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Bridgewater College President to Lecture on Lincoln, Receive Juniata Honorary Degree

(Posted March 8, 2010)

Phillip Stone, president of Bridgewater College and a Lincoln historian, will receive an honorary degree from Juniata College at 7:30 p.m. in Neff Lecture Hall.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Phillip C. Stone, president of Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., will lecture at Juniata College on "Lincoln: Peacemaker or Warrior?" at 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 15, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Before the lecture, Stone will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Juniata. The presentation of the degree will be made by Thomas R. Kepple, president of Juniata.

Stone, who will retire as president of Bridgewater in June 2010 after 16 years leading the institution, will describe how, in spite of presiding over our bloodiest war, Lincoln is seen as a peacemaker, a kind, gentle man.

Stone will discuss how Abraham Lincoln played the roles of peacemaker and warrior. "Did this gentle man endorse the burning and pillaging of civilian communities?" Stone will ask. "Did he authorize an attempt to kill Jefferson Davis? I will explore the contrasting roles of peacemaker and warrior."

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 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.

Stone 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.