Julian Bond

Julian Bond
Thursday, November 13
CUB Ballroom


Horace Julian Bond is social activist, leader in the American Civil Rights Movement, politician, professor, and writer. 

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Bond's family moved to Pennsylvania when he was five years old when his father, Horace Mann Bond, became the first African American President of Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), his alma mater. Bond attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and won a varsity letter for swimming. He also founded a literary magazine called The Pegasus and served as an intern at Time magazine.

In 1960, Bond was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and served as communications director from 1961 to 1966. From 1960 to 1963, he led student protests against segregation in public facilities in Georgia.

Bond graduated from Morehouse and helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). He was the organization's president from 1971 to 1979.

Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965. White members of the House refused to seat him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the House had denied Bond his freedom of speech and had to seat him.

From 1965 to 1975, he served in the Georgia House and served six terms in the Georgia Senate from 1975-86.

In 1968, Bond led a challenge delegation from Georgia to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and was the first African-American nominated as Vice President of the United States. He withdrew his name from the ballot because he was too young to serve.

Bond ran for the United States House of Representatives, but lost to civil rights leader John Lewis. In the 1980s and ‘90s, Bond taught at several universities, including American, Drexel, Williams, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard universities and the University of Virginia.

Bond continues with his activism as Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP, after serving 11 years as Chair, and working to educate the public about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the struggles that African Americans. He is President Emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He hosted "America's Black Forum" from 1980 until 1997.
He also served as a commentator for radio's Byline and for NBC's Today Show. He authored the nationally-syndicated newspaper column Viewpoint. He narrated the critically acclaimed PBS series Eyes on the Prize in 1987 and 1990, a documentary on the life of New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell.

He has published A Time To Speak, A Time To Act, a collection of his essays, as well as Black Candidates Southern Campaign Experiences. His poems and articles have appeared in several magazines and newspapers.

Today Bond is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at American University in Washington, D.C., and a Professor in the history department at the University of Virginia. He has received 25 honorary degrees.

The 2014 Silent Leader Award and the 2014 Faculty Award for Community-Based Engagement will also be presented at the event.

Nominate a student to be the 2014 Silent Leader, an award given at Fall Convocation.

Fall Convocation Speakers

1984 Benjamin Spock
1985 Dith Pran
1986 Mitch Snyder
1987 Betty Williams
1988 Mary F. Berry
1989 John Steinbruck
1990 Keith Tuitt
1991 Maya Angelou
1992 Li Lu
1993 Alex Kotlowitz
1994 Robert Littsa
1995 Jocelyn Elders
1996 Morris Dees
1997 Edward James Olmos
1998 Douglas Wilder
1999 Kweisi Mfume
2000 Jim Hightower
2001 Lena Williams
2002 Luong Ung
2003 Todd Brewster
2004 Rabbi Michael Lerner
2005 Jonathan Kozol
2006 Robert Egger
2007 Tim Wise
2008 Julian Agyeman
2009 Rebecca Walker
2010 Ariel Luckey
2011 Deepa Fernandes
2012 Ralph Nader
2013 Freeman Hrabowski



Fall Convocation was initiated by a group of Gettysburg College students in the 1980s who were concerned that the campus did not gather often enough to engage in conversations around current issues. Today's Fall Convocation is a continuation of this tradition of students engaging in and advocating for change in our nation and world.