Hester Center for Peace and Justice
Established in 1987, the center is supported by an endowment from the estate of the late Gen. Hugh B. Hester of Asheville. Because of his military experience in Japan immediately after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and his deep sense of Christian witness, Gen. Hester sought, for the remainder of his life, to eliminate nuclear war, to foster cooperation between nations and governments for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and to raise the consciousness of college-age students toward the pursuit of peace and justice.
More than 20 faculty members from across the campus volunteer to work with each other, with students, and with the wider community to promote responsible discussion and action centered in Christian perspectives on issues of peace and justice for the world and for human society. Currently the center emphasizes
- peace and justice studies, campus-wide educational programs, conferences, and peace-related research;
- student peacemaker internships/projects and the “Michael Emory Award for Outstanding Christian Leadership on Behalf of the Oppressed”;
- a focus on racial harmony, poverty and hunger, the environment, global awareness, and peace; and
- uniting “contemplation and action,” which embodies the interconnection between spiritual formation and peace and justice so as to “honor the doing of truth.”