The night was unseasonably warm, so attendees at the tenth Library Gala on January 19 did not have to brave the usual cold. Many of our friends are saying it was the best Gala yet.
The featured author-scholar, David Reynolds, spoke engagingly of the impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin on American history and culture. Our guests are saying they are now eager to read his book, Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America and even (re)read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Professor Reynolds stated that the Q and A session was the best he had experienced in a long time.
The audience walked to Mead Hall along a pathway glowing with luminaries. At the conclusion of the cocktail hour, President Vivian Bull gave greetings, followed by the announcement of the Bela Kornitzer Book Awards. That announcement will long be remembered as unique, for Noémi Neidorff, whose parents established the award, greeted us and named the winners from her home in St. Louis through the magic of video technology.
The outstanding book by an alumnus went to Linda E. Connors (C ’64) for National Identity in Great Britain and British North America, 1815-1851: The Role of Nineteenth-Century Periodicals (Ashgate, 2011). And the outstanding book by a faculty member was awarded to Edward Baring, Assistant Professor of Modern European Intellectual and Cultural History, for The Young Derrida and French Philosophy, 1945-1968 (Cambridge University Press, 2011).