UE Celebrates 159th Birthday on Founders Day

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The University of Evansville will celebrate its 159th birthday on the annual Founders Day, observed this year on Sunday, February 17.

Founders Day is observed each year at UE to mark the incorporation of Moores Hill College, the move to Evansville, the charter as Evansville College, and the University’s officially becoming the University of Evansville. All four of these dates fall between February 10 and 19.

The Founders Day celebration will begin with a convocation and worship service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, February 17 in Neu Chapel. The service, which is open to the public, will feature the Edgar M. McKown Lecture, given this year by the Rev. Dr. Leslie Griffiths, the Lord of Pembrey and Burry Port, England.

Griffiths is a member of the British Parliament in the House of Lords, as well as the superintendent minister of Wesley’s Chapel in London, which was built by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist religious movement. (The University of Evansville is a United Methodist-affiliated university.)

As a regular columnist and BBC broadcaster, Griffiths has spoken extensively on various educational and social subjects, including euthanasia, the church and civic society, the relationship between Christianity and other faiths, and international affairs.

Griffiths became a local preacher in the Methodist Church of Great Britain in 1963 and completed a Master of Arts in theology at Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge in 1969. He lived and worked in Haiti from 1970 to 1980, and in 1987, he earned a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He has served as president of the Methodist Conference in Britain (1994-95) and has been the superintendent minister at Wesley’s Chapel since 1996. He has written numerous books on religious and historical themes, including an autobiography, A View from the Edge.

The Founders Day celebration will conclude with the annual Alumni Awards Luncheon at noon in Eykamp Hall (Room 251 in the Ridgway University Center). Registration for the luncheon ($12 per person) is available online. The University of Evansville Alumni Association will present four awards to Tri-State residents:

  • Distinguished Alumna Award: Marjorie Soyugenc M’73, who passed away November 28, 2012, will be honored posthumously. Soyugenc had been a member of UE’s Board of Trustees since 1995, and had a long history of service to many Evansville organizations. Prior to retirement, she was the executive director and CEO of the Welborn Baptist Foundation and president and CEO of Welborn Baptist Hospital.
  • Young Alumnus Award: Since graduating in 1995, George Day has held leadership positions in the UE community including co-chair of the Harlaxton Society Board of Directors, treasurer of Sigma Phi Epsilon housing corporation, and treasurer and Adopt-a-Student Parent for the UE Theatre Society board. Day is currently senior vice president, corporate lending executive at Old National Bank.
  • Edie Bates Volunteer Service Award: Steve ’86 and Kathie Bugg serve on UE boards including the Harlaxton Society, the Neu Chapel Society, the Purple Aces Club, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Men’s Basketball Blue Ribbon Committee. Steve is the chief marketing and member service officer for Heritage Federal Credit Union, and Kathie is the office manager at Expressway Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.
  • Samuel Orr Honorary Alumni Award: Patricia A. Kishline has shown her dedication to UE as a supporter of the Theatre Society, the President’s Club, and the Sponsor-a-Student Program, and a member of the Neu Chapel Society Board of Directors. Kishline is retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb as manager of nursing education.

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