EUREKA — Eureka College will host its annual Founders Day Convocation on Thursday, Feb. 7 beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Becker Auditorium inside the Donald B. Cerf Center, and Eureka College Chaplain and Director of Inclusive Excellence Rev. J. Bruce Fowlkes will serve as guest speaker at the event.
Eureka College was incorporated on Feb. 6, 1855, by an act of the Illinois Legislature. The founding date coincides with the birth date of the college’s most famous alumnus, Ronald Reagan, who graduated in 1932. The College was founded by members of the Christian Church and is among 17 colleges and universities affiliated with the church.
Chaplain Bruce, as he’s more commonly known on campus, has been an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since 1990 and EC’s chaplain since January 2007. His address, which will explore the idea of seeing our diversity as an asset and a gift, is titled “Bringing Our Founders’ Mission Forward to Today.”
In his 39 years of ministry, Fowlkes has served as a national program staffperson with his denomination, a campus minister at Texas Christian University, and had congregational positions in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Texas.
An Arkansas native, Fowlkes received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and a master’s of divinity degree from Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas.
In his 39 years of ministry, Fowlkes has served as a national program staffperson with his denomination, a campus minister at Texas Christian University, and congregational positions in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Texas.
Fowlkes is also the Eureka College Ombudsperson, and he’s served as the Project Director for the college’s Call Program, which has supported ongoing reflection on vocational discernment.
He is married to Rev. Carolyn Roper-Fowlkes, a hospice chaplain, and they have two boys, Rob and John.