Mount Mercy Professor of English Dr. Jim Grove and Dr. Libor Práger from Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, will present “The Velvet Revolution: 20 Years Later” during a special faculty forum on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Flaherty Community Room, Basile Hall on the Mount Mercy campus. The forum is free and open to the public.
Grove and Práger will recount the amazing events that took place over 20 years ago during the Velvet Revolution of 1989, and share how college students played a vital role in overthrowing one of the most powerful regimes in the world. Práger was studying at Palacky University during the revolution, where students were instrumental in the non-violent protests that led to the fall of communism. Práger served as one of five student “strike leaders” during the revolution, representing the student body as they presented their demands to the communist party.
Práger, a professor in Palacky University’s British and American Studies department, joined Mount Mercy’s English faculty for the Fall 2009 semester and Winter term 2010 as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, continuing a 20-year history of collaboration between the two institutions. The Fulbright board awards approximately 35 Scholar-in-Residence grants each year to United States colleges and universities, making Mount Mercy one of the few colleges fortunate enough to benefit from this important international exchange.
Grove had the unique opportunity to teach Práger as a student while Grove was participating in an institutional teaching exchange program at Palacky University in 1989. That connection sparked an ongoing relationship between the two institutions, and Práger went on to become one of Mount Mercy’s first international exchange students, coming to campus in 1991.