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A Celebration of the Public Witness and Ministry of William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

APRIL 28-29, 2005

Yale Divinity School will host an April 28-29 celebration of the public witness and ministry of William Sloane Coffin Jr., B.A. '49, B.D. '56, D.D. '02, university chaplain from 1958-1975. One of the nation's most visible opponents of the war in Vietnam , labels like “visionary” and William Sloane Coffin, Jr.“prophetic conscience” have been liberally applied to Bill Coffin throughout his life. From his arrest as a “Freedom Rider” in the South to his role as a leader of the Vietnam war protests, Coffin was a controversial figure who led the flock at Battell Chapel in ways that inspired, challenged, and reshaped the contours of university ministry.

Despite health problems, Coffin plans to attend the two-day event, where he will join many of those who were personally touched by his ministry – including Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau; Yale football great Calvin Hill; and Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, fellow travelers on Coffin's journey through the turbulent civil rights and Vietnam years. Late Thursday afternoon there will be a panel presentation entitled Faith & Activism: the Legacy of the Sixties Generation, followed by a reception and banquet. A Friday morning panel will focus on the subject The Future of Ministry in the “Prophetic Tradition.” Among the panelists will be Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School ; theologian Bryan Hehir; preacher Barbara Brown Taylor; and Stanford Chaplain Scotty McLennan.

All of the panel presentations will be free and open to the public. However, those wishing to attend the reception and banquet Thursday night, An Evening with Bill Coffin, must register in advance by April 15. The registration fee is $40 per person. Plans originally called for the banquet to be held at the New Haven Lawn Club, but overwhelming interest has prompted a venue change to the much larger Yale Commons. Questions about the event can be directed to Jane Beamon at 203-432-5358, jane.beamon@yale.edu .

Visit the Coffin event web site, which includes a downloadable registration form, an events schedule, and information about hotel accommodations, at: http://www.yale.edu/divinity/news.coffin.html

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