Vanderhaar Symposium

Vanderhaar Symposium

For twenty-eight years, Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar was a professor of religion at Christian Brothers University. During his tenure, Dr. Vanderhaar was instrumental in starting the Peace Studies Minor program; was involved in bring the Gandhi Institute to CBU; and brought speakers and peace and justice events to campus. A prolific writer, Dr. Vanderhaar authored six books and numerous articles including, Beyond Violence: In the Spirit of the Nonviolent Christ, the 1998 winner of the Pope Paul VI Book Award. In recognition of his wife’s work in promoting active nonviolence, Dr. and Mrs. Vanderhaar were co-recipients of the Dozier Award at CBU in 2003.   

Locally, Dr. Vanderhaar was a founder of and served on the Board of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. At the national and international level, Vanderhaar played a key role in the founding of Pax Christi, USA, which emerged as part of an international Catholic Peace Movement following World War II. He twice chaired the National Council of Pax Christi, USA and served as the first editor of the Pax Christi newsletter. He played a key role in helping to develop Bishop Dozier’s influential pastoral on the Vietnam War, “Peace: Gift and Task.”   

Since 2005, Christian Brothers University has hosted the annual Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium in honor of Vanderhaar’s lifetime spent promoting peace and active nonviolence. The Symposium features a noted speaker who addresses a social and moral issue related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching. Open to the public, this evening event includes the presentation of the Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award to a Mid-South university student who has been involved in peace and justice work in our community.


2017 Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium Speaker Shaka Senghor

7 - 9 p.m.
Friday, March 31
University Theatre

Please join us for the twelfth annual Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium on Friday, March 31 to hear from author, speaker, and activist Shaka Senghor. Shaka Senghor is a leading voice in criminal justice reform and the President and Co-Founder of #BeyondPrisons, an initiative designed to uplift the voices and experiences of those impacted by the criminal justice system. His memoir, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, was released in March 2016 and debuted on The New York Times Best Seller List as well as The Washington Post Best Seller List. An unforgettable tale of forgiveness and second chances, Writing My Wrongs reminds us that our worst deeds don’t define who we are or what we can contribute to the world. Senghor’s story has inspired thousands and serves as a powerful testament to the power of hope, compassion and unconditional love.