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Drive to Honor Poet & 1894 Graduate Max Ehrmann Moves Forward

September 28, 2009

ehrmann max 1896dp.jpgSeptember 28, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. —"Max Ehrmann hoped as a young man that he would some day make his hometown of Terre Haute proud," begins a story in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star on the 1894 DePauw University graduate who penned the famous poem, Desiderata. "On Friday night, his hope was certainly fulfilled. More than 150 people gathered in the Indiana Theater for a dinner to honor the Terre Haute-born poet. The event came one day before Ehrmann's 137th birthday and -- if all goes according to plan -- less than a year before a life-sized Ehrmann sculpture will become a fixed part of the landscape in the center of the city."

Arthur Foulkes writes that the drive to raise funds for the statue is now "within $22,000 of its $120,000 goal," thanks to the Friday fundraiser.

Ehrmann was an attorney but later concentrated on his writing. Toward the end of his life he said, "At DePauw, I contracted a disease which I have never shaken off. Thedesiderata ehrmann.jpg disease was Idealism. I took it to Harvard with me where I studied philosophy. Because of it I did the thing in life I wanted to do -- writing."

Foulkes notes, "In addition to dinner served in the historic theater's main lobby, Art Spaces and the Cultural Trail Coalition entertained the large crowd with a game of 'To Tell the Truth,' featuring four people claiming to be 'the real Max Ehrmann.' Through a series of questions, the game revealed facts about Ehrmann's life, including his college years at DePauw, graduate school at Harvard and his many years in Terre Haute."

Read the complete story at the newspaper's Web site.

Learn more about Max Ehrmann and Desiderata in this recent article.

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