Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-09-22

A series of lectures on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan will be presented at Samford University Sept. 27 and 29. The programs, both on the "Save Darfur" theme, will be at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel.

Mark Bixler, author of The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience, and Jacob Magot, whose story is told in the book, will speak Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel.

Bixler writes on the national news desk at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he has written extensively about immigrants and refugees as well as about Sudan. He founded a refugee ministry at his church, Grace United Methodist Church, and donates a portion of the proceeds from his book to the Lost Boys.

Magot was forced from his home in southern Sudan at age six. After walking hundreds of miles with other children, he lived in refugee campus in Ethiopia and Kenya before the U.S. government resettled him as a refugee in Atlanta in 2001. He attends college and works to support three siblings in Africa. He has not seen his parents since an attack separated them in the 1980s.

Mohamed Yahya, a native of Sudan and chair of the Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy, will speak Thursday, Sept. 29. The coalition advocates for the human rights of the people of the Darfur region of Sudan, and for the preservation of their ethnic communities. It seeks to coordinate a movement to end the genocide in Darfur, and to establish foundations of democracy.

The public is invited to both programs, which are presented as part of the Samford fall convocation line-up.

During their Birmingham visit, all three guests will also address Samford classes. Bixler and Magot will also lead a panel discussion of the "Lost Boys of Sudan" documentary Monday at 6:30 p.m. in Brooks Auditorium.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.