There’s magic at Atkinson!

The Joseph E. Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies is marking its 40th anniversary, kicking the celebrations off with an interactive presentation with magician (and lawyer, actor, writer, producer and creative consultant) David Ben on Wednesday Sept. 25, 7pm,   Burton Auditorium, Fine Arts Building.

The Faculty started as Atkinson College, named in honour of the late Joseph E. Atkinson. It was his establishing of the Atkinson Charitable Fund that made possible the founding of the college in 1962. Originally, the college was set up to offer undergraduate courses to primarily part-time and mature students. Now students can study full-time if they wish, and take distance education through Atkinson.

In spring 2000 the University Senate and Board of Governors approved the name change of the college to the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies. The idea behind the change was to differentiate Atkinson from the other areas at York which emphasized the liberal arts – Glendon College and the Faculty of Arts. The Faculty now includes several schools: Administrative Studies, Analytical Studies and Information Technology, Health Policy and Management, Nursing, Arts and Letters, and Social Sciences.

Today Rhonda Lenton is Atkinson’s dean. In her Web message she says, “Atkinson provides outstanding educational opportunities for full-time, part-time and mature students. We strive to accommodate the different needs of our students with innovative and flexible programs in both liberal and professional studies.”

Several special events and series have been organized in celebration of Atkinson’s anniversary, as well as the presentation by David Ben. They include The Canadian Writers in Person Reading Series of 12 public readings starting Thursday, Sept. 26 with Greg Hollingshead reading from his Governor-General”s Award winning collection of short stories, The Roaring Girl; a Caribbean Writers Series of free public readings, beginning Oct. 8 with readings by Rachel Manley from her book, Slipstream; and Film Screening of My Father”s Camera by York Alumna Karen Shopsowitz on Wednesday, October 16, 7:15pm, Computer Science Building, Lecture Hall C.

For more information on Atkinson’s celebrations, check the Web site at