Birmingham, Ala. -- The Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership at Samford University will present humanitarian Charles Colson the first Mann Medal in Ethics and Leadership. Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, will be recognized for his work in penal system reform and for serving prisoners and their families.
The award will be presented during a luncheon at Birmingham’s Harbert Center Monday, July 18.
Colson founded the Prison Fellowship Ministries after serving seven months in 1974 in Alabama’s Maxwell Prison. A presidential assistant in the Richard Nixon administration, he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for his involvement in the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s.
Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries as a national, nonprofit organization to give prisoners the opportunity to know the transforming power of Jesus Christ that he experienced after becoming a Christian. The Prison Fellowship’s main method for achieving its mission, according to its website, is in equipping and empowering local churches and volunteers to reach out to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families with the love and hope of Christ. In addition, the organization through the Angel Tree program partners with thousands of churches to serve incarcerated parents and their families in the community, restoring the bonds that were broken and protecting prisoners’ children from falling prey to the generational cycle of crime.“The Mann Medal in Ethics and Leadership is Samford University’s recognition of leaders who have made significant contributions to a more just and ethical society,” said John Knapp, director of the Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership. “Mr. Colson is a longtime advocate of penal system reform and his organization, Prison Fellowship, has served countless convicts, victims of crime and justices officers worldwide.”
About the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership: Founded in 2008, the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, based in the Brock School of Business, supports teaching, research and service across the Samford University campus. Our mission is to:· Promote the moral development of Samford students and equip them for ethical leadership in vocational, community and family life. · Serve as a center of teaching excellence, empowering faculty with the methods and resources to integrate ethics effectively into the curriculum. · Foster a university culture that values productive, moral discourse around challenges facing individuals, the professions and society. · Amplify other Samford initiatives in ethics and leadership, encouraging interdisciplinary scholarship across the university. · Engage the professional and business communities for mutual learning and the advancement of ethical values and practices. As a university-wide center, the center sponsors curricular and co-curricular initiatives with Samford’s professional schools and other academic programs. Ongoing projects include an online resource center, the Gerow Hodges Lecture Series, the Courageous Conversations dialogues and the Mann Medal in Ethics and Leadership.