Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President Emeritus at Lewis University, has been selected to receive the 2017 Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builder’s Prize at a special ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on Thursday, March 30, at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.
Dr. Lawrence E. Carter, Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and Founder of the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Institute for Global Ethics and Reconciliation, announced that Br. James will be honored for his educational leadership and involvement in the community during nearly forty years at Lewis, including almost three decades as President.
According to Dr. Carter, Brother James has been chosen “to recognize his efforts to guide the world through higher education to mutual respect and enlightenment based on a commitment and action for courageous dialogue and for humanity to overcome barriers to a more peaceful moral cosmopolitan future.”
The Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders prize is presented to continue the tradition created by these giants of humanity and to provide inspiration to people to take responsibility for the improvement of the human condition. As part of the honor, an oil portrait of Br. James will be added to the Hall of Honor in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College. He also will participate in a panel discussion following the ceremony.
During his tenure as President, Brother James directed efforts to transform the Lewis University campus into a dynamic community with several new academic buildings, residence halls, a Science Center and athletic facilities. He oversaw expansion of the curriculum to more than 125 undergraduate and graduate programs with an increase in enrollment to nearly 6,800 students.
Programs were added to provide cultural and humanitarian activities, involving students in learning about other cultures and assisting those in need at sites locally and in the U.S. and other countries.
Located in Romeoville, Ill., Lewis University is the seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois and features dozens of majors, including a nationally known Aviation program, highly respected Nursing/Health Professions program, competitive College of Business, science programs noted for accomplished faculty members, and features including the Philip Lynch Theatre, University Ministry program, Division II athletics, and much more.
Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Daisaku Ikeda, three men from three different cultures and continents, are noted for following “a common path of profound dedication and achievement in improving the lives of all people.” An exhibit at Morehouse College on “Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace” conveys the themes and pivotal principles in the lives of these giants of the 20th century.
Ranked America’s fifth “Most Entrepreneurial College” by Forbes Magazine in 2015, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts college for men. Founded in 1867, the College enrolls approximately 2,100 students and historically has conferred more bachelor’s degrees on black men than any other institution in the world. Morehouse College is one of the two top producers of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs. Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Ga.; and Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security.