Eighth Century. Córdoba, Spain: At the time, the country was under Islamic rule, and cities like Córdoba absorbed the language, beliefs and religion of the Islamic people. Córdoba, now a World Heritage Site, was unique in the sense that there was unification between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam — a notion of “shared worship” that, as evidenced in contemporary media, has increasingly diminished.
A very real hero in the history of Chautauqua Institution died on Wednesday, July 11. Greg Guroff, along with Steve Reinhart, was responsible for coordinating US-Soviet exchange programs, within which Chautauqua played a significant role. To be sure, John Wallach’s bold vision and unbounded daring stimulated the initiation of Chautauqua’s programming in US-Soviet affairs. Our president, Dan Bratton, and board chairman, David Faust, provided the Institutional direction and commitment. But Greg was the soul, glue, engineer, counselor, translator, psychiatrist, fundraiser, mediator and island of calm in a sea of turbulent events.
It has become something of a tradition, the Oliver Archives’ presentation of “Five More Giants of Chautauqua” at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ. To be asked to select a giant, a person has to “get it,” said Jon Schmitz, Institution historian and archivist, referring to the panel of people who chose figures of Chautauqua history to honor.
Of course, there are many, many significant figures who have contributed to the founding, success and longevity of Chautauqua Institution — figures such as Arthur Bestor, Sam Hazlett, Ida Tarbell, Dan Bratton and more. This year, there will be five giants more.