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Lives of Purpose

Convocation

Each Friday the College’s academic community gathers for convocation, which seeks to enhance the classroom experience through co-curricular academic programming rooted in the liberal arts. Through a variety of speakers and topics, convocation is designed to foster the development and application of a Christian worldview. To that end, its programs provide common experiences to the academic community that will at times reinforce and at times challenge perspectives expressed in the curriculum, encouraging us to listen graciously and learn deeply from those with whom we agree and disagree.

2016–17 Convocation: “Lives of”

We are pleased to welcome to Convocation several imaginative, ambitious, creative, faithful people who embody the heart of the liberal arts education—one that prepares students to lead their lives with purpose. A nod to our tagline, “Lives Worth Leading,” this year’s Convocation theme, “Lives of,” underscores the vast range of qualities that mark the Christian life.


02.24.2017 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Ostinato Rigore: Cities and the Constant Rigor of Christian Imagination
Noah Toly

Convocation presentation by Dr. Noah Toly - Lives of Advocacy

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Our Feb. 24th convocation is sponsored by the Center for Faith and Inquiry, and our presenter is Dr. Noah Toly, Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Politics & International Relations at Wheaton College. Dr. Toly is the author of numerous publications on environmental policy, urbanism, and religion, ethics, and environmental politics. His research has focused on the intersection of urban and global environmental politics, investigating municipal climate policy and the roles of cities and transnational municipal networks in global climate governance. He edits the Routledge series, Cities and Global Governance, and has given invited talks at several institutions, including Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois – Springfield, and University of Virginia. For the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Toly was appointed as Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion where he completed research for a book on ethics and global environmental governance. The book draws upon ethical, social theoretical, and literary reflections on ‘the tragic’ to illuminate approaches to scarcity and risk that often characterize environmental challenges. In 2011, Dr. Toly was named an Emerging Leader by the Chicago Council for Global Affairs. Together with others in this fellowship program, he drafted an agenda-setting report on urban governance of food security challenges.  For 2013, Dr. Toly has been named to the Investment Council, a panel of evaluators working with a venture philanthropy firm in Chicago to assess and improve non-profit effectiveness. Dr. Toly has also been named to the Steering Committee of the Thriving Cities Project, a multi-year, multi-site study based at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Dr. Toly directs the Urban Studies and Wheaton in Chicago programs. For more on Dr. Toly, see his personal website at http://www.noahtoly.com/


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03.03.2017 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - A Conversation with The President: Lives of Vision
Jessica Nam Kim

Please join us for a Conversation with the President with special guest Jessica Nam Kim, followed by an audience participation Q&A

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Jessica Nam Kim is a trailblazing entrepreneur, committed Christ-follower, and faithful mom and wife. We are delighted to have her visit campus at the start of Women’s History Month in a very special Conversation with the President.  She has been the founder and CEO of BabbaCo, a parenting lifestyle brand centered on integrated solutions that are described as “simple. functional. super cute.” Kim started her entrepreneurial path with Jessica’s Wonders (1998-2003), an upbeat brand of premium baked goods, a company she started out of her dorm room at age 19, raising $1M in funding, and growing it to 3 outsource manufacturers and national distribution.  She has a tremendous story and will be of encouragement to the entire Gordon community. Products and Jessica have been featured on media sources such as Rachael Ray, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business and Martha Stewart. She has been honored as Crain’s 40 under 40 (2011), Babble’s Top 50 Mompreneurs (2011). Currently, she is Entrepreneur in Residence at Charles River Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in technology and new media companies. Jessica holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


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03.31.2017 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Lives of Action - a Social Justice Initiative presentation
Lisa Harper

Convocation presentation by Lisa Sharon Haper - Lives of Action

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Our March 31st convocation is sponsored by the Social Justice Initiative student organization and our speaker is Lisa Sharon Harper. Currently Sojourners Chief Church Engagement Officer, Ms. Harper previously served as the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice and earned her masters degree in Human Rights from Columbia University in New York City.



