Harvard's Gomes to Address Class of '05 Commencement

The Rev. Peter J. Gomes has spoken at presidential inaugurations, Harvard lectures, on news programs and in front of the Dalai Lama. On May 15, 2005, he will speak at UNC’s spring Commencement.

Gomes is an ordained Baptist minister, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard Divinity School and Pusey Minister at Harvard’s Memorial Church. He is a nationally renowned speaker who holds honorary degree at more than 20 colleges and universities.

Two of Gomes’ books, The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living, were national best-sellers. He has gained prominence for his articles and talks on topics such as evangelism, morality and religion in war, and gay marriage. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, been profiled in The New Yorker and participated in the inaugurations of presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

In 1999, Gomes was featured in the Talk magazine article, “The Best Talkers in America: Fifty Big Mouths We Hope Will Never Shut Up.”

“I have confidence that he is the kind of person who will come up with something pertaining to most everyone in the audience,” said Jennifer Bushman, president of UNC’s Graduate and Professional Student Federation and a member of the advisory committee that reviews potential graduation speakers.

Longtime UNC faculty member George Lensing will deliver the December Commencement address. Lensing has been an English professor and honors adviser at UNC for more than 30 years. He now directs the Office of Distinguished Scholarships and is a recipient of the Tanner and Sanders awards for undergraduate teaching excellence.

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