Feb. 5, 2008
Roger Henry Martin, former president of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., and Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., is the featured speaker for the annual Morningside College Wright Lecture series at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the UPS Auditorium of the Lincoln Center, 3627 Peters Avenue.
Martin’s address, “Whose Idea Was Morningside College Anyway? – The Methodist Genius Behind an Iowa College,” will touch on John Wesley’s influence on American higher education. His appearance is sponsored by the Morningside College Wright Lecture series and the college’s Academic and Cultural Arts Series (ACAS). The event is free and open to the public.
While at Moravian, Martin presided over America’s sixth oldest college, and at Randolph-Macon he was president of the oldest Methodist-related college in continuous operation in the United States.
He was president at Randolph-Macon from 1997 to 2006, during which time he took a sabbatical from his presidency in 2004 to enroll as a freshman at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md. He took classes and socialized with students in order to familiarize himself with student perspectives, and was even a member of the college’s crew team at the age of 61. His experiences and findings will be publicized in the book “Racing Odysseus: A College President Relearns the Joys of a Liberal Arts Education” scheduled to be published by the University of California Press in September of this year.
Martin holds a bachelor’s degree from Drew University in Madison, N.J., a divinity degree from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and a doctorate from Oxford University in England.
He has been associate dean of the Divinity School and lecturer on church history at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.; executive assistant to the president and assistant professor of history at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt.; development officer for the Washington Square College of Arts and Sciences and secretary of the Albert Gallatin Associates at New York University; assistant director of external affairs and assistant professor of history at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.; and project director for the education incentive program and human resources administration for the city of New York.
The Wright Lecture series, which started in 1981, brings outstanding preachers, religious leaders, and prominent religious studies scholars to Morningside College. The lectures are funded by an endowment established by Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Wright.