Gordon in the News: last updated 10/24/2008

Boston’s Chief of Human Services Inaugurates 2008-2009 Convocation Series

August 26, 2008

Cyndi McMahon
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA--Applying personal faith in the public square has long been a reality for J. Larry Mayes, Chief of Human Services for the City of Boston. In addition to his life-long commitment to community development, Mayes currently oversees Boston's Human Services Cabinet, an arm of the city government "committed to promoting the health and well-being of the City's residents." His leadership includes departments and programs which focus on Civil Rights, homelessness, youth, family and elderly initiatives and women's issues.

It is from these experiences that Mayes will inaugurate Gordon College's 2008-2009 Convocation Series with his talk, "Public Life and Personal Faith," Friday, August 29 from 10:25 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. in the Gordon Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Mayes is also the founding instructor for the Gordon-in-Boston's Urban Studies course and brings to the classroom a professional experience and personal wisdom that helps students understand the intersection of community and government service.

"As the highest ranking African-American in Mayor Thomas M. Menino's cabinet, Professor Mayes serves a pivotal role in representing the concerns the new majority of citizens in the City of Boston," said Dr. Craig McMullen, Director of the Gordon in Boston semester-long program. "As a Christian who stands at the right hand of Boston's longest serving mayor, he has become one of Mayor Menino's most trusted advisors. And as Gordon College continues to re-establish its historic roots in Boston, Professor Mayes has become one of our school's greatest champions."

Mayes's convocation talk is the first centered around this year's theme, "Resident Aliens: Public Life and Personal Faith," and will include other speakers such as Wilfred McClay, the Sun Trust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities from the University of Tennessee, Amy Sherman, Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute, and international author and theologian, Os Guinness. The next convocation, Friday, Sept. 5, will feature a panel discussion from faculty members, Janet Ardnt, Assistant Professor of Education, Judith Oleson, Associate Professor of Social Work, and Bruce Webb, Professor of Economics and Business.

To request an interview or additional information, please contact the Office of College Communications at 978.867.4235.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.