Back to News Mount to Host Second Annual Margaret F. Grace Lecture

Mount to Host Second Annual Margaret F. Grace Lecture


Event will highlight themes of just war or nonviolence

Just war and non-violent strategies to counter conflict will be the focus of the 2017 Margaret F. Grace Lecture, to be held at the College on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Smith Hall. Titled “To Kill or Not to Kill: Just War or Nonviolence? A Conversation with Maryann Cusimano Love, James Turner Johnson, and Rev. John Dear,” the event will examine the historical and modern-day context of just war, social justice, and the future of peacebuilding.

The lecture series, subtitled “Where Do I Find Hope?,” was established in 2001 by the late Margaret F. Grace, a Catholic lay leader and philanthropist who founded the Cardinal Suenens Center at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, to carry out the vision and priorities of the Second Vatican Council. In 2015, the Grace family chose the Mount to be the lecture series’ new home. Dedicated to highlighting ecumenism and social justice, the lecture series explores topics that are inherent to the spirit and tradition of Vincent de Paul and Elizabeth Ann Seton.

The College will welcome renowned experts James Turner Johnson, a distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Religion at Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey whose publications include Ethics and the Use of Force: Just War in Historical Perspective; Maryann Cusimano Love, a tenured associate professor of international relations at the Catholic University of America and expert on international security and peacebuilding; and Rev. John Dear, an internationally-recognized voice for peace and non-violence.

Joshua Shmikler, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, leads a committee of Mount faculty and administrators charged with organizing the event.

“Given last year’s Vatican Conference, the Margaret F. Grace Committee believes that it is timely to reexamine the competing traditions of just war theory and nonviolence,” Dr. Shmikler said. “We are honored to have such an outstanding collection of academics, military advisers, and peace activists participating.”

The lecture series would not have been possible without the extraordinary vision and commitment of the family of Margaret F. Grace, who died in 2014. Born in New York City to a devout Catholic family, she graduated from Manhattan’s Grace Institute, a tuition-free job-training program for women founded by W.R. Grace in 1897. During the years of the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965, “Margie” went to Rome to support the work of Cardinal Leon Josef Suenens of Brussels, a key figure in Vatican affairs and the progressive changes brought about by the Council under Pope John XXIII.

Margaret and her husband Peter Grace were longstanding benefactors of the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Their son, Patrick Grace, a trustee emeritus, continues the tradition of generosity and service.

To learn more about the upcoming Margaret F. Grace Lecture, the speakers, and to register, visit

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.