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Dr. Laurence Mazzeno discusses John Updike at Festival

Date: 10/27/2010

“Listen attentively or sleep quietly so you don’t disturb your neighbor” were some of the first words former Alvernia University president Dr. Laurence Mazzeno said as he graced the audience with his humorous presence on Tuesday to give a speech entitled, “John Updike and the Art of the Essay” as part of the 2010 Literary Festival at Alvernia.

Through his positive and upbeat demeanor he spoke about Updike’s life, work, and why John Updike was such an inspirational writer. Dr. Mazzeno also read a few of the many Updike Essays and referred to a PowerPoint filled with pictures and quotes.  

At the end Dr. Mazzeno had an informative question and answer section to which he took questions from the audience. Through his comical behavior and highly enlightening readings of John Updike, Dr. Mazzeno gave the audience a ride through the mind of John Updike. 

Laurence W. Mazzeno, Ph.D
. is president emeritus of Alvernia University. He is the author of nine books including The Dickens Industry, Tennyson: The Critical Legacy, and the forthcoming Jane Austen: Two Centuries of Criticism. He serves as academic editor for the well-known Masterplots volumes from Salem Press, and is editor of the forthcoming Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the Critical Insights series. He is a former editor and current member of the editorial board for Nineteenth-Century Prose. A frequent contributor to reference books and encyclopedias, he has also written extensively for popular periodicals and online journals. Currently Dr. Mazzeno is working as editor for TheLocalAccent.com, an online lifestyle magazine focused on Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.