McDonough, AAUW partner for second year of 'Great Decisions Series'

Following a successful inaugural run, The McDonough Center for Leadership and Business, along with the Marietta Branch of The American Association of University Women (AAUW), is once again hosting a six-week educational program titled, The Great Decisions Series 2007.

Great Decisions, which is designed to enrich the international understanding of people in the Marietta community, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sundays from Jan. 24 to March 4 in the McDonough Center on the campus of Marietta College.

"We had this discussion series last year, and it was a great success. This partnership with AAUW creates a new educational opportunity for the Marietta community," said Dr. Gama Perruci, dean of McDonough. "At the same time, the McDonough students also benefit from the experience by helping with the facilitation of the discussions. It's a win-win arrangement, and it helps fulfill our mission as an educational resource in the community."

Marietta's series is part of a national program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) in New York City. According to its Web site, FPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, FPA provides independent publications, programs and forums to increase public awareness of, and foster popular participation in, matters relating to those policy issues.

Marietta's program offers the possibility for members of the community to learn more about current world issues and concerns through reading written materials, listening to formal presentations, and discussing the material with the aid of facilitators.

Some of the topics for the series include, Middle East, climate change, migration, South Africa, war crimes and children.

Each session will usually begin with an expert in the field giving a one-hour background discussion, followed by McDonough students facilitating a discussion by participants. At the end of the program, those in attendance will fill out a ballot with questions related to the topic. Those will be mailed to FPA headquarters to be included in a report that is distributed to the White House, Congress and key government agencies.

"Working to affirm the value of education in this community for 72 years, the Marietta Branch of the American Association of University Women continues its interest in promoting educational programming that will enrich the learning experiences of people in the Mid-Ohio Valley," said Joyce Ditchendorf, secretary for the Marietta Branch of AAUW and its liaison for The Great Decision Series. "We are delighted to continue our partnership with McDonough in co-sponsoring The Great Decisions Series 2007."

Class size is limited to 35, so anyone interested in attending The Great Decisions Series 2007 should mail a $15 registration fee (make checks payable to Marietta College) to:

McDonough Leadership Center
215 Fifth Street
Marietta College
Marietta OH 45750
Attention: Christy Hockenberry

For more information: visit or call Joyce Ditchendorf, (740) 374-5791, or Carol Galupo, (740) 374-6848.

The McDonough Center is named in honor of Bernard P. McDonough (1903-85), a self-made industrialist and entrepreneur who ran wide-ranging global business interests from his Marmac Corporation headquarters in Parkersburg, W.Va. From humble beginnings, he built an industrial empire after World War II with diverse holdings, including concrete plants, construction companies, shoe factories, marine barges, lawn and garden tool factories, and sand and gravel operations.

In 1986, through a generous $5.5 million gift from McDonough's wife, Alma McDonough, and the McDonough Foundation, Marietta College established the Bernard P. McDonough Center for Leadership and Business. The Center offered one of the first comprehensive undergraduate leadership programs in the United States.