Press Release


Graduation address by Professor Clarence Lang

CHICAGO The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will celebrate the graduation of The Odyssey Project’s class of 2010 on Saturday, May 8 at 1:00 p.m. at the Douglass Library (504 E. Grove St., Champaign).

The Odyssey Project is presented by the Illinois Humanities Council and offered in partnership in Champaign with the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IRPH) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It is a college-level introduction to the humanities meant to help adults with low incomes more actively shape their own lives and the lives of their families and communities. Students take classes in literature, philosophy, history, art history, and writing at the Douglass Library in Champaign.

Clarence Lang, Ph.D, Assistant Professor in the Department of African American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will deliver the graduation address.  Dr. Lang has also been a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times, a Davis-Putter Scholar, and a Summer Research Fellow at the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center.  In addition to the guest speaker, graduates will select a student speaker to address the graduation audience.

The Odyssey Project
, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, is founded on the premise that engagement with the humanities can offer a way out of poverty and offers instruction to course participants in humanistic disciplines. The Odyssey Project is in its tenth year in Illinois. Students explore masterpieces in literature, art history, moral philosophy, and United States history. Writing instruction is also integral to the coursework. The Bard Clemente Course in the Humanities (of which the Odyssey is a part) is in its 13th year nationwide, with more than a dozen sites operating in the United States. Syllabi and reading lists at all sites are roughly equivalent to those a student might encounter in a first-year humanities survey course at a first-rate university.

The Odyssey Project is offered in Champaign-Urbana in partnership with the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, the Chancellor’s Office of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the college of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Douglass Branch Library. It is funded in part by The Field Foundation of Illinois, the Seabury Foundation, the Polk Bros. Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, and an anonymous donor.

For more information about The Odyssey Project, please call 312.422.5580, email, or visit


The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities.  Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


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