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In Baltimore we’re going to be electing seven students to seats on the National Council, Alpha Chi’s governing board. If you or another member of your delegation would like to take this tremendous opportunity to serve a national office, read on.

Each of our seven regions will elect a student representative to serve a term that begins immediately in Baltimore and runs until the spring of 2014. Although much of the Council’s business happens by e-mail, the two big events are the annual meetings in 2012 (Baltimore) and 2013 (Nashville, in conjunction with the national convention). If you want to serve, you must plan to stay on in Baltimore through Saturday night (the national office will cover extra expenses caused by travel plan changes) and must commit to attending the Nashville convention and meeting in 2013. It’s ideal if you’ll still be at your Alpha Chi school next year, but it’s not a requirement for running for the position.

Students will announce their candidacy at regional dessert receptions Thursday night, and elections will be held at regional business meetings at noon Friday. The winners will join the National Council Friday night for its first session, and after the convention ends at noon Saturday, the Council will meet that afternoon and evening until adjournment.

Any questions? Post a comment and I’ll answer.

We’ve scheduled two featured speakers for the Baltimore convention that we think you’ll really enjoy.

At our opening banquet Thursday night, we’ll hear from prize-winning novelist Sharyn McCrumb, known best for her “Ballad Series” novels that spring from her love of the Appalachian culture and history of North Carolina and Tennessee. Several of her books have been on New York Times best-seller lists and have won honors and awards. McCrumb is a good choice for this convention, in that Baltimore has a rich literary heritage, especially because of native son Edgar Allan Poe, and at the convention Alpha Chi will continue its ongoing literacy service project.

At a plenary session on Friday morning our speaker will be Susan Fillion, an artist who teaches at the Baltimore Museum of Art who has recently published Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel: Bringing Matisse to America, the story of two unmarried sisters in Baltimore at the turn of the 20th century. The Cone sisters’ love of modern art led to their acquaintance with Henri Matisse and their acquisition of one of the foremost Matisse collections in the world, now housed in the Baltimore museum. As well as Matisse prints, Fillion ‘s book includes many of her own illustrations of the Cone sisters’ story, painted in the style of Matisse. Her book is designed in part as a primer on modern art for young people.

Hearing from these speakers will be educational, but they’ll also point us to some of the ways we can spend our Friday afternoon sight-seeing time in Baltimore, exploring the history, literature, and art of our host city.

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