2016 Commencement Speaker
Canon Andrew White Announced as 2016 ORU Commencement Speaker
Canon Andrew White has been announced as the Oral Roberts University (ORU) 2016 commencement speaker. White, also known as the Vicar of Baghdad, will speak to hundreds of graduating students at ORU’s commencement ceremony, which will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 in the ORU Mabee Center.
“Canon White has a powerful testimony that will be an inspiration to our students as they leave ORU and go ‘to the uttermost bounds of the Earth,’” said ORU President William M. Wilson. “Our community looks forward to hearing his words of faith and wisdom.”
Until 2014, White pastored one of the largest churches in Iraq – St. George’s Church in Baghdad. Sadly, recent events in Iraq have made it very difficult for him to travel there. However, he remains Emeritus Vicar of St. George’s and his thoughts and prayers are always with the congregation.
Since 2005, White has worked full time as President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME), which he set up to provide spiritual and material relief to refugees displaced by violent upheaval. In his role as President of FRRME, White also works with key religious leaders towards bringing peace and reconciliation to the Middle East.
Currently, White and FRRME’s focus is on the unfolding refugee crisis in Northern Iraq, as well as supporting the many thousands of refugees who have fled Iraq into Jordan to escape the violence. White spends a great deal of time in Jordan, where he has set up a school so that Iraqi refugee children can continue their education. The relief that White and FRRME provide in Iraq and Jordan includes food, medical provision and shelter and is made possible by generous donations.
For his reconciliation work White has been awarded several prizes, including the ICCJ Prize for Intellectual Contribution to Jewish-Christian Relations, the International Sternberg Prize, the Tanenbaum Peace Prize, the William Wilberforce Award, and the Anne Frank Award which was presented to him by the Dutch Government.
ORU’s commencement ceremony can be watched live on GEB America, which airs on DirecTV Channel 363, Tulsa TV-53, KUGB TV 28.1 Houston, Trinidad and Tobago, Roku and www.gebamerica.com.