QLHE: New Vision for Quaker Higher Education

The fourth event in our Quaker Leadings in Higher Education series was held on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm EDT. The theme was:

Reconsidering Quaker Higher Education: A New Vision for a New Time 

Education has two roles that exist in a creative tension with each other: one role is to perpetuate the culture, and the other role is to stand in critical reflection on the culture. Quaker values stand in a similar creative tension in relation to the dominant structures of mainstream higher education. In this session, the presenters will share some thoughts on how Quaker thought and practice might help transform higher education and our wider society so that we, collectively, might better address the issues of social, racial, environmental, and economic justice facing our world today.


  • Gray Cox, Professor in Philosophy, Peace Studies and Language Learning at College of the Atlantic and Clerk of the Quaker Institute for the Future 
  • Stephen Potthoff, Professor of Religion, Philosophy and Peace Studies at Wilmington College of Ohio 
  • Laura Rediehs, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of Peace Studies at St. Lawrence University 


  • Donn Weinholtz, Prof. Emeritus Educational Leadership, University of Hartford 

A link to the presentation and further information about this event can be found here.

Comments Off on QLHE: New Vision for Quaker Higher Education

Filed under Online Events

Epistle 2020

We had our annual membership meeting on August 1, 2020, and here is our epistle:

Dear Friends,

On this fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Friends Association for Higher Education, we send our greetings, our gratitude and our well-wishes to all of you who have continued to support our organization in the midst of profound upheaval and transition in our global society caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite having to postpone this year’s conference at Earlham College to 2021, FAHE remains a strong and vital organization dedicated to serving the needs of our individual members and institutions. FAHE is a precious and unique organization whose participants have experienced the mutually transformative potential of Friends education and seek to find ever-new ways, in the words of FAHE co-founder T. Canby Jones, to speak to and honor the Inward Teacher in every student who comes our way.

We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Kimberly Haas, our coordinator in Philadelphia, whose administrative skill, invaluable expertise, creativity and hard work have assured the continued flourishing and growth of FAHE over the past eight years. Sadly, FAHE’s Executive Committee, in their role as financial stewards of the organization, reached the very difficult decision this past spring to eliminate Kimberly’s position, and Kimberly’s last day was June 30 of this year. Though many of us have expressed, in word and gift, our gratitude to Kimberly and our sadness at her parting, we also have realized that one crucial way we can honor her contributions to FAHE is by making sure we continue to support the programs and publications that Kimberly initiated and maintained over the past eight years.

Toward this end, Laura Rediehs has kindly offered to take over the vital work of maintaining and updating FAHE’s website, including publication and dissemination of FAHE’s newsletter. Laura has also invited FAHE Executive Committee members to participate in a visioning process facilitated by Gray Cox, a process that promises to help us all define where we hope to go as an organization in the coming years. David Harvey, in his role as FAHE’s present Treasurer, has taken on greater oversight of FAHE’s finances, including the collection of dues and donations. Paul Anderson continues to serve as general editor of FAHE’s Quakers in the Disciplines series, working together with Lonnie Valentine as editor of the upcoming seventh volume on Quakers and peacemaking. Special thanks go to Donn Weinholtz’s son Phil, whose company publishes the Quakers in the Disciplines volumes free of charge. Paul Moke and Gary Farlow will continue as co-editors of Quaker Higher Education, for which they are always seeking contributions. The prodigious energy and organizational acumen David Ross has offered us as co-clerk of the Membership and Advancement Committee in these last several months of transition have been indispensable. Walter Sullivan, working together as part of a logistics team with David Ross, has not only arranged for archival storage at Haverford College of FAHE’s paper records and documents from Kimberly’s office at Friends Center, but also has created and facilitated, along with David Ross, FAHE’s new Quaker Leadings in Higher Education monthly video series.

Through the dedication and hard work of these individuals and others, FAHE will continue to be able to offer a wonderful variety of fine programming and publications, and we look forward to next summer, when we can once again come together in person at Earlham College for our annual meeting. Though we are grateful to be able to see one another virtually, there is no substitute for meeting face to face. In the absence of our gathering this year, we were not able to collect dues as we normally would, and FAHE would certainly appreciate it if any who are able could renew their memberships for the coming year, and consider an additional donation if so moved. We also, of course, enthusiastically welcome any contribution of time, energy, or creativity folks might have to offer, including especially spreading the word about FAHE and inviting new members into our Friendly fold.

In these times of uncertainty and dynamic change, we hope you all are safe, healthy, and well.

In Peace and Deepest Gratitude,

Stephen Potthoff and Donn Weinholtz
FAHE Co-Clerks

Comments Off on Epistle 2020

Filed under Epistle

QLHE: Belonging and Emotional Safety

The third event in our Quaker Leadings in Higher Education series was held on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm EDT. The theme was:

Belonging and Emotional Safety: Affective Learning Strategies for First Generation Success

Creating a learning environment for first generation and sometimes marginalized students can be helped by using affective learning activities. How faculty show up in the classroom and the atmosphere they create for learning will have an impact on these students. Through participatory activities, we will experience the possibilities for transforming our classrooms both face to face and online.

