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Bishop Hanson to Speak at Susquehanna University Baccalaureate Service

May 6, 2009

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Bishop Mark S. Hanson, president of the Lutheran World Federation and presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will deliver the homily at Susquehanna University’s baccalaureate service May 10 at 10 a.m. in the Weber Chapel auditorium. Founded by Lutherans, Susquehanna University continues its historical relationship with ELCA. The service precedes the university’s Commencement ceremony at 2:30 that afternoon in the field house of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex.

As president of the Lutheran World Federation, Hanson speaks throughout the world about social, economic and political injustice. The federation comprises 140 member churches serving nearly 68.5 million people in 79 countries.

“Bishop Hanson is one of the finest human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting, as well as an exquisite preacher and public speaker,” said the Rev. Mark Wm. Radecke, chaplain to the university.

Hanson began his clerical service in Minnesota, where he was pastor of three congregations – at Prince of Glory Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Edina Community Lutheran Church, and University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis – before serving two terms as bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod. He has served as president of the Minnesota Council of Churches, vice-chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops and executive council member of the National Council of Churches USA.

Hanson graduated from Augsburg College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He was a Rockefeller Fellow at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and received a Master of Divinity degree there in 1972. He also attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School in 1979. His achievements have been recognized with several honorary degrees.

Hanson is the author of two books and speaks regularly about racial justice, housing opportunity, welfare rights and immigration rights.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 30 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu.

Contact: Karen Jones

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