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Bethlehem, Pa., March 3, 2006— Robert W. Reising, the nation’s foremost authority on the legendary Jim Thorpe, will present a lecture, Racing toward Regard: Sport, Bias, and the Legacy of Jim Thorpe, on Thursday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Prosser Auditorium, Moravian College. The talk is open to the public and admission is free.
Reising is a professor in graduate education at The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He has published two books and numerous articles about Jim Thorpe, and is preparing a third for publication. Reising is a frequent contributor to ESPN, CNN, The New York Times and many other publications seeking clarity about this American icon.
James Francis Thorpe accomplished what no other athlete in history has done. Thorpe, a Sac and Fox Indian, won gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympic games in Sweden and played both professional football and professional baseball. His feats on the football field earned him a spot on the 1911 and 1912 All-American football teams. In 1920 he became the first president of the American Professional Football Association (later to become the NFL).
Jim Thorpe, the football star and Olympic legend whom Sweden's King Gustav V called "the greatest athlete in the world." was named, in 1950, by the Associated Press the greatest football player and greatest all-round athlete for the first 50 years of this century.
Dr. Reising has earned degrees from Michigan State University, The University of Connecticut, and Duke University, where his doctoral dissertation concerned literature and sports. He has received NEH post-doctoral awards from The University of Texas and The University of Illinois at Chicago, and has twice served as Visiting Scholar in American Indian Studies at Michigan State.
A former public school teacher and principal, Dr. Reising has spent nine years in intercollegiate athletics as a baseball coach and basketball and football recruiter. During eight seasons as Head Coach, he compiled a 106-89 win/loss record while placing teams in both the NAIA and NCAA National Tournaments.
The author of two books on Jim Thorpe, the Native American athlete, Dr. Reising has published over 100 articles in professional journals. He is a member of the International Reading Association, ASCD, and NCTE, as well as the “Varsity S” club at Michigan State. Currently, too, he edits the “What’s New In….?” column for the Clearing House and serves on the Advisory Board of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.
Additionally, Reising is the principal organizer of the Jim Thorpe Scholarship Fund, which he initiated at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke where he spent the better part of the past twenty years. As he notes frequently, “I will gladly speak with any group, anywhere if there is a donation to the Thorpe fund. I take no honorariums, and I have great pictures, videos, and film clips to supplement my talks.”
Reising will be available for an informal Q & A session earlier that afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. in a location to be announced.
The program is Sponsored by the Art & Lectures Committee and Co-Sponsored by the Department of Sociology, The Athletic Department, and The Office of Institutional Diversity. For more information, call 610-861-1491 or visit Moravian College on the Web at: www.moravian.edu.