Reverend Dr. Kenneth W. Chalker to Serve as 171st Commencement Speaker at the University of Mount Union

March 29, 2017

Alliance, Ohio – Reverend Dr. Kenneth W. Chalker, currently the senior pastor at University Circle United Methodist Church, graduate of Leadership Cleveland, member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Mount Union, and active member of the Board of Trustees of University Circle Inc., will give the 171st Commencement address on Saturday, May 13 at the University of Mount Union, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Peterson Field House of the MAAC.

In 1986, at the age of 36, Dr. Chalker, having previously served as the pastor of Lexington Church of the Cross (1974 - 1982) and Union Avenue UMC in Alliance, Ohio (1982 - 1986), was appointed pastor of First United Methodist Church, located at the corner of East 30th and Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. That year, Sunday worship attendance had dwindled to less than 50 people. By 2008, under Dr. Chalker's dynamic leadership, membership had grown to more than 600

In addition to being an enthusiastic and inspirational public speaker, Dr. Chalker has authored Dare to Defy: Challenging Stereotypes and Looking at Relationships in a Christian Context and numerous articles for newspapers and journals. Twice named by Cleveland Magazine as one of Cleveland's most interesting people, Dr. Chalker is an active participant in the life of the City of Cleveland. He has influenced audiences as a radio and television commentator and is the recipient of the Cleveland Advertising Club's "Outstanding Communication Achievement of the Year" Award.

Dr. Chalker is a graduate of Garrett-ETS at Northwestern University (D.Min.), Duke University Divinity School (M.Div.) and the University of Mount Union (BA.) (72). He is married to Grace Elaine Bird; also a 1972 graduate of Mount Union and a former Director of Admission for the University of Mount Union. They are the parents of two children and grandparents of two grandchildren. 

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