||Berea College president speaks at Centre's Founders Day
RELEASED: January 14, 2010
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY—Larry D. Shinn, president of Berea College, delivered the keynote address at Centre College's Founders Day ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. The College awarded Shinn an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the ceremony.
Shinn was appointed president of Berea in 1994 after serving as a faculty member at Oberlin College and professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell University.
In addition to serving as Berea's president, Shinn is also a renowned religion scholar. An ordained minister of the United Methodist Church, he has published research focusing on the religions of India, the study of religion and inter-faith dialogue.
Over the years, he has received academic awards and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, Princeton University and other institutions and foundations.
He received a B.A. in religion in 1964 from Baldwin Wallace College, where he was graduated magna cum laude. He earned an M.Div. from Drew Theological School in 1968, graduating summa cum laude, and a Ph.D. in the History of Religions from Princeton in 1972.
He was a Fellow in the Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago and was a Princeton University Fellow.
Dedicated to environmental sustainability, Shinn inspired Berea's Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) program and oversaw the ecological renovations of several campus buildings. The renovations focused not only on environmental improvements—such as saving energy—but improvements to the human aspect as well, such as improving work and living conditions via natural light.
Shinn also inspired the establishment of a residential "Ecovillage" for student families.
Recently, he was one of four Kentucky college and university presidents (others were Centre president John Roush, University of Kentucky president Lee Todd and University of Louisville president James Ramsey) to have initiated and organized Energizing Kentucky, a trio of conferences held in 2008 and 2009 whose purpose was bringing together the state's key constituencies in order to improve Kentucky's energy and economic situations.
By bringing together those who produce and consume large quantities of energy (industry and business), those who set policy (government officials) and those who educate the state's future citizens (K-16 education institutions), Energizing Kentucky allowed the state's leaders to discuss crucial issues from a variety of viewpoints.
Due in part to Shinn's active role in the Energizing Kentucky initiative, as well as the strides he has made towards sustainability at Berea, positive examples and options for improving the Commonwealth's environment have been enhanced.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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