Visiting Fellow Stuart Diamond brings big ideas to RU
Stuart Diamond, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow (WWVF), took time on Tuesday, March 18, to meet with Radford University faculty at a special reception in his honor.
Diamond, who is in residence at RU through Friday, March 21, is a renaissance man who has excelled as a producer, writer, composer and musician in a discipline-spanning career. He eagerly engaged with faculty members and praised their commitment to education.
"These [fellowships] are so meaningful to me," Diamond said of his experience as a visiting guest scholar. "I hope it will be to you as well. The university is the only place where it all comes together for me. Only in the liberal arts environment do I get to weave all of my artistic pursuits together."
RU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sam Minner welcomed Diamond to campus on behalf of the faculty. Minner is an ardent supporter of fellowship programs that bring professional to campus and oversaw the first WWVF visitor to RU in 2011. Diamond is the second.
"This is very valuable to our students, faculty and staff," Minner said. "Guests like Stuart Diamond come to interact, share big ideas and encourage everyone on campus to dream big dreams."
Primarily known as a composer, Diamond has composed over 100 works in a plethora of styles such as symphonic and chamber music, theater, dance, film and video. His ensemble, Electric Diamond, has been performing continuously since 1977, specializing in live classical electronic music concerts, with a repertoire covering a wide spectrum of music, from the Medieval to Baroque, and Romantic to Native American
Diamond is also a Charlie Chaplin aficionado. As part of his visit, public screenings and panel discussions of two classic Chaplin films, Modern Times and City Lights, took place on Monday and Tuesday nights respectively.
"Chaplin was a highly recognized writer, actor, performer, businessman and political activist. A new media mogul of his day, but also mired in scandal - political and personal," Diamond said.
So far during his visit, Diamond has joined campus conversations about creativity, technology, art and social engagement. Diamond also met with the RU Deans Council to explore topics in higher education.
"Having him here, it elevates the discussion," said Steve Helm, dean of McConnell Library. Helm, also a musician, looked forward to talking music with Diamond, but found him a source of eclectic information as well. "He has so many other things that he has done and he's a catalyst for discussion about everything we do here on campus."
"An artist like Stuart Diamond lends visibility to RU," said Laura Jacobsen, associate professor in mathematics education. "The conversations he will bring to our programs will help get us out to a broader community."
For more than 35 years, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses throughout the U.S. for week-long residential programs to explore and consider new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds.
Diamond's residency and the WWVF week events are sponsored by Office of the Provost and the Scholar-Citizen Initiative.