Posted by William Nunnelley on 2011-10-10

Samford University will host the 21st national conference of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts Oct. 21-23.  More than 150 representatives from universities that are part of the Lilly Fellows national program will attend.

            “Reconciliation in History, Literature, and Music” will be the theme as the conference explores how race and religion come together in the process of reconciliation.  Attendees also will consider reconciliation in their own social and geographical settings.

            Three keynote speakers will present lectures and programs within the disciplines of history, literature and music.  The keynote speakers are:

            * Historian Charles Marsh, professor of religious studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia.  He is author of the award-winning book, God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights, and other works on the Civil Rights Movement and race in the South.  He also has written on German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

            * Trudier Harris, J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of English Emerita at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  A scholar of Southern literature, she is the author or editor of 23 books, the latest being The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South.

            * Rosephanye Dunn Powell, professor of voice and director of vocal studies at Auburn University.  She is a noted interpreter and performer of the African-American spiritual, and has composed a voluminous catalogue of musical works with nationally known publishers.  She will present a lecture-recital in Birmingham's historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

            The Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, based at Valparaiso University in Indiana, seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher learning for the 21st century.

            Founded in 1991, the Program sustains three initiatives—a national network of church-related colleges and universities of which Samford is a member; the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program for young men and women of exceptional academic talent exploring vocations in church-related higher education; and a residential, two-year Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship Program at Valparaiso University.

            Joel Scott Davis, a 2005 Samford graduate and the university’s first Lilly Graduate Fellow, will assist with the 2011 conference program.  Davis recently completed doctoral studies at Claremont Graduate University in California and is a member of the music faculty at The Master's College in Santa Clarita, Calif.  

            Dr. J. Bradley Creed, Samford’s provost and executive vice president, is conference host.  Dr. Scott McGinnis, Samford associate professor of religion, is conference chair.  Philip Poole, Samford executive director of university marketing and communication, is the conference coordinator.

            For information on the conference, go to 



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.