DELAWARE, OH - Prize-winning author and political scientist Mary E. King will return to her alma mater to deliver the keynote address at Ohio Wesleyan UniversityÂs 167th commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. May 8 in Phillips Glen outside of Phillips Hall, 50 S. Henry St., Delaware.
Alina Ruzmetova, Ohio Wesleyan senior class president, said KingÂs selection as commencement speaker matches the desire of students to hear from a national speaker with a legacy of public service.
ÂThe movements at OWU for the past several years have reflected Mary KingÂs global humanitarian and developmental efforts (on a smaller scale), ÂRuzmetova said. ÂThe advice given by Dr. Mary King to the Class of 2011 will be invaluable as we transition out of college on our paths toward local and global leadership.Â
King is a professor of peace and conflict studies at the United Nations-affiliated University for Peace, whose main campus is in Costa Rica. She also is a distinguished scholar with the American University Center for Global Peace in Washington, D.C., and a Rothermere American Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
From 1984 to 1993, King served as a special adviser to former President Jimmy Carter, acting as his personal emissary to political and business leaders in the Middle East, and she continues to assist his peacemaking efforts. When serving as deputy director of ACTION in Washington, D.C., from 1977 to 1981, she directed national volunteer service corps organizations including the Peace Corps and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America).
King is an authority on nonviolent political movements, such as the recent Tunisian and Egyptian mobilizations. She worked alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (no relation) following her graduation from Ohio Wesleyan in 1962 (Bachelor of Arts, English Literature). She later earned a doctoral degree in international politics from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth in the United Kingdom.
A prize-winning nonfiction author, KingÂs books include ÂFreedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement,Â for which she won a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award; ÂMahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.: The Power of Nonviolent Action;Â and ÂThe New York Times on Emerging Democracies in Eastern Europe.Â
She has been credited as a central figure in starting the contemporary U.S. womenÂs movement by present-day historians, including Ruth Rosen in ÂThe World Split Open: How the WomenÂs Movement Changed America.Â King has received many awards including the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for promoting Gandhian values. She was inducted into the National WomenÂs Hall of Fame in 1992 and in 1989 was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Citation by Ohio Wesleyan (its highest recognition).