Her writing has been featured on CNN Belief Blog, The National Civic Review, God’s Politics blog, The Huffington Post, The Christian Post, Relevant Magazine, Patheos.com, Q Ideas Blog, and Prism where she has written extensively on tax reform, comprehensive immigration reform, health care reform, poverty, racial and gender justice, and transformational civic engagement.



Her new book, "Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith" (Zondervan, September 2014), was co-authored with a team of 3 other authors. Previous books include "Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics," coauthored with D.C. Innes (Elevate, October 2011); and her first book, Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat (The New Press, October 2008), which offers a power-packed look at the roots of evangelical faith, how Evangelicals strayed so far from those roots, and what is bringing them back.



Ms. Harper co-founded and co-directed the Envision 2008: The Gospel, Politics, and the Future conference on the campus of Princeton University (June 2008) and co-chaired the Envision 2011 symposium in New York City (June 2011). Harper was named “#5 of the Top 13 Women to Watch in 2012” by the Center for American Progress, was awarded the 2013 Faith and Justice Leadership Award by the National Black Women’s Roundtable, was recently awarded the National Council of La Raza Capital Award for Public Service for her participation as a core faster in the 2013 #Fast4Families initiative for immigration reform and was recently recognized as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day” by the Huffington Post.



Ms. Harper is currently in the ordination process with the Evangelical Covenant Church.


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04.07.2017 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Lives of Thoughtfulness
Bill Brown

Convocation presentation by Dr. William E. Brown - Lives of Thoughtfulness

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Our April 7th convocation is sponsored by the Center for Faith and Inquiry and features speaker Dr. William E. (Bill) Brown. For over twenty years Dr. Brown led two Christian universities as President - Bryan College (1993-2003) and Cedarville University (2003-2013). Currently, he divides his time among several initiatives. He is the Senior Fellow of Worldview and Culture at the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He also directs the Colson Fellows Program, an international Fellowship program. He serves as the Senior Executive of WorldAPP, an international technology firm with offices in Kiev, London and Boston. As a partner in the firm, Partnership Advisors, he mentors leadership and helps universities, schools and businesses with difficult management and personnel issues. A nationally recognized speaker and expert in culture and worldview, Dr. Brown has written several books and more than a hundred articles for journals, magazines, encyclopedias, and newspapers. He is the author of Making Sense of Your Faith, Where Have All the Dreamers Gone? Observations from a Biblical Worldview, and Making Sense of Your World (with Gary Phillips and John Stonestreet), a book used by many colleges and universities as an introductory text to worldview/philosophical thinking. He authored over fifty articles in The Student Leadership Bible. Dr. Brown is the Executive Producer and speaker for the multiple award-winning DVD series, re:View worldview study. re:View equips Christians to discern and engage contemporary culture from a Christ-centered perspective. Dr. Brown and his wife, Lynne, have been married since 1976. They have two children – April and Alex, and four grandchildren.


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04.21.2017 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation: Lives of Mission - a Founders Day Presentation
Guinness

Convocation presentation by Dr. Os Guinness - Lives of Mission

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Our Founders' Day convocation speaker is Dr. Os Guinness, author and social critic. Great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War Two where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford.



Os has written or edited more than thirty books, including The Call, Time for Truth, Long Journey Home, Unspeakable, A Free People’s Suicide, The Global Public Square, and Renaissance. His latest book is Fool’s Talk – The Recovery of Christian Persuasion, which was published by InterVarsity Press in June 2015.



Before moving to the United States in 1984, Os was a freelance reporter with the BBC. Since then he has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies, a Guest Scholar and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum and the EastWest Institute in New York. From 1986 to 1989, Os served as Executive Director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment. In this position, he helped to draft “The Williamsburg Charter” and later “The Global Charter of Conscience,” which was published at the European Union Parliament in 2012.



Os has spoken at dozens of the world’s major universities and spoken widely at political and business conferences on many issues, including religious freedom, across the world. He is currently a senior fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics in Oxford, though he still lives with his wife Jenny in the Washington, DC, area.


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