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Ohio Wesleyan on Deck for 19th Annual Cooperstown Symposium

May 16, 2007

The legacy of former Brooklyn Dodgers President and Ohio Wesleyan University graduate Branch Rickey will be honored June 6 at the opening of the 19th annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture in New York.

The three-day symposium will begin with a panel discussion titled “Baseball and Freedom: Remembering Mr. Rickey.” This year marks the 60th anniversary of Rickey and Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier with Robinson’s Major League debut.

For his wisdom and courage in signing Robinson, Rickey previously was named ESPN’s most influential sports figure of the 20th century. In addition, Allan H. “Bud” Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, has said: “I have the greatest respect for Branch Rickey. He was not only the greatest sports and baseball executive of the 20th century, but his bringing Jackie Robinson to the big leagues will forever stand as baseball’s proudest moment.”

Participating in the Rickey panel discussion at the Cooperstown Symposium will be Ohio Wesleyan President Mark W. Huddleston and Rickey’s grandson, Branch B. Rickey III, president of the Pacific Coast League and a 1967 Ohio Wesleyan graduate. Earl Warren Jr., retired Sacramento, Calif., Superior Court judge and son of former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, will participate via prerecorded comments. George Nicholson, associate justice of the Court of Appeal, State of California, will serve as the panel moderator.

Other members of the symposium panel are:

  • Evan Caminker, dean of the University of Michigan Law School
  • Richard Cook, president of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.
  • Richard D. Friedman, professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School
  • Ira Glasser, former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Thurgood Marshall Jr., a partner with Bingham McCutchen LLP and a principal with Bingham Consulting Group in Washington, D.C.

The annual Cooperstown Symposium, co-sponsored by the State University of New York at Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, examines the impact of baseball on American culture from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives. More information about the symposium is available online.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, dedicated to preparing students for a lifetime of learning, service, and leadership. Located in Delaware, Ohio, 20 miles north of the state capital, Ohio Wesleyan is a coeducational, residential, privately supported undergraduate institution. The university is ranked consistently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges and is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives.” The faculty includes more than 135 educators, all of whom actively teach and hold either doctoral degrees or the highest recognized professional degrees in their fields. Approximately 1,850 students representing 44 states and 45 countries attend Ohio Wesleyan. More information is available at www.owu.edu.