bunkhouse” during orientation in July. As their first official college assignment, they were asked to read “Bunkhouse” and then write a reflection on it. A number of area school and book clubs joined SBU’s Class of 2020 by reading “Bunkhouse,” including Olean High School’s Class of 2017, the Cuba Library, Bolivar-Richburg High School’s English honors class, and the First Presbyterian Church of Olean.
“This is the first All Bonaventure Reads selection that has garnered such widespread community engagement. Intellectual disabilities — especially with Dan as the masterful storyteller of the lives of these 32 men of the ‘Bunkhouse’ – provide fodder for rich discussions of divergent opinions,” said Jean Trevarton Ehman, chair of the All Bonaventure Reads Committee and director of the university’s Teaching and Learning Center.
“It is especially rewarding to have area high school students join the All Bonaventure Reads conversation. Lou Ventura, an Olean High English teacher instrumental in creating this Olean High and St. Bonaventure partnership, and Dan were St. Bonaventure undergraduate floormates and they have rekindled their collegiate friendship over this All Bonaventure Reads relationship,” she said.
During his 21-year career as a reporter and columnist at The New York Times, Barry has crisscrossed America to explore the spectrum of the human experience, taking readers to the hidden places of this country, finding heartbreak, joy and great wonder. Readers of “The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland,” discover all three in this work of narrative non-fiction.
In a work of hauntingly detailed reportage, Barry explains how and why these 32 men came to live in the schoolhouse, woefully underpaid, physically and emotionally abused, and nearly forgotten for so many years. He explores how a small Iowa town remained oblivious to the plight of these men, analyzes the many causes for such profound and chronic negligence, and lays out the impact of the men’s dramatic court case, which has spurred advocates to push for just pay and improved working conditions for people living with disabilities.
“By highlighting the exploitation of these men, Barry reinforces the importance of one of the core Franciscan values at St. Bonaventure: recognizing the dignity of every person,” said Chris Brown, director of the university’s First-Year Experience program.
“As students learn more about the experiences of individuals with disabilities, I hope they are challenged to examine systems of inequality that still exist today,” he said.
Barry is a 1980 graduate of St. Bonaventure and this will mark the first time since the All Bonaventure Reads initiative was introduced in 2006 that a book by an alumnus has been selected. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from St. Bonaventure and is the author of three other books.
“It might be divine intervention that Dan, who was a first-semester freshman 40 years ago, was selected as this year’s All Bonaventure Reads author. When he addresses the current freshmen he can speak from experience about the expedition on which they just embarked; his St. Bonaventure journey began exactly four decades ago,” said Trevarton Ehman.
He was part of a Providence Journal investigative team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for a series of articles about Rhode Island’s court system. Barry has also been a nominated finalist for the Pulitzer Prize twice: in 2006 for his slice-of-life reports from New York and hurricane-battered New Orleans, and in 2010 for his coverage of the Great Recession’s effects on the lives and relationships of America.
Barry lives in Maplewood, N.J., with his wife, Mary Trinity, a 1981 alumna of St. Bonaventure, and daughters, Nora and Grace.
Doors open at 6; games start at 7 p.m.
A story and a craft to spark your child’s imagination before bedtime.
Anyone with recovery issues is invited to attend.
Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. A large group meeting is at 7 p.m. Small, break-out meetings start at 8 p.m.
Anthony Ray Hinton, a man falsely accused and convicted for murder who spent 30 years on death row in Alabama before being exonerated and released last year, will speak this fall at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
Doors open at 6; games start at 7 p.m.
The interactive art and sound spectacular “Artrageous” comes to Bradford Thursday, October 6, 2016 @ 7:30pm. The performance will take place at the Bromeley Family Theater located at the University of Pitt/Bradford.
What is Artrageous?
The excitement of watching a team of artists painting at electric speed right before your eyes is an experience the audience will never forget. Have it accompanied by amazing vocals, creative choreography, high energy live music and unforgettable audience interaction and the audience will have enjoyed the journey of a life-time.
Giant artworks jump to life with amazing speed unveiling larger than life icons and masterpieces in just moments, all the while there is constant activity on stage, attracting your attention and delighting your senses with energy, spirit and action. A show for the entire family.
This is Artrageous.
Tickets are priced at $39 each and will be available for season subscribers on July 6, and for the general public August 24. Additional information will be forthcoming at the BCPAC office 814-362-2522, or online at www.bcpac.com.