Gyude Moore to Speak at Service Convocation

Of Stickers and Margins: Courage in the Face of Radical Evil

Gyude Moore

Gyude Moore

Gyude Moore, a 2006 graduate of Berea College, will be the speaker at this year’s Service Convocation, March 24 at 3:00 p.m., in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Moore, who was a political science major at Berea, now is the Minister of Public Works in the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in his home country, the Republic of Liberia. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Moore will address the persistent patterns of power and privilege in communities that are perpetuated through enforcement of clear lines of separation or “margins.” His assertion will be that the role of just people everywhere is to regard margins with skepticism and push them back further and further. 

Moore, along with Wayne Riley, will be presented with the 2016 Berea College Service Award. Established in 1979, the Berea College Service Award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding service to society in achieving the ideals of Berea’s Great Commitments.  Honored at the annual Service Convocation, the recipients of the Berea College Service Award are individuals who in their daily lives have offered service. The award is a unique opportunity to honor practical service by persons in all walks of life.

During Moore’s career, he has worked as Senior Aide in the President’s Office, Deputy Chief of Staff/Head of the Program Delivery Unit in the Executive President’s Office. In 2014 he was appointed by President Sirleaf as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works. During the Ebola crisis in West Africa, he served as one of the president’s strongest advocates and key advisors. In a letter written to world leaders, Moore appealed for urgent help to aid those suffering from Ebola in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, stating, “at the current rate of infections, only governments like yours have the resources and assets to deploy at the pace and scale required to arrest the spread.”

In addition to delivering the Service Convocation address on March 24, he will speak at the Tuesday, March 22 Chapel service in Danforth Chapel.

Wayne Riley

Wayne Riley

Wayne Riley, who traces his ancestry to an emancipated slave in Clay County, Kentucky, was raised in neighboring Laurel County. When his dying aunt implored him to save the oldest African-American church in his home county from destruction, he honored his aunt’s deathbed wish building community partnerships to save the church. He then formed a nonprofit called the Laurel County African-American Heritage Center to preserve and document the African-American experience in Laurel County and south central Kentucky. The preserved church was beautifully remodeled into a museum that also serves as a partner site of Grow Appalachia, an outreach education and service project of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College. Through Mr. Riley’s leadership, the Grow Appalachia program has been highly successful in helping dozens of families gaining a measure of food security by learning to grow their own food. The project also has an extensive educational program around food and nutrition. Inmates at the local jail and many others have volunteered hundreds of hours of time to produce high quality organic produce that has been contributed to local food banks and senior housing residents, as well as for distribution in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Mr. Riley has proven a master at developing effective collaborations.

The Berea College Service Convocation is sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS) and the Willis D. Weatherford, Jr. Campus Christian Center. For more information, contact Ashley Cochrane, at 859-985-3605 or

Berea College convocation events are open to both the campus and public communities, and are a significant part of a student’s educational experience at Berea College. See for the schedule of all convocations this academic year. All convocations are free and open to the public.

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Appalachia, Convocation, Event, Gyude Moore, Political Science Department

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.