Wendell Berry, Agricultural Activist and Author, to be Honored with Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award

Wendell Berry

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Center for Peace and Justice Education at Villanova University will present the 2012 Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award to Wendell Berry, a poet, author, cultural critic, conservationist and farmer often described as a “21st century Henry David Thoreau.” Established in 1990, the Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award recognizes an individual or group for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the meaning and conditions of justice and peace in human communities. This year’s award will be presented Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. in the Villanova Room of The Connelly Center located on the campus of Villanova University.

Berry is the author of more than 50 books of poetry, fiction and essays, and through his writing has devoted his life to spreading his message of living harmoniously with the earth. He believes that small-scale farming is essential to local economies, and that strong local economies are essential to the survival and well-being of the planet. Like Thoreau, one of Berry’s fundamental concerns is working out a basis for living a principled and simplified life. Recently, Berry was awarded the National Humanities Medal, the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Louis Bromfield Society Award. In April 2012, Berry delivered the 41st annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the highest honor the federal government has for “distinguished intellectual achievement” in the humanities.

“Villanova University and the Center for Peace and Justice Education are deeply honored to award the 2012 Adela Dwyer/St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award to Wendell Berry,” said Dr. Kathryn Getek Soltis, Director of Villanova’s Center for Peace and Justice Education. “As a farmer, author, poet, and cultural critic he has challenged us – as individuals and as a nation – to rethink our relationships with one another and with our land. Through it all, he reminds us of the care, integrity, and humility it takes to pursue peace.”

The University’s Center for Peace and Justice Education selects the award recipient from a list of candidates nominated by members of the Villanova University community. Past winners include Leymah Gbowee; Noam Chomsky; Daniel J. Berrigan; SJ; Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ; Project H.O.M.E.; and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.