The Big Read Festival Kicks Off at the Library

Written by Harold Henkel, Assistant Librarian

Dear Friends & Readers,

The Big Read is here! Our festival offers a program of entertaining and stimulating events that will introduce participants to the richness of Russian culture, and in particular, to the genius of Leo Tolstoy by focusing on his late novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Please stop by the Library for your free copy or contact Harold Henkel at The Regent University Library invites all interested readers throughout Hampton Roads to take part in our Big Read festival and discover the pleasure of reading great literature with your friends.


  • Essay & Video Contests

    The Library is sponsoring video and essay contests, with separate categories for contestants under and over 18. Top prize for each category is $150. The deadline for all entries is midnight, January 31, 2009. For details, click here for essay and here for video contest rules.


  • War, Love, Repentance: A Festival of Russian Cinema
    Dates: January 16, 23, 30
    Time: 7:00 p.m.
    Location: Library Auditorium
    Regent film faculty Prof. Andrew Quicke and Dr. Dennis Bounds will host a festival of Russian cinema on three Friday evenings. All showings are free and open to the public.
  1. January 16: Dr. Dennis Bounds will host Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)-Sergei Bodrov’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s short story, “A Prisoner of the Caucasus.”
  2. January 23: Prof. Andrew Quicke will host Anna Karenina (1967)-Alexander Zarkhi’s classic film of Tolstoy’s masterpiece.
  3. January 30: Prof. Andrew Quicke will host Ostrov (2006)-Pavel Lungin’s powerful film of guilt, repentance, and holiness set in a Russian monastery in the far north.
  • Faculty Lunch Symposium: Ivan Ilyich’s Problems
    Date: January 27
    Time: 12:00 p.m.
    Location: Library Atrium
    A panel of Regent University faculty will discuss The Death of Ivan Ilyich from the perspective of their disciplines: Dr. Rosemarie Hughes, School of Psychology and Counseling; Dr. Michael Palmer, School of Divinity; Prof. David Wagner, School of Law. Also joining the panel will be Dr. Maria Grise, Department of Russian, Old Dominion University and Fr. James Pavlow, pastor of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Virginia Beach. Lunch will be served. The event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. Harold Henkel ( by January 23.


  • Book Discussion in Russian
    Date: February 5
    Time: 6:30 p.m.
    Location: Library 1st Floor Reading Area
    The Library will host a discussion in Russian of The Death of Ivan Ilyich for native Russian speakers, speakers of Russian as a second language, and students of Russian. For more information, contact Harold Henkel at or 757-352-4198.


  • A Taste of Russia
    Date: February 10
    Time: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Location: Regent Ordinary
    Chef Dan Murphy will present two classics of the Russian kitchen, Ukrainian Borsch and Salmon Kulebyaka. The event is open to the public.   


  • Give War and Peace a Chance: How Tolstoy Can Change Your Life
    Date: February 10
    Time: 6:00 p.m.
    Location: Robertson Hall, Moot Courtroom

    Dr. Andrew Kaufman, scholar, author, actor, lecturer at the University of Virginia, and Russian literature expert for Oprah’s Book Club will discuss how Tolstoy’s works confront the essential questions of life: What does it mean to lead a good life? What is necessary for true happiness? Is suffering beneficial? How does one truly live by the teachings in the Gospels? Dr. Kaufman (aka Professor Andy) will explain how Tolstoy’s books can inspire, challenge and change you and why the works of a 19th century Russian aristocrat are the best self-help books on the market. A reception will follow in the Robertson Hall Lobby.


  • Big Read Kick-Off
    On January 9, our festival of Tolstoy and Russian culture kicked off in the Library with remarks from Dean Sara Baron, Dr. Carlos Campo, librarian Harold Henkel, and a dramatic reading by the Library’s systems manager and resident thespian, Mark Zillges. Click here to view the photo gallery from the kickoff.
  • Library Book Club Discussion
    On January 13, the Library Book Club hosted its best-attended meeting to date with Russian refreshments and lively discussion. Click here to view the photo gallery from the book discussion.
    Tolstoy at the Plough by Ilya Repin, 1887
    Tolstoy at the Plough by Ilya Repin, 1887

Don’t seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you. Only you should surrender to Him and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness. 

Leo Tolstoy

3 thoughts on “The Big Read Festival Kicks Off at the Library

  1. harohen

    Here are the essay contest winners:

    18 & Under

    First Place: Alex Gladu, 10th grader at Tallwood High School

    Second Place: Andrew Core, 11th grader at Oscar Smith High School

    Third Place: Alex Anduze, 10th grader at Tallwood High School

    19 & Over

    First Place: Sarah Dolan, Public Relations Coordinator for University Marketing, Regent journalism alumna (’08)

    Second Place: Deborah Mangum, M.A. Community Counseling Student, School of Psychology and Counseling

    Third Place: Johnny Weixler, Psychology & Organizational Leadership, School of Undergraduate Studies

    Video Contest Winners

    First Place: Jonathan Ayee and Joshua Delivuk, Cinema-Television undergraduate students in the School of Communications & the Arts (

  2. Membaca

    Nice info and can give an inspiration. its interesting for my kids education blog in indonesian language. thanks ps: can you give me a link from this blog?

Comments are closed.