Atlas Week opens international doors

Next week, Saint Louis University will be going global, as the third annual Atlas Week hits campus.

The week-long program is designed to recognize the international side of SLU, including its academic programs and role in international education and service. The theme for this year’s week is “Global Challenges.”

“SLU is truly an international university and has established a unique international presence, strategic international relationships and worldwide education and service opportunities for our students, faculty and staff,” said Michelle Lorenzini, Ph.D., one of the main coordinators of the event.

The program, sponsored by the provost’s office, offers the chance for students to attend open houses, open language classes, presentations, films, lectures, a lawn party and the Billiken World Fair.

Going along with the theme for the event, featured topics include: “Survivors of Terror, Resilient Women;” “War and Ethics;” “Conflict in the Middle East;” “International Law and War;” and “The Abuse of Faith in the Name of God.”

Along with speakers and panels discussing global issues, students will also be able to sit in on language classes and watch international films.

“As a Jesuit university, we have a responsibility to educate our students and increase the awareness of our university community of the global challenges that confront us today, in an effort to promote discussion and stimulate action,” Lorenzini said.

World-renowned botanist Peter Raven will be the speaker at the signature symposium on Thursday, April 3 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a reception following. Raven is the director of the Missouri Botanical Garden and does research around the world to save endangered plants. He is also a leader in the push for conservation and a sustainable environment.

The week will finish with a bang at the Billiken World Fair on Friday, April 4 at noon in the Quad. According to Lorenzini, a parade of nations with flags from about 70 countries will begin the event, followed by live cultural music and dance, international booths, carnival games and international food.

A complete list of events, times and locations can be found on the Atlas Web site,