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Lincoln Lecture: President of Bridgewater College to Talk on Lincoln's Legacy

(Posted November 7, 2008)

Phillip Stone, president of Bridgewater College, will speak at Juniata on Abraham Lincoln's ties to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Phillip C. Stone, president of Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., will lecture at Juniata College on "Abraham Lincoln's Legacy: Why He Matters" at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Stone will describe Lincoln's family ties to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and, at the same time, describe how Stone himself, a descendant of Confederate soldiers, has grown to admire Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln's great grandparents moved to Virginia in 1768. One of their children, also named Abraham, raised his family in Virginia. Among their children was President Lincoln's father, Thomas. Abraham Lincoln was born in what is now LaRue County, Kentucky.

Stone, who has been president of Bridgewater College since 1994, is the founder of the Lincoln Society of Virginia, and has often lectured on the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Society commemorates the connections between the Lincoln family and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The society also works to preserve Lincoln landmarks in Virginia including the Lincoln homestead and the Lincoln Cemetery.

Stone will speak at a series of special events in 2009, the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. He will speak for the 34th straight year Feb. 12 at the Lincoln Day Ceremony, held at the Lincoln Homestead Cemetery near Harrisonburg, Va. He also will take part in the 5th Annual Lincoln Symposium at Bridgewater College April 21, 2009.

Abraham Lincoln's great grandparents moved to Virginia in 1768. One of their children, also named Abraham, raised his family in Virginia. Among their children was President Lincoln's father, Thomas.

Stone, like Lincoln, started his career as a lawyer, practicing for 24 years at the Harrisonburg law firm Wharton, Aldhizer and Weaver. He was elected a Fellow by the American Society of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the American Bar Foundation, and the Virginia Bar Foundation. He also served in leadership positions in the Virginia State bar, including the presidency of the Virginia Bar Association in 1997.

His connection to Bridgewater College goes back to his undergraduate career. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics at the college in 1965. He studied at the University of Chicago School of Economics for a year in 1966 and then earned a law degree in 1970 from the University of Virginia School of Law. He joined the Harrisonburg law firm in 1970.

Bridgewater College was founded in 1880 by the Church of the Brethren as the first coeducational college in Virginia. Stone also is an active member of the church. He served as moderator of the Church of the Brethren annual conference in 1990 and 1991 and served as chairman of the General Board of the Church of the Brethren from 1986 to 1987. He also was named to the board of directors for Bethany Theological Seminary from 1996 to 1998.

He received an honorary degree from Bridgewater College in 1991 and an honorary law degree from Shenandoah University in 2000. He was named National Churchman of the Year in 1987 by the Religious Heritage of America and was named Distinguished Young Alumnus by Bridgewater College in 1982.




Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.