Dr. Chuck Green of the Hope College psychology faculty will present the address “You Ain’t No Mother Teresa Anyway: Everyday Justice for Everyday People” on Monday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium through the “Last Lecture Series” organized by the college’s Alcor chapter of the national Mortar Board honorary society.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The address will consider how people can work for social justice in everyday ways in the everyday places in which they live, work and worship.
Green is a professor of psychology at Hope, where he has taught since 1983. From 1998 through 2013 he was the founding director of the college’s Phelps Scholars Program, an academic program for first-year students interested in learning about issues of race and culture. They take a course together each semester, live in the same residence hall, participate in discussions, workshops and service projects, and engage in various social activities.
His active involvement in the college's academic program has included service in the past as director of the educational assessment program, as co-coordinator of the general education program, as director of the First-Year Seminar program, as director of the Carl Frost Center for Social Science Research and chairing the committee concerned with restructuring the college’s core curriculum in the mid-1990s. He also delivered the college’s Opening Convocation address in 1999.
Among other community involvement through the years, he has worked with the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA) in a variety of ways, including as a member of the planning committee for several Lakeshore Region Summits on Racism, including the first in 2001. He was also on the planning committee for the Holland Pow Wow for five years, and is actively involved in his church, New Community Fourth Reformed Church.
Green received a Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award in February 2005. He has received multiple awards from Hope during the college’s Faculty Recognition Luncheon held each January, including the “Provost’s Award for Service to the Academic Program” in 2003, the “Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award” in 2011 and the “Motoichiro Oghimi Global Courage Award” in 2011. In May 2006 he received the college’s seventh annual “Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund” award for strong, positive impact on students, and in both the fall of 2006 and the fall of 2010 he received the faculty/staff appreciation award presented by the college’s Student Activities Committee and student life office during Homecoming.
He is a 1978 graduate of Trevecca College, and completed his master's and doctorate at the University of Florida in 1980 and 1983 respectively. His wife, Fonda, is executive director of the Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) program at Hope. They have three children: Aaron, who graduated from Hope in 2008; Adam, who graduated from Hope in 2010; and Hannah, who graduated from Hope in 2012.
The title of the lecture series, which the chapter initiated during the 2008-09 school year to feature members of the college’s faculty and staff, is rhetorical. The lectures are not literally presented as the last that the speakers will deliver at Hope, but are meant to highlight the advice that they would most want to share if the event was indeed the final opportunity for them to address the college’s students. The speakers are asked to reflect on their careers and lives, and to think deeply about what matters to them and about what wisdom they would like to impart.
The concept was inspired by the “Last Lecture” delivered at Carnegie Mellon University by Dr. Randy Pausch on Sept. 18, 2007. Pausch, a member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty who had terminal pancreatic cancer--a fact known at the time that he spoke--presented “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” He died on July 25, 2008, at age 47.
Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service, and provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to college and universities, and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Since its founding in 1918, the organization has grown from the four founding chapters to 230 collegiate chapters with more than 250,000 initiated members across the nation.
The Alcor chapter has existed at Hope since the 1936-37 academic year, although it did not become part of the national Mortar Board organization until 1961. The chapter has received multiple awards at the Mortar Board National Conference during each of the past several years, including being named the top chapter during the national conference in July 2010. During the conference this past summer, the chapter received a “Golden Torch Award” and 25 “Project Excellence” awards.
The chapter also sponsored a “last chance talk” during the 1960s. The idea back then was to invite a faculty member to express his/her ideas under the hypothetical assumption that this would be the last opportunity to address the student body. The late Dr. D. Ivan Dykstra, professor of philosophy, delivered the first “last chance talk” in the spring of 1962.
The first 225 attending will receive their choice of one of three books: “Unity, Reconciliation and Justice: A Study Guide for the Belhar Confession” (Reformed Church in America, 2006), “One Body, One Spirit: Principles of Successful Multiracial Churches” (George Yancey, IVP Books, 2003) or “With Justice for All: A Strategy for Community Development” (John M. Perkins, Baker Books, revised edition, 2011). The chapter will also distribute copies of the “Last Lecture” to audience members following the address.
There will also be a freewill donation box, with all gifts supporting Mortar Board’s many service projects.
The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.