Presenter: Diego Navarro,
     Emeritus Professor, Cabrillo College
     Founder and Principal Investigator, Academy for College Excellence
     Senior Fellow, WGU Labs, affiliated with Western Governors University

Moderator: Traci Hjelt Sullivan,
     Interim Director, Pendle Hill

Comments Off on QLHE: Belonging and Emotional Safety

Filed under Online Events

Quaker Leadings in Higher Education: Second Discussion

The second event in our Quaker Leadings in Higher Education series was held on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at 7:00 pm EDT.

The theme was “Human, Equitable, Flexible: Teaching Principles in Times of Uncertainty.”

The panelists were:

Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education, Bryn Mawr College; Director, Peace, Conflict and Social Justice concentration; Director, Teaching and Learning Institute, Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges

Maria Ocando Finol, Educational Technology Specialist, Bryn Mawr College

Richard Freedman, Professor of Music, Haverford College; John C. Whitehead Professor of Humanities; Associate Provost for Curricular Development

The moderator was David R. Ross, Associate Professor of Economics, Bryn Mawr College; Convener, Advancement and Membership Committee, Friends Association of Higher Education.

Here is a link to the video recording.

Here is a link to the Google Resource Document.

Comments Off on Quaker Leadings in Higher Education: Second Discussion

Filed under Online Events

New book from FAHE: Quakers, Social Work, and Justice Concerns


FAHE is pleased to announce the publication of the seventh volume in our book series Quakers and the Disciplines.

Quakers, Social Work, and Justice Concerns includes ten chapters that survey the theory and history of Quaker work for social change in offering insight into how Friends have approached social work.

This collection of essays is divided into three sections. The first considers theory of social work and change. Christy Randazzo applies the work of John Paul Lederach to a theological understanding of Quaker testimony and social action. Daniel Rhodes shares about his application of Quaker principles in his educational work with social work students. Douglas Bennett describes the history and development of Quaker organizations in addressing social issues.

A second section looks at individual Quakers’ lives and their work. Paul Anderson examines the life of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, Mark Bredin discusses progressive reformer Lucretia Mott, and Wendy Grab considers the Quaker influences on social work pioneer Jane Addams.

The third section considers collective work of Friends in addressing social issues. Nelson Bingham explores the creation of the first mental hospital, the York Retreat, begun by Friends in England. Max L. Carter describes the work of Friends among Midwestern Indians in the early 1800s. Linda B. Selleck draws from her book Gentle Invaders to share the history of Quaker women’s educational work among African Americans before and after the Civil War. Jennifer Buck details Quaker involvement in the women’s Suffrage movement.

See the full series here

Comments Off on New book from FAHE: Quakers, Social Work, and Justice Concerns

Filed under Publications

New discussion series: Quaker Leadings in Higher Education

Please join us for FAHE’s new discussion series Quaker Leadings in Higher Education.

The inaugural event, “Turning on a Quaker Dime: Lessons Learned for Higher Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic” was held via Zoom on Tuesday, May 26, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, EDT.

The panelists were Stephen Angell, Leatherock Professor of Quaker Studies at the Earlham School of Religion; Francisco Burgos, Director of Education and incoming Executive Director at Pendle Hill; and Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Provost & Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College. Donn Weinholtz, Professor of Education & Director of Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford and Convener of FAHE’s Advancement and Membership Committee was moderator.

Watch the video of the event.

Read more: Turning on a Quaker Dime

Comments Off on New discussion series: Quaker Leadings in Higher Education

Filed under Uncategorized

FAHE Conference Postponed

The Friends Association for Higher Education conference, which was to be held at Earlham College this June, has been postponed. The exact dates are still being determined but it will be held at Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion, possibly June 8-10, 2021. We will have the same focus planned for this year: Peacemaking and the Liberal Arts. 

As a non-profit membership organization, FAHE relies on conference fees and membership dues for most of its budget. Please stay engaged with FAHE during this year by becoming a member or renewing your membership.

We’ll continue to publish our bimonthly newsletter and are working on finding ways to stay engaged with our members during these challenging times.

“Peacemaking and the Liberal Arts”

The Quaker peace testimony calls us to work actively for the just and peaceful transformation of conflict, and for the removal of causes of violence and injustice. As educators at Quaker and non-Quaker institutions, what roles do peacemaking and social concern play in your context of higher education? Given the changing landscape of higher education when there is pressure to make education focus more intentionally on career-oriented preparation, what is the future of programs (both curricular and co-curricular) specializing in peacemaking and social justice?

When we’re able to determine new dates, please join us as we consider these topics, as well as others that concern Friends testimonies in higher education.

Comments Off on FAHE Conference Postponed

Filed under Uncategorized

FAHE’s newest book

FAHE is pleased to announce the sixth volume in our book series Quakers and the Disciplines. Quakers, Creation Care, and Sustainability gathers over two dozen Quaker authors and scholars to address some of today’s pressing concerns in ecology, creation care, and sustainability.

