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Four Presidents, One Chautauqua

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In its 142 years, Chautauqua Institution has attracted a who’s-who of cultural, educational, religious and political luminaries. Among them have been four sitting American presidents:

The Athenaeum’s Delta Force

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The Athenaeum Hotel general manager kept calling, but Michele “Mickey” Murray wouldn’t return his calls. This went on for several weeks in 1993, the GM calling, Murray suspecting he wanted to offer her a job at the Institution. For her, having a summer vacation that year was more important.

The lure of Chautauqua Lake

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Fishing. It has inspired some great minds, such as Washington Irving: “There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.”

Anderson, Parsons support Chautauqua through Scholar in Residence

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From their porch at the Keystone, Ed Anderson and Joan Parsons can look down to the street below them where Anderson’s children, and now their grandchildren, learned to ride their bicycles, and across to the trees that Anderson, as a birder, studies with a careful eye. Chautauqua is as much a part of Anderson and Parsons’ lives as they are a part of the Institution; this is their second season sponsoring the Scholar in Residence program, which ran from Tuesday to Thursday.

Having married into Chautauqua, Faust finds a place to grow family roots

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At 9:30 a.m., Sylvia Faust’s grandchildren are all down at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and Faust has a rare quiet moment. For most of the summer, this year-round Chautauqua resident has a full house. Faust’s two children and five grandchildren spend much of the season with her, and she channels their energy into her own volunteer work on the grounds. Faust, a Chautauquan for almost a half-century, serves on the Chautauqua Foundation’s planned giving committee.

Religion department plans ‘humble celebration of growing openness’ for Fourth

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Joan Brown Campbell labors over the prayers she writes for the service on the Fourth of July. “Joan probably spends more time working on her prayers for the Fourth of July weekend than any other day of the year,” said Jared Jacobsen, organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music. Actually, Campbell and Jacobsen work well in advance to plan the Fourth of July services.

APYA brings genuine dialogue, genuine friendship

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“Unless you educate the young people, you will not succeed,” said featured speaker Eboo Patel to representatives of Chautauqua Institution at The Ismaili Centre in London in fall 2005. Patel lauded Chautauqua Institution for its dedication to promoting interfaith education and teaching about the relationships found within the Abrahamic tradition and particularly about Islam.

Americana in the plaza

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Dust off your tuba or your tenor sax — Uncle Weintraub wants you! The Chautauqua Community Band welcomes all instrumentalists for its Independence Day concert, which takes place at 12:15 p.m. today on Bestor Plaza. Director Jason Weintraub started the all-inclusive group 21 years ago. It has grown from a few dozen members into a group of more than 70 people of all ages and experience levels.

Good clean fun

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Is there hilarity in housekeeping? Can bathroom sinks and fun appear in the same sentence? In Chautauqua, it appears the answer can sometimes be yes.

Global health’s unsung heroes

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When Paul Farmer spoke to a crowded Amphitheater audience earlier this week about global health efforts in Haiti and Rwanda, one audience member was right there in Rwanda with him. When Melissa Driver Beard, executive director and CEO of Engineering World Health, came to Chautauqua’s “Global Health and Development as Foreign Policy” week, she had two goals in mind.

Groffs ensure others have their own Chautauqua experience

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When Kent and Fredrika “Freddy” Groff first visited Chautauqua in the summer of 1976, they were so taken with the place that they settled here almost immediately. “We came on a Sunday and bought a house on Friday,” Kent said. Their attraction to the Institution remains unwavering after 35 years, and they are committed to help facilitate other families’ visits to Chautauqua, particularly those who are less able financially.
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