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Randall Robinson spoke on "Making a Difference Internationally" at the 1996 Symposium
Randall Robinson spoke on "Making a Difference Internationally" at the 1999 Symposium, whose theme was "Nonviolence in Action" Photo: Randall Sarvis, Wilmington College

Westheimer Peace Symposium: An Ongoing Quest for World Peace

In 1991, philanthropists Charles and May Westheimer endowed an annual lecture series to reflect the Quaker commitment to peace making, social justice, humanitarian service, and respect for all persons.

Since then the annual Westheimer Peace Symposium at Wilmington College has brought together national and international speakers to address peace, society, and the environment during a daylong conversation with the college, community and guests. Speakers have included Julian Bond, Harry Wu, Baldemar Velasquez, George McGovern, and Elias Chacour.

The Quaker institution, Wilmington College, is a career-oriented liberal arts college. A standing committee, which oversees the events, agreed that the symposia should encourage a respectful "tug and pull" dialogue by inviting speakers who represent a wide spectrum of beliefs, but that it must always include one speaker who espouses Quaker beliefs in peace.

In 1998, two new events were added to the symposium in the areas of art and music, which also express the theme of peace. Students and community members contribute artwork in a variety of media, which are exhibited during the symposia, and a musical performance is produced and presented by the college's music department.

Documentation includes a short report, a list of speakers and themes from 1991 to 1999; catalogs about the college, courses, and an annual report; college brochures; alumni magazines that feature articles about the symposiums; symposia programs from 1991 to 1999; 15 photographs; and a video.

Originally submitted by: Ted Strickland, Representative (6th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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