Beginning with historical Quaker themes on the subject, essays also consider developing a Quaker ecotheology, discuss Quaker approaches to the environment within academic disciplines, and share stories of sustainability—both individually and organizationally. The book includes discussion questions at the end of each section and an expansive bibliography.

We hope this volume will prove useful to study groups, classroom teachers and readers concerned about the environment, climate change, and the role of people of faith in caring for the planet.

“Rooted in deep spirituality and practical experience, the chapters canvas the topic from history to theology, from academics to activism. I have never seen the case for a distinctively Quaker call to stewardship presented with this breadth and force before.”
― Philip Clayton, Ingram Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology

Quakers, Creation Care, and Sustainability is available from Amazon.

Comments Off on FAHE’s newest book

Filed under Uncategorized

2019 Quaker College Fair

Bring the high school students in your life to the 2019 Quaker College Fair!
It’s on Saturday, September 28th from 11:45 am. til 3 pm. and features a panel discussion of the college selection and admission processes, followed by the college fair with Quaker and historically Quaker colleges, including Haverford, Earlham, Bryn Mawr, Guilford and Swarthmore.
Registration for this free event is optional (but helpful for ordering refreshments!).  The Quaker College Fair is a project of FAHE and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

Comments Off on 2019 Quaker College Fair

Filed under Uncategorized

Epistle: FAHE Annual Conference, Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College, June 13-15, 2019

To Friends Everywhere:
FAHE gathered for its 40th conference at Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College to explore our theme for this year, “Truth and Inspiration.” In the many stories we heard, speakers spoke of the necessity of courage and risk taking being needed to speak truth to power. In a world of contingent truth, fake news and outright deception seeking truth is not enough. Acting on truth to transform our world is required. We heard many stories of Friends having the courage to act on truth.
The opening plenary address “Looking Inward with Courage: Quaker Organizations Parading Peace & Justice” was presented on Thursday evening, June 13, 2019, at Pendle Hill by Joyce Aljouny, Executive Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. She began by noting that we advocate for Peace & Justice in our literature, we highlight them in our courses, and center on them in our service work and programming. Then she challenged us with the questions about how courageous should we be when demonstrating peace and justice practices, policies and principles within our Quaker organizations. These questions can be applied not only in our service organizations but also throughout the Quaker world in our faith communities as well as our schools and colleges. As a Palestinian-American she had many moving stories to share from family life, a career as an educator, and most recently in her work with the AFSC. Truth telling and risk taking require courage, openness to taking bold risks. But not taking action has risks, too, and so we need to support each other in creating environments that allow us to be in the sometimes uncomfortable role of truth telling in our communities. Truth requires courage.
The leadership panel of Quaker leaders explored the challenges of institutions to be truthful and courageous. Colleges are concerned about how they are perceived by others, sustainability, continuity, and stasis. These make following the truth difficult and the leaders spoke of the challenges they face in following the truth in the decisions and actions they take.
Friday night’s plenary address “I Must Always Walk in the Light” was presented by Maurice Eldridge at Swarthmore College. Eldridge, former Vice President at Swarthmore College, shared of his life experiences and career, beginning with his early childhood, and ending with projects he continues to be involved with. He spoke of his white neighbor telling him as a young child that “his dark skin was beautiful, and not to let anyone tell him differently.” He shared the importance of education in his family’s life, that “education was a gateway to a successful life.” He also learned the power of vulnerability, and being available and accessible to his students, that he could be a better educator by being true to being a model for them. While he was first exposed to the Religious Society of Friends in high school, and is an alum of Swarthmore College, it was after the death of his first wife that he sought worship with Friends, and found a supportive spiritual space (and also met his current wife). He spoke of the power of being silent together. Through his stories, it was clear that being true to himself, being a model for others, and uplifting various kinds of education, are at the center of his being. We are grateful for his vulnerability in sharing his incredible story
In our third plenary Frances Blase, Provost at Haverford College shared Haverford’s struggle with Academic Freedom and its discernment whether to accept or decline grants from the U.S. Department of Defense. In academia, freedom is necessary for finding truth. It is highly protected in colleges and universities. Haverford has had to grapple with their limits to academic freedom, when that freedom might conflict with a core value of a Quaker institution such as its stance of not supporting the military.
Our final plenary was brought forward by Jon Watts, who told the origin of QuakerSpeak, a Friends Journal project, and a Quaker YouTube channel. Watts weaved examples from the past five years into his story. He answered questions around theological diversity through showing videos, and we are excited to see what the next five years might bring forward.
In 24 presentations during concurrent sessions we learned from each other as we explored truth and inspiration in different contexts. Topics explored seeking truth and inspiration in a wide range of areas of concern to Friends and spoke to complexity of our theme of truth and inspiration.
We expressed deep gratitude for John Kershner and Paul Anderson’s service on FAHE Executive Committee. Appreciation for the Program Committee, and our hosts (Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College) making the conference a great one was expressed.
We were challenged to bring acting in truth through our living testimony home to our institutions. We look forward to meeting for our next conference at Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion in June 2020.
Yours in Friendship
Friends Association for Higher Education
June 15th, 2019

Comments Off on Epistle: FAHE Annual Conference, Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College, June 13-15, 2019

Filed under Epistle