Oxford College Peace Lecture features former chaplain

OXFORD - A former Oxford College chaplain will offer peace to the community this week.

The Rev. Samuel "Sammy" Clark, also former pastor at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, will deliver the 2009 Samuel W. Mills Peace Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the church, which is located at 803 Whatcoat St. in Oxford.

John A. and Elizabeth W. Mills III, parents of Samuel, established the lecture after he was killed in a bicycling accident in 1986, his senior year at Emory College. The lecture, which started in 1991 and continued every few years, discusses Mills' interests, such as rural Georgia heritage and family, and work towards national and global peace.

In the past, former President Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, U.S. Sen. Max Cleland and U.S. Rep. John Lewis have delivered the speech, as the college considers them Georgians who have made major contributions toward world peace.

This year, the Mills family asked that Clark, a north Georgia resident and Emory University graduate, deliver the speech. Clark baptized Samuel Mills and officiated at his funeral.

In addition, he established Leadership Oxford, an eight-day program that prepares Oxford College students to become leaders and fulfill their duties in campus organizations. Clark also started a service and travel program at the college that later expanded to Emory University as Journeys of Reconciliation, a program that takes students to communities around the world that have a history of conflict, violence and exploitation.

"(Clark) is well-known with our alumni, often officiating at weddings, baptisms and funerals ... and was well-known in the community," said Tammy Camfield, director of alumni relations, which is helping to organize the event. "He's still well-connected with the college."

She encourages current students, alumni, faculty and staff and anyone else in the community to attend the free event.

"(Clark) is very passionate and moving, passionate about helping others in this community and globally," Camfield said. "He has a real charisma about him, and Sammy never meets a stranger."

Also this week, the college will feature another lecture, "The Virtues of Violence: Gladiators, Beasts and Public Executions in Ancient Rome."

At 4 p.m. Friday, Kathleen Coleman, professor of Latin at Harvard University and an expert on the culture of Imperial Rome and the Roman gladiator spectacle, will deliver the speech at Tarbutton Performance Arts Center at Oxford College, which is located at 100 Hamill St. in Oxford.

Both events are free and open to the public. Free visitor parking is available on the Oxford College campus and at the Allen Memorial UMC.

More information about both events are available on the Oxford College Web site, www.oxford.emory.edu.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

Samuel W. Mills Peace

Lecture featuring

the Rev. Samuel Clark

· When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

· Where: Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, 803 Whatcoat St., Oxford

· Cost: free

"The Virtues of Violence: Gladiators, Beasts and Public Executions in Ancient Rome"

· When: 4 p.m. Friday

· Where: Tarbutton Performing Arts Center at Oxford College, 100 Hamill St., Oxford

· Cost: free

· More Information: www.oxford.emory.edu