Posted by William Nunnelley on 2011-07-12

Chuck Colson, founder of the Prison Fellowship and former aide to President Richard Nixon, will speak at Samford University Sunday, July 17, in a 7 p.m. event that is free and open to the public.

            “An Evening with Chuck Colson” will present a commentary on today’s culture from a Christian world view.  The program will be in Wright Center Concert Hall.  

            Colson founded the Prison Fellowship in 1976 after serving a prison sentence for obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal of the 1970s.  The fellowship is the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, with ministry in 117 countries.

            Colson also will receive the first Mann Medal in Ethics and Leadership from the Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership at Samford.  The award will recognize 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.  Luncheon reservations are required by calling (205) 726-4634.

            “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 justice officers worldwide.”

            Colson will also speak to Samford’s annual Pastors School Monday night, July 18.

            An attorney, Colson served as special counsel to Nixon during 1969-73.  He became a Christian in 1973, the same year he served seven months in Maxwell Federal Prison in Montgomery, Ala.  In 1991 he launched BreakPoint, a nationwide radio commentary that provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends.

            A frequent speaker and prolific author on Christian subjects, Colson has received 15 honorary doctorates and the 1993 Templeton Prize, the world’s largest prize in the field of religion worth more than a million dollars.  Colson donated the prize money to further the work of the Prison Fellowship, as he does all his speaking fees and royalties.

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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.