The 8th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner & The Diversity Appreciation Awards Dialogue Dinners / Events

As The IDEA Society, we held the 8th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner at Georgia Center for Continuing Education on October 23, 2012. We annually hold the Dialogue and Friendship Dinners to promote the intellectual dialogue, strengthen mutual understanding and provide cultural exchange by bringing together the distinguished members of the University of Georgia and Athens community.

The theme of this year’s Annual Dinner was “Diversity: How Our Differences Strengthen Our Community ?”. The program followed by the presentation of Dr. Mustafa Gokhan Sahin, director of Academic Affairs at the Istanbul Center. Dr. Sahin discussed the importance of diversity in the United States and linked the purpose of the Annual Dinner specifically to the broadening of the outlook of our society. Dr. Brahm Verma followed with a slideshow presentation about his memorable tour of Turkey. After the dinner was served, traditional Anatolian Folk songs were performed baglama.

The keynote address was then given by Dr. Michelle Garfield Cook, Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity at the University of Georgia. Dr. Cook invoked the preaching of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., upon the topic of diversity, seeking to encourage her audience to remain unsatisfied with merely incremental successes in the establishment of satisfactory norms of cultural diversity.

President Michael F. Adams Chief Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr.
President Michael F. Adams Chief Joseph Lumpkin


The well-attended dinner continued with the featured Award Ceremony. The Diversity Appreciation Award was presented to Dr. Michael Adams, the President of UGA. In his acceptance speech, President Adams expressed deep gratitude for the Award, noting some of the remarkable fruits of the diversity policies of his tenure as President. President Adams said, “There will be few, if any, awards that I ever receive that mean more to me than this one”. Then, Dr. Maurice C. Daniels, the Dean of the School of Social Work, presented the Diversity Appreciation Award to Joseph H. Lumpkin Sr., the Chief of Police of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. Chief Lumpkin, upon receiving his award, emphasized the importance of proper diversity policy for the day-to-day functioning of the police force of a contemporary American city, and expressed general satisfaction with the progress of the Athens police force regarding cultural and religious diversity during his time.

As the IDEA Society, we are so glad to be a part of the UGA and Athens community and work towards providing opportunities for the dialogue and friendship within the societies and communities. We thank to all guests who joined us on that night.

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