Gordon in the News: last updated 06/13/2011

Honoring Women's History Month: Special Events and Speakers Highlight Contributions

March 2, 2011

WENHAM, MA—In 1889, opening a missionary training school and admitting female students was almost unheard of. But A. J. Gordon had long supported social justice issues, particularly his wife Maria’s work for women’s fair treatment and equality. Now in 2011, the 175th anniversary of A. J. Gordon’s birth, the College continues to recognize women’s many contributions and will celebrate throughout the month of March, which is nationally recognized as Women’s History month.

The month’s events include free lectures, topic-specific speakers, and a unique theatre event. Kicking off the celebration will be members from History Alive!—Gordon’s professional acting company—who will join the Lynn Initiative and North Shore Community College March 7 at 11:30–1:30 p.m. on the Lynn campus of North Shore Community College in downtown Lynn. They will stage a commemoration of the 1860 Lynn shoemaker’s strike through reenactments that celebrate women in the workforce.

“History Alive! is honored to be a part of this exciting reenactment,” says Kristina Wacome-Stevick, artistic director of History Alive! “This is a great way to celebrate an event that brought national attention to women’s labor issues.”

Back on Gordon’s campus, speaker Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, professor of psychology and philosophy at Eastern University, and former senior editor of Christianity Today, will present two talks. Her first lecture—the Annual Franz Lecture—entitled “Opposite Sexes or Neighboring Sexes? C. S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers and Psychology of Gender,” will be held, Tuesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Ken Olsen Science Center Chairman’s Room. The following day, March 9, Van Leeuwen will speak in the A. J. Gordon Chapel at 10:25 a.m. on her personal journey through the work of C. S. Lewis in a lecture called “Surprised by Jack: An Ambivalent Journey with C. S. Lewis.” Van Leeuwen’s lectures are sponsored by the Social Science Division as part of the annual Franz Lecture, and are free and open to the public.

“Debates over gender within the church are often polarizing,” says Paul Brink, associate professor of political studies. “Mary has provided a steady and important voice on the topic over the years, and the perspective she brings to campus is valuable to the Gordon community.”

Later in the month, Jennifer Marshall, author and speaker on spiritual disciplines, will speak on March 28 in the Ken Olsen Science Center Chairman’s Room 7:30–9 p.m. Marshall will also lead a discussion entitled “For Women Only: Beyond Expectations,” which looks at the topic of singleness from her book Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of Single Life in the Twenty-First Century.

“Women get all kinds of mixed messages about who they ought to be and what they ought to pursue,” says Laurie Truschel, director of student ministries. “Our hope is that these events would help women find freedom and joy in using their gifts in their current situation to further the Kingdom on earth.”

For more information on women in Gordon’s history, visit the Gordon College Archives.

Written by Jo Kadlecek and Natalie Ferjulian. Reporting by Lindsay deVilliers.


Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 38 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu