Ed Colodny, long-time member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra board was recently named honorary chair of the VSO Endowment Campaign. In January, the VSO governing board announced that it has launched a major campaign to raise $3.5 million, and that it had already raised $2.6 million toward that goal. The VSO is so vital to the cultural–and economic–well-being of Vermont, Colodny says. Can you imagine the void if the VSO were not here? I am honored to serve as honorary chair of this effort, and ask all who benefit from the VSO to join in this important campaign.Colodny, a Burlington native, served the Burlington community as interim president and chief executive officer of the Fletcher Allen Health Care, and prior to that, as interim president and chief executive officer of the University of Vermont. He was president and chief executive officer of US Airways before becoming chair of the board of Comsat Corp, leader in global satellite and digital networking services. Colodny has served on numerous boards around the country. Ed Colodny loves this music and believes in this orchestra, says VSO board chair. Ken Squier. We could not have a better leader for this endowment effort. To have someone who has meant so much to all the state in this role is so meaningful and truly an honor for us all.The VSO has brought music to all corners of Vermont for 75 years. It was founded in the fall of 1934, when Vermont s scattered musical forces, including musicians, farmers, bankers, plumbers, and teachers, joined together to become the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. The organization became the first state-supported orchestra in 1939, and over the years as other state orchestras performed from music halls, the VSO continued to bring music to historic and beautiful outdoor locations around the state. Today, under the leadership of Jaime Laredo, the orchestra has become a great professional orchestra.During the 2007/2008 season the Orchestra reached an audience of 61,358 in 161 communities, including 28,198 school children through its popular SymphonyKids outreach program in Vermont schools. Overall the Orchestra produced 339 performances and events statewide 296 of the events were offered free of charge to the audience.For additional information about the VSO Endowment Campaign, please contact the VSO at 2 Church Street, Suite 3B, Burlington, Vermont 05401 or call 800-876-9293, ext. 25. For information about forthcoming concerts, please visit VSO website at www.vso.org(link is external).
The USC Center on Public Diplomacy hosted a roundtable discussion Thursday between leaders in public diplomacy focused on how foreign policy will affect the 2016 election in the wake of the last year’s terrorism and violence. The discussion — which was livestreamed on the center’s website — included four members of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, a co-sponsor for the event. Ernest Wilson, dean of the Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, opened the event with a welcome both to the televised audience and the students and guests present in the room. “I want to welcome the young people in the room because it is to them that our remarks should be addressed,” Wilson said. “We want to encourage, here on a college campus, even greater involvement with one of the most important things in the world, which is public policy.”Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, moderated the discussion. According to Schnur, each of the four members provided a deep and unique background in public diplomacy. William Hybl is the Chairman of the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy; Sim Farar is the Vice Chairman; and Ambassador Penne Peacock and Anne Wedner both serve as commissioners. “The panel brings such a wealth of experience and such a tremendous amount of knowledge about global affairs and the diplomatic challenges that our country faces,” Schnur said. “International and diplomatic issues will probably play a bigger role in this campaign than has been the case in any election since 2004, at the height of the Iraq war.”Before speaking about the election, the speakers touched on the importance of understanding public policy when traveling abroad. The discussion then launched into the topic of the campaigns and quickly became a more heated debate.Farar and Wedner started by debating whether presidential candidates should lay out their tactical foreign policy plans as part of their campaigns. Farar supported the idea that candidates should provide voters with tangible plans and goals, while Wedner argued that doing so would not be ideal for the candidate nor the American public as a whole.Peacock broke in and invited students to join in the debate, at which point Schnur opened up the discussion to questions from the audience, which was made up of almost 50 percent international students. Student questions ranged from how America is viewed by other countries to how the American system of democracy can be improved in the current election. This student involvement was the most important part of the event, according to Stacy Ingber, the assistant director of programming and events for the Center of Public Diplomacy.“Students are the most appropriate group to bring together for any type of conversation, whether it’s about public diplomacy, the presidential election or the next tech app that’s coming on the market,” Ingber said. “They bring a fresh set of eyes [and] opportunities for how they experience the world differently from other generations, as well as a novel approach to questions that might be missed in various different groups. “In response to students, the panelists shared their histories of working in public diplomacy and the way they viewed the election process. They also advised the public diplomacy students making up the majority of the audience that public policy leaders will be vital in future elections due to the rising importance of foreign diplomacy. The event ended with a discussion of what type of public diplomacy each panelist would like to see again in America. Each had their own response, but the overall sentiment was agreed — the panel believed that America needs a new tone and a new focus to its public diplomacy.This event was part of a partnership between Annenberg and the Center on Public Diplomacy to bring to light a part of the presidential election that is difficult to discuss without experts such as the Commission panelists. According to Schnur, it was a necessary event in order to give all types of students an idea of the importance of public diplomacy in the upcoming election.“Voters think about their job prospects, about their children’s schools, about the safety of their communities,” he said. “It’s easier to put aside the broader challenges that might not be in front of you on a daily basis. These challenges don’t tend to get as much attention in a daily campaign dialogue — but they should and that’s what we tried to create today, is an environment where we can talk about these challenges.”Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the panelists were joined by seven USC and Commission leaders. They were joined by guests. The article also stated that the panelists were experts in foreign policy and that the majority of the students in attendance were public policy students. The panelists were experts in public diplomacy and the majority of students were studying public diplomacy. The Daily Trojan regrets the errors.