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Colleges have speaker series slated
Programs begin in September
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Two area colleges are about to start annual speaker series.

Gainesville State College is set to begin its 2011-2012 Colloquium Series on Sept. 12 with retired Army Brig. Gen. Russel R. Weiskircher, who, as a young sergeant, helped liberate survivors from the Dachau death camp during World War II.

With 45 years of service to his country, Weiskircher will share his memories from his experiences with the 45th Infantry Division and his continued service beyond 1945.

A World War II veteran, Weiskircher has earned the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

He served as an instructor with the ROTC and the Army War College. He also served as the vice chairman of the Georgia Holocaust Commission.

“After WWII, I came home, married and re-enlisted,” writes Weiskircher on the 45thdivision.org website. “I was commissioned in 1947 in a program designed to promote and use those with combat experience.

“I served in several theaters, on many posts, in other wars and brush fires. I commanded units from platoon to brigade and served in many diverse staff assignments.”

Weiskircher graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and he attended and later taught at the Army War College.

“If I learned anything in my 45 years in the Army, including active, reserve, National Guard and civil service, it is a great respect for that simple quote: ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet,’ ” he says on the website.

Weiskircher is scheduled to speak at noon in Gainesville State’s Continuing Education/Performing Arts Center auditorium.

The event will begin with a 9/11 remembrance led by Kya Reaves, assistant English professor.

Here’s a look at other Colloquium events, which are open to the public at no charge, during the year:

Nov. 7: Kerry Stewart, a faculty member and academic fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, speaking about his travels to Israel and study of terrorism this past summer.

Feb. 6: Brian Turner, soldier-poet and author of two poetry collections, “Phantom Noise” and “Here, Bullet.”

April 18: Janisse Ray, writer, naturalist and activist.

The speakers will give their presentations in the auditorium, except for Stewart, whose presentation will take place in the Academic IV building’s multipurpose room.

North Georgia College & State University and the Mike Cottrell School of Business are sponsoring a speaker series for the third year at the college in Dahlonega.

The series involves industry leaders sharing their perspectives about succeeding in domestic and international markets characterized by increasing competition and complexity.

Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola, is set to speak Sept. 8. She will discuss “Connecting Coca-Cola, a 125-year-old icon, with today’s teens.”

Other speakers are:

Sept. 22: John Allison, a Wake Forest University professor and retired chairman and CEO of BB&T Bank.

Oct. 4: Carla Cooper, president and CEO of Daymon Worldwide.

Oct. 13: Mike Higley, managing director, U.S. International, FedEx Express

Oct. 20: John Trautwein, president and chief operating officer, Source Support Services, and co-founder of The Will to Life Foundation.

All the presentations are free and open to the public. They will take place 12:45-1:45 p.m. in the second-floor banquet room of the new dining hall at West Main Street and Sunset Drive.

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