Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 1, 2009

Nelson Mandela's Former Chaplain to Present April 16 Simpson-Duvall Lecture at Whitworth

Whitworth is honored to present the 2009 Simpson-Duvall Lectureship featuring Rev. Peter Storey, a champion of nonviolence who served as chaplain to Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, when he was in prison. Storey will present "The Role of the Church in Peacemaking and Reconciliation in South Africa" on Thursday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-3270.

Storey is the former president of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and the Methodist Bishop of the Johannesburg/Soweto area. In the 1960s, he served as chaplain to Mandela and other political prisoners held on Robben Island. Storey also was the pastor of Cape Town's District Six Methodist Church, which was located in a multi-racial area and was demolished by a pro-apartheid government bent on enforcing strict segregation.

During the 1980s, Storey helped lead the call for international pressure to end the apartheid regime. After Mandela was elected president, in 1994, he appointed Storey to help select South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was key in helping the country deal constructively with the tragedies of its past.

Storey has presented lectures across the world, has taught at Duke University's Divinity School, and has written books on discipleship, reconciliation and suffering.

"Along with his friends Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, Peter Storey is proof that religious principles such as forgiveness, repentance, nonviolence and honesty can also be powerful political tools," says John Yoder, Whitworth professor of political science. "It is because of people such as Storey that South Africa did not descend into a cycle of violence and retaliation that so many predicted would be the inevitable conclusion to apartheid."

The Simpson-Duvall Lectureship honors two of Whitworth's most distinguished professors: Clarence Simpson, professor of English from 1953-1980, and R. Fenton Duvall, professor of history from 1949-1981. The annual lectureship is held in appreciation for these two men's years of commitment and contributions to Whitworth; it continues, in their spirit, to enrich the university community. The lecture is held once each calendar year, and topics alternate between Simpson's and Duvall's disciplines, English and history.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college, which has an enrollment of 2,500 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Barbara Brodrick, academic program assistant, political science department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3270 or bbrodrick@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.

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