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Gustav Niebuhr '77 to Speak at the 2012 Interfaith Baccalaureate Service

Gustav Niebhur

Renowned journalist and scholar Gustav Niebuhr ’77 will be the featured speaker at this year’s Interfaith Baccalaureate Service, which will be held on Friday, May 11, at 3:30 p.m. in Bridges Hall of Music.

The Interfaith Baccalaureate Service at the Claremont Colleges is the opening ceremony for graduation weekend and the one event that brings together students, faculty and staff, friends and family members from all seven of the Claremont Colleges. In addition to the address from Niebuhr, 7-C students representing diverse faith traditions and backgrounds will offer personal reflections both through spoken words and music. The event is produced by the Office of the Chaplains.

Niebuhr is the 2010 winner of the prestigious William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award from the Religion Newswriters Association for his outstanding reporting on religion for over three decades. He comes from a long line of influential U.S. theologians including his father, Richard Niebuhr; grandfather H. Richard Niebuhr; and great-uncle Reinhold Niebuhr. Gustav has been a religion reporter for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He has written two books, Beyond Tolerance: How People Across America Are Building Bridges Between Faiths (Penguin, 2009) and Beyond Tolerance: Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America (Viking Adult, 2008). Of the former book, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel said “Anyone…interested in dialogue among individuals, communities and nations will benefit from Beyond Tolerance''s wisdom and humanity." And a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly said Niebuhr “has the careful scholarship of an academic, but the communication expertise of a journalist skilled at getting to the personal heart of a story."

Today, Gustav is an associate professor at Syracuse University where he splits his time teaching the history of religion in the Religion Department and journalism at the Newhouse School of Communication.