September 27, 2022
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Bryan Stevenson Speaks for Inaugural Huntingdon Moore Lectureship
Montgomery, Ala.—Huntingdon College held the inaugural event of the Marsha and Tom Moore Endowed Distinguished Lectureship on Equity, Justice, and Peace, Monday, September 26. Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of the book, “Just Mercy,” was the lecture series’ first speaker. Mr. Stevenson led the creation of the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery. He is a professor of law at New York University School of Law.
“I think the level of prestige this series will hold is evident by the naming of the first speaker,” said Huntingdon President J. Cameron West. “Bryan Stevenson is one of the most sought-after speakers in the world today, and I believe it is fair to say no one has had a more transformational influence in the city of Montgomery or in the higher conversation regarding equity, peace, and justice initiatives during the past 20 years than Bryan Stevenson.”
Mr. Stevenson spoke to a standing-room only crowd of Huntingdon students, faculty, staff, and trustees in the College’s Ligon Chapel. In his book, “Just Mercy,” Mr. Stevenson writes, “… there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy.” During the lecture he urged listeners to become proximate with populations who are marginalized and who are frequently the victims of injustice and inequity; to change the narrative of how race and socioeconomic disadvantage are discussed; to venture into the uncomfortable because doing so develops empathy and understanding; to hold fast to hope that a better world will emerge; and to love those who might be looked upon as “others.”
The speaker series, to be offered every other year, was established by Dr. Tom Moore, Huntingdon Class of 1973, and his wife, Marsha Kirk Moore, Huntingdon Class of 1974. Both say they were led to establish the lectureship at Huntingdon because they met and fell in love at the College, and they are both deeply interested in peace, justice, and equity issues.
Dr. Moore is the retired chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate, where he served for nearly a decade, capping an academic career that spanned more than 40 years. Following completion of a doctorate in inorganic chemistry at the University of South Carolina, he joined the faculty at Georgia Southern College as assistant professor of chemistry, then moved to Birmingham-Southern College where he was an assistant and then associate professor and later became director of the Honors Program. He joined Winthrop University in 1986 as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics, then rose to the directorship of the Master of Liberal Arts program, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. He was named to the USC-Upstate chancellorship in 2011.
Marsha K. Moore has been heavily involved in the Spartanburg community through affiliation with non-profit organizations, including her church choir, Business and Professional Women, as chairperson of Women Giving for Spartanburg, and as chair of the development committee for Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas. She serves on the board for Mobile Meals, for which she runs a route delivering meals to those in need; and on the board of Women United, affiliated with the United Way. She formerly served on the board of visitors for Converse University.
Huntingdon College, founded in 1854, continues a legacy of faith, wisdom, and service through a liberal arts academic tradition grounded in the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United Methodist Church.