February 17: Inamul Haq
Inamul Haq is an adjunct professor of religious studies and coordinator of the Islamic Studies Program at Elmhurst College. His areas of expertise are Islamic theology and Qur’anic studies. Professor Haq is leading the College’s development of an Islamic studies emphasis, and teaches introductory courses on Islam and international courses on religion in Turkey and Jordan.
February 23: William Schweiker
Dr. William Schweiker is director of the Martin Marty Center and is the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Professor of Theological Ethics in the Divinity School, The University of Chicago. Dr. Schweiker works in the field of theological ethics. His scholarship and teaching engage theological and ethical questions attentive to global dynamics, comparative religious ethics and the history of ethics. His most recent book is Dust that Breathes: Christian Faith and the New Humanisms.
March 1: Jack Wall
Father Wall is one of the most energetic and visionary priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago. As pastor of Old Saint Patrick’s Church, he transformed a moribund West Loop parish with four active members into a vibrant center of Catholic life, where more than 3,000 communicants attend Mass each Sunday. Today, as the leader of Catholic Extension, Father Wall works to strengthen the church’s life and ministry internationally, in dioceses that need outside support to continue their work. His goal is to “build faith, inspire hope and ignite change.”
March 14: Michelle D. Hughes
The Reverend Michelle D. Hughes has served as associate chaplain at Elmhurst College for the last five years. She also serves as the interim minister for The Congregational Church of Park Manor UCC. She is the first woman to pastor this historic Chicago church. Prior to coming to Elmhurst, Rev. Hughes taught health and social policy at Chicago Semester, a faith-based, off-campus undergraduate program that challenges students to integrate their personal, professional and public lives through internships, academic seminars and urban experience. A 2004 recipient of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Women Who Make a Difference Award, Rev. Hughes was directly involved in anti-racism work for more than nine years with the Anti-Racism Institute in Chicago.
March 14: Lisa Polega, SLW
Sister Lisa Polega '91, works in the Peace & Social Justice Ministry Office for the Diocese of Joliet. The office’s primary mission is to promote the gospel message of peace and justice. Sister Lisa graduated from Elmhurst College with a B.S. in geography and environmental planning and in business administration. After graduating, she worked for approximately 10 years as an environmental consultant. Since 2002, she has been involved in the social mission of the Church as a vowed member of the Sisters of the Living Word, an order of Catholic sisters. She has ministered with the poor in Chicago as well as in rural Mississippi. Sister Lisa received the 2007 Small Business Administration’s Minority Business Champion award for Mississippi, for her work with the economically marginalized in rural parts of the state. She also holds a master’s degree in theology from Loyola University of Chicago.
March 14: Syeda Reema Kamran
Syeda Reema Kamran '01 graduated from Elmhurst College with a degree in economics and business. As a student, Kamran was a founding member of the Spiritual Life Council and the Muslim Student Association. Pursuing her passion for community service and interfaith dialogue, Ms. Kamran co-founded R & R Event Management in 2008. With a clientele that includes the Central Asia Institute, Zaytuna College and Hamdard Center, the organization focuses on empowering not-for-profit organizations to achieve their vision.
March 14: Kelly Stone
The Reverend Kelly Stone ’03 is chaplain at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. After graduating from Elmhurst, Rev. Stone attended Yale University, where she earned a master’s degree in divinity. From there, she went to Lakeland, where her duties as chaplain include teaching an Introduction to Christianity course, leading weekly worship and counseling students, faculty and staff.
March 15: Walter Brueggemann
Walter Brueggemann '55 is an author, United Church of Christ minister and professor emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Professor Brueggemann is widely acknowledged as the foremost Christian scholar of the Hebrew Bible. No scripture scholar in America sells more books or informs more sermons. Jane Fisler-Hoffman, of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, is a former student of Brueggemann’s. “When we pastors are at our best,” she says, “we do what he does—wrestle with the Word, look at the world around us, and put the two together in a way that touches lives.”
