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 War Correspondent, Post-Soviet Expert and Master Gilder to Visit SRU 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:

Public Invited to Two-day International Forum --



           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – A Chechnya War correspondent, international journalist, videographer and author specializing in former Soviet Union countries along with a master gilder whose work in gold and gold leaf can be seen from Paris to Pittsburgh willbring their stories to the Slippery Rock University community in a two-day “International Forum.”

           Free-lance journalist Thomas Goltz and master gilder Joseph Youss Kadri of Pittsburgh will participate in the Oct. 27-28 public program marking the academic opening of the university’s newly renovated Carruth Rizza Hall.

          Opening day includes Goltz’s free lecture “War in Chechyna” at 7 p.m. in Swope Music Hall. The public is invited. The second day forum includes a 4 to 6 p.m. public reception in Carruth Rizza Hall with the opportunity to see the newly installed Allen H. “Buddy” Carruth Fountain. As part of the reception Kadri will demonstration the intricacies of applying gilding. A February article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted Kadri provides the “Midas touch to local homes and buildings.”Locally, his work can been seen in the interior restoration of Butler’s Shaw House.

            Dr. William Williams, provost and vice president for academic affairs, notes, “We have restored a very important building on our campus, and the best way to spotlight its academic importance is to hold a forum that shares the facility with the entire campus and local community. This forum spotlights Slippery Rock University’s signature program in International Initiatives and its expanded modern languages and cultures department, both housed in Carruth Rizza Hall. We are inviting students, faculty and staff from across campus as well as members of the regional community to enjoy our speakers.” The forum, sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education Title VI European Studies Grant.

           Goltz hold expertise in the Caucasus area of the former Soviet Union, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Chechnya. His work has appeared in major U.S. newspapers and magazines in addition to ABC’s “Nightline” and CBS’ “60 Minutes” and BBC-TV. His first film earned second place honors in the annual Rory Peck Awards in London, and his second film was shown at the Mountain Film festival at Telluride, Colo., last year. His forth-coming documentary concerns an intellectual adventure down the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

          His latest book, just out from Thomas Dunne Books, is titled “Chechnya Diary: A War Correspondent’s Story of Surviving the War in Chechnya.” His earlier works include “Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter’s Adventures in an Oil-rich, War-torn, Post-Soviet Republic,” written in 1998 and used as a college text for post-Soviet affairs classes. He is working on a book detailing post-Soviet Georgia and has lectured at universities across the U.S., including Berkeley, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia. He has also spoken to the World Affairs Council and the America Committees on Foreign Relations, among others. Goltz holds a master of arts degree in Middle Eastern studies from New York University.

Master Gilder

          The Oct. 28 program spotlights master gilder Kadri, a member of the “Compagnon Doreur,” an elite, long-established society of artisans recognized throughout Europe for their detailed skills. His demonstration will be followed by an SRU international student performance and a historical perspective of the building presented by Dr. Robert Watson, vice president of student life.

          Kadri’s techniques include all aspects of gilding for indoors and outdoors along with preservation and restoration of gesso on wood, different clay boles, shades, waxes, cutting of precious woods and a host of other gilding subjects.

          He guilds fine gold leaf and makes use of both water process and oil process gilding. His work can be seen at the Carnegie Museum of Art and throughout Pittsburgh as well as such locations as Euro-Disneyworld in Paris and the Castle of Versailles and a number of other Paris locales. He has completed gilding at the Ronald Regan Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., and the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy, and St. Andrews Church, the Highwood Building, Bethel Park, the Gwinner-Harter and Mary Reinhart mansions, all in Pittsburgh.

          As part of their campus visits, both lecturers will address art or history classes.

          Carruth Rizza Hall, a 19,000-square foot building constructed in 1900, formerly known as West Hall, was once the Model School for the university and community. It was restored to its original splendor, including a sky-lit, two-story atrium, through a $2.5 million donation from Mrs. Ethel Carruth, mother and mother-in-law to Drs. Carolyn and Paul Rizza, both professor emeriti at SRU. The building was named in honor of the retired SRU professors and returned to service with the opening of the current academic year. Mrs. Carruth makes her home in Houston, Texas.

          The fountain was installed in memory of Mr. Carruth, Mrs. Carruth’s husband, to mark his career as an entrepreneur, businessman and noted philanthropist. He was managing partner at John L. Wortham and Son Insurance Co. and served on the board of directors of American General Corp. in Houston. In addition to academic classrooms and faculty office, the facility includes a state-of-the-art language laboratory.


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