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Rev. Sam Wells to deliver 2010 Baccalaureate sermon

The Rev. Sam Wells, dean of Duke University Chapel, will deliver Elon University’s 2010 Baccalaureate sermon on Friday, May 21, at 3 p.m. in the Koury Athletic Center.

His role at Duke is threefold:

• To preach, teach, speak and write in such a way that brings faith to intellect and intellect to faith;
• To lead the staff of Duke Chapel, oversee the Religious Life staff, and be present to all levels of the university;
• And to offer personal and institutional leadership and example as the university and church address issues of wider social and cultural concern.

Before coming to Duke, Wells spent time as a community worker in inner-city Liverpool. He served four parishes as a Church of England priest from 1991-2005.

From 1998-2003 he was closely involved in establishing a community-led development trust, the first such organization in the east of England. During this time he also launched a nonprofit organization offering disadvantaged children opportunities to discover wonder and joy through creative play.

In addition to his role at Duke Chapel, Wells is also a research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School. His academic experience includes a master’s degree in modern history from Merton College, Oxford, a bachelor’s degree in systematic theology from Edinburgh University and a doctorate in Christian ethics from Durham University.

He has published six single-author works and issued three jointly-edited volumes.

Wells also published many articles in academic and more popular journals. Since 2004 he has been an honorary canon theologian in the Diocese of Chichester, United Kingdom, a role that involves occasional lectures and involvement in lay and clergy training and formation.

Wells is married to Jo Bailey Wells, who is a former dean of Clare College, Cambridge, and is now director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School. The couple have two children. Wells, in his free time, follows most sports, especially cricket, rugby union and soccer.

Elon’s 120th commencement exercises are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, Under the Oaks in front of West Residence Hall on the Elon campus. Commencement exercises for the Class of 2010 at Elon University School of Law are scheduled for Sunday, May 23 at 3 p.m. at The Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro.

Eric Townsend,
5/21/2010 2:18 PM