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Mount Professor and Alumnus Among Recipients of Peacemaker Awards

Donna Klinger

The Interfaith Center For Peace and Justice (ICPJ) in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on April 30 will celebrate the winners of its 2024 Peacemaker Awards, including a Mount St. Mary’s University professor and a university alumnus.

“The Interfaith Center For Peace and Justice likes to lift up some members of our community who we think best embody the mission of our organization, which is to promote respectful dialogue on peace, social justice and equity, multiculturalism and environmental sustainability.,” said ICPJ President Darren Glass.

susann-samples-452.452-in-text.jpgProfessor of World Languages and Cultures Susann Samples, Ph.D., is the recipient of the William J. Collinge Award for service to ICPJ. Collinge, professor emeritus of theology and philosophy at the Mount, is the long-time secretary of ICPJ. Samples first became involved with the organization in 1988 by serving on the organizing committee for the 1988 Gettysburg Peace Symposium. The symposium, initiated by ICPJ and organized by a committee with representatives from local higher education organizations, was part of a commemoration of the 126th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and 75th anniversary of the Peace Light on the battlefield. Then Mount St Mary’s President Robert J. Wickenheiser, Ph.D., appointed Samples and Collinge to represent the Mount on the committee.

Samples later served on the ICPJ board from 1993 to 2018, including terms as president, co-president and vice president. Since becoming an emerita board member, she has continued to contribute, helping with Peace Camp, the Heritage Festival, and the Peacemaker Awards.

gettysburg-green-gathering-in-text.jpgThe Peacemaker of the Year Award recognizes an individual or group’s significant achievement in the past year. This year’s awardee is the Gettysburg Green Gathering, an organization led by Steve Zimmerman, C’91, Matt Crowner and others. The organization’s name came from an annual festival that it formerly held to foster environmental stewardship in the daily lives of citizens and businesses. Gettysburg Green Gathering’s broader work has included events to pick up trash and plant trees in Adams County. In 2023 the group organized a glass recycling that allows residents to drop off their glass for recycling on the first Saturday of each month, This initiative helps keep glass out of the landfill and saves the raw materials and energy used in the glass manufacturing process.

Steve Zimmerman is the owner of Zimmerman’s Azalea Gardens and Landscaping in Gettysburg.

thumbnail_nancy-lilley-in-text.jpgThe recipient of the 2024 Lifetime of Peacemaking Award is Nancy Lilley, advocacy director for the YWCA Gettysburg. ICPJ gives the award to a local resident who, over a long term, has made significant contributions to peace, justice or environmental sustainability, either locally or on a broader scale. Lilley has helped promote many social justice issues in the Gettysburg community and has been the key to the ICPJ’s partnership with the YWCA in organizing its annual Heritage Festival.

ICPJ will hold the awards ceremony in Valentine Hall at the United Lutheran Seminary on April 30 at 7 p.m. The brief ceremony will be followed by catered refreshments to help build community and celebrate the work being done to make Adams County a better place. The event is open to the public. ICPJ will donate $250 worth of books or other materials to the Adams County Library in the honorees’ names.

Donna Klinger