|Dr Vincent Harding
||Rev Geoffrey Black
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Dr. Vincent Gordon Harding, a colleague of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will speak at Defiance College commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 9. Two-hundred and thirty-four graduates will be awarded diplomas during the 12 noon ceremony on the Colonnade Green in front of the Pilgrim Library. During the ceremony, Dr. Harding, a renowned scholar and civil rights activist, will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his significant academic and civic contributions to the areas of social justice and civil rights.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
Highest-ranking seniors of the graduating class of 2010 are Tammy DeGryse, Edon, and Sydney Erickson, Defiance.
Dr. Harding is co-founder of the Veterans of Hope Project and is best known as a friend and speech writer for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His most notable speech for Dr. King was an anti-Vietnam War speech entitled “A Time to Break Silence” given on April 14, 1967.
He also served as the first director of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Atlanta and as senior academic consultant for the PBS television series “Eyes on the Prize.” In addition, he has written several books about Dr. King. and the US Civil Rights movement.
Dr. Harding received his bachelor’s degree from City College of New York, master’s degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Spelman College, Temple University, Swarthmore College, the Pendle Hill Study Center, and is currently a professor emeritus at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver.
Dr. Harding resides in Colorado and has two grown children.
Preceding commencement at Defiance College will be a 10:30 a.m. baccalaureate service in the Weaner Community Center during which Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, will deliver the sermon.
Before being elected to serve as president, Rev. Black led the UCC's New York Conference for nearly a decade and served as a program staff member in the UCC's Office for Church Life and Leadership. During his career he has served as assistant chaplain at Brown University, associate minister at St. Albans Congregational UCC, lecturer in the Field Education Department of Union Theological Seminary in New York and Protestant chaplain at Adelphi University.
Black is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and Yale Divinity School.
Rev. Black is married to Patricia Williams-Black. They reside in Ohio and have one grown daughter.
Both events are open to the public.
April 7, 2010