Making news: Convocation panelists in the headlines

Lara Logan of CBS News will moderate a special multifaith panel discussion at Spring Convocation. Here are recent headlines involving those distinguished voices.

Award-winning “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan will moderate a special panel discussion focused on issues of faith during Elon University’s Spring Convocation on April 30. The convocation is the headline event in a day of activities that will mark the dedication of the new Numen Lumen Pavilion, a multi-faith center for prayer, reflection and interfaith dialogue in Elon’s Academic Village.

The convocation, titled “Sacred Space: The Promise for Peace and Understanding in Our World – A Multi-Faith Conversation,” also includes six distinguished panelists who have earned international reputations as scholars, leaders and educators in their respective faith communities.

Logan and each of the panelists are accustomed to making headlines for being at the forefront of their fields. Here are some capsules of Elon’s Convocation guests in the news.

Lara Logan: Already internationally recognized for her award-winning reporting from the front lines of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Logan herself became a focus of worldwide reporting when she was attacked by a mob of more than 200 men in Egypt’s Tahrir Square back in May 2011. The CBS News correspondent was covering former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster when the crowd turned on her. At a recent TV Critics Association meeting in California, Logan spoke about refusing to let the attack define her career or deter her from returning to the front lines. Read more here.

Arjia Rinpoche: The former abbot of Kumbum Monastery went in to exile in 1998, fleeing the strained political climate and culture in Tibet. Rinpoche, who now lives in the United States, refuses to compromise his spiritual beliefs and practices and continues to be outspoken about Chinese government policies in Tibet. Most recently, Rinpoche made news when he joined other Tibetan thought leaders in calling for an end to self-immolation, or setting oneself on fire as a form of protest. At least 26 self-immolation protests of Chinese policy had occurred between February 2009 and the time Rinponche’s appeal was circulated last year. Read more here.

The Right Rev. Michael Bruce Curry: Few topics have grabbed more headlines in recent years than immigration reform. Religious leaders have grappled with the issue, and in a letter published in March in the News & Observer of Raleigh, Bishop Curry called on Congress to craft sweeping immigration reform “that will lead to a path to citizenship for all who seek it and allow families to unite in optimism and celebration of American possibility.” Read more here.

Sharon M.K. Kugler: Kugler is the first Catholic and the first woman appointed to the chaplaincy at Yale University. She has earned national recognition for cultivating a ministry that defines itself by serving diverse cultural and religious traditions. Kugler recently gave a short interview about the faith she finds in young people and the types of campus and service projects she believes work best. Read more here.

Greg Epstein: Many people struggled to make sense of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, including Epstein. The Humanist chaplain at Harvard University wrote an extensive blog for last week that detailed his grief – but also lamented what he considered as the exclusion of the nonreligious from the interfaith service that came in the days following the attacks. Read more here.

Eboo Patel: Patel, an American Muslim of Indian heritage, is the founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core. He’s also, according to a profile published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on April 29, “leading the charge to bring interfaith education from ‘niche to norm’ throughout American higher education, just as diversity training and multiculturalism are now mainstays of the college experience.” Read more here.

Rabbi David Wolpe: What does Judaism teach about peace, pacifism and striking first? Wolpe, who was named one of the 50 most influential rabbis in America by Newsweek, weighed in on peace in a recent Huffington Post blog. Read more here.

Spring Convocation will be held April 30 at 3:30 p.m. in Alumni Gym in the Koury Athletic Center. Tickets are $12 each or free with an Elon ID. Box Office hours in the Center for the Arts are 12:30 – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; call 336.278.5610 for more information on tickets.

Tickets are also available for students, faculty and staff to pick up at the following locations:

Numen Lumen Pavilion (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Dean’s Office in the Koury Business Center (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Vice President for Student Life Office in Alamance 109 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Moseley Front Desk (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to midnight)

Elon Law Reception Desk (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

The convocation will follow shortly after the formal dedication of the Numen Lumen Pavilion, which houses the Vera Richardson Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society.

Related Articles