March 15: S. Alan Ray
S. Alan Ray is president of Elmhurst College. A Harvard-trained student of theology and a scholar of federal Indian law, President Ray has written and taught on religion, philosophy, and Native American issues and the courts. He is a former Roman Catholic seminarian and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Before coming to Elmhurst, President Ray worked for 12 years in academic administration, first at Harvard Law School and then at the University of New Hampshire. At Elmhurst, President Ray has a joint faculty appointment in the political science and religious studies departments, with the title professor of religion and society.
March 16: Bernice Powell Jackson
The Reverend Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson is president of the North American Region of the World Council of Churches. She served formerly as the executive minister for Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ, and has worked for more than three decades on civil rights, human rights and justice issues.
March 28: Michael Pfleger
Father Michael Pfleger is an activist priest and pastor of St. Sabina Parish in Chicago, the largest African-American Catholic church in the city's archdiocese. Father Pfleger, who has led his South Side parish since 1983, gained national attention for his brash activism and rebellion against church superiors. According to a Chicago Tribune profile, since his ordination in 1975, Father Pfleger has clashed with every Chicago archbishop from Cardinal John Cody to Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to Cardinal Francis George.
March 30: R. Scott Appleby
R. Scott Appleby is director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He focuses his research on the roots of religious violence and peacebuilding. At Notre Dame, he is directing a major multi-year project that examines the interaction of Catholic, Muslim and secular forces in the modern world. He co-chaired the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ task force on religion and the making of U.S. foreign policy.
April 5: Stephen Kellough
Dr. Stephen Kellough has served as chaplain of Wheaton College since 1989. Before coming to Wheaton, he served in parish ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA. Dr. Kellough's decision to become the chaplain at Wheaton was influenced by a one-year sabbatical from his church, when he served as chaplain and professor at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Kellough is a member of the Presbytery of Chicago (PCUSA), the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Board of Directors of Tyndale Theological Seminary, the Netherlands.
April 6: John Shelby Spong
Bishop John Shelby Spong is a committed Christian, biblical scholar, retired Bishop of the Episcopal Church and provocative author whose books have sold more than a million copies. He is known as a champion for inclusive faith. “I am a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply,” he says. At the same time, Bishop Spong notes, the Bible for centuries “has been quoted to justify anti-Semitism, second-class status for women, slavery, segregation and apartheid. Those who have quoted the Bible in this way have lost on each of these issues. And they have lost on homosexuality also.”
April 10: James Carroll
James Carroll is a novelist and former Catholic priest, perhaps best known as the author of Constantine’s Sword, a thoroughly researched and deeply felt history of the relations between Christians and Jews since the first century. “For two thousand years Jews have been longing for a Christian who would understand their experience,” says Susannah Heschel. “At last James Carroll has written a book delineating the history of Jewish-Christian relations that demonstrates empathy and compassion for both sides.”
April 12: Howard Reich
Howard Reich is a writer and arts critic for the Chicago Tribune. In 2010, Mr. Reich spoke at Elmhurst College about his mother’s struggle to deal with long-buried memories of the Holocaust, an experience that led to his book, The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich: A Son’s Memoir, and then to the 2010 documentary film, Prisoner of Her Past.
April 18: Rebecca Y’israel
Rebecca Y’israel ’10, works as a youth leadership assistant for CEP Youth Leadership Inc. in LaGrange. CEP Youth Leadership is a not-for-profit organization that helps young people become effective leaders through community service. She also runs a tutoring program that encourages children to use their imagination and creativity. Y’israel graduated from Elmhurst with a double major in communication studies and intercultural relations.
April 25: Eboo Patel
Dr. Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based institution that fosters dedication to pluralism among young people from different religious traditions by empowering them to work together to serve others. Dr. Patel is the author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, National Public Radio, USA Today and CNN. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report named him one of “America’s Best Leaders.” Dr. Patel served on President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council.
April 26: Dirk Ficca
As executive director of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, Dirk Ficca leads the Council's efforts to build a vibrant interreligious movement in Chicago and around the world. He also is an ordained Presbyterian minister.
April 27: Edith A. Guffey
Edith A. Guffey is associate general minister of the United Church of Christ and administrator of the UCC’s biennial General Synod. Before joining the national setting of the church in 1991, she was an administrator at the University of Kansas. She is a graduate of Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas, and holds a master's degree from the University of Kansas. Ms. Guffey is a member of Federated UCC in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.