The Frederic C. Wood Lecture is named for a member of the class of 1924 and former member of the University Board of Trustees (1956-1966). It was established in 1984 by Frederic and Emma Wood to "bring scholars dedicated to innovative religious thought" to campus. Previous Wood Lecturers include Elaine Pagels, Martin Marty, Lloyd Steffen, Karen Armstrong, Michael Eric Dyson, Mark Noll, Bishop Gene Robinson and Phillip Jenkins.
This year's speaker was Eboo Patel, Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core.
Why Interfaith Leadership Matters: Religion and the Common Good in the 21st Century.
Eboo Patel, an internationally recognized leader of a growing interfaith movement, will deliver Cornell United Religious Work’s Frederic C. Wood Lecture. Dr. Patel will address the theme “Why Interfaith Leadership Matters: Religion and the Common Good in the 21st Century.” The Wood Lecture, named for a member of the class of 1924 and former Cornell trustee, brings speakers to campus dedicated to innovative religious thought.
Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses, Eboo was named as one of America’s best leaders by U.S. News and World Report in 2009. He is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, winner of the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, and the forthcoming book Interfaith Leadership: A Primer. Also a regular contributor to The Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR, and CNN, Patel has served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations; and is a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum. Recently he was awarded the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an award given to an individual to enhance awareness of the crucial role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace.
Cornell United Religious Work (CURW) will celebrate its 85th anniversary as the first intentionally interfaith organization on a major U.S. campus this fall.