Celebrating 50 Years: 1965-2015

The Fiftieth Anniversary of The Marion E. Wade Center

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Wade Authors 

2015 marked the 50th Anniversary of The Marion E. Wade Center, and we had much to celebrate! The collection was begun in 1965 under the leadership of our founder Dr. Clyde S. Kilby, and today is one of the foremost centers for research, education, and appreciation for our seven authors. On this page you will find highlights of some of the memories related to our anniversary year.

50th Anniversary Commemoration

Bakke Auditorium during the anniversary program


An event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Marion E. Wade Center took place on Thursday, October 29, 2015. Featured speakers included the Wade's former director, Dr. Lyle W. Dorsett, poet Luci Shaw, and Dr. Leland Ryken, who is currently at work on a book-length history of the Wade Center. The dedication of the new Bakke Auditorium was also part of this special evening. A recording of the event is available on our YouTube channel, as is a commemorative video presented at the event.

Click on the images below for links to the anniversary program (left), and the poem "The Space Within"  (right) by Luci Shaw, written for the Wade Center's 50th Anniversary.

50th Anniversary Program   "The Space Within" poem by Luci Shaw 

Speakers for the 50th Anniversary event


Program participants (l to r): Walter Hansen, Philip G. Ryken, Lisa Welchert, Lyle W. Dorsett, Marjorie Lamp Mead, Jerry Root, Luci Shaw, Jeannette Bakke, Carolyn Hart, Stan Bakke, William Phemister. 

Hansen Lectureship

Philip Graham Ryken

The Marion E. Wade Center launched the Ken and Jean Hansen Lectureship on November 12, 2015 in the Bakke Auditorium. This lectureship features three lectures per year by Wheaton College faculty speaking about the Wade Center authors. The inaugural speaker was Dr. Philip Graham Ryken, President of Wheaton College, who presented three lectures titled The Messiah Comes to Middle-earth: Images of Christ’s Threefold Office in The Lord of the Rings.

Visit the Hansen Lectureship pages on our website for more information on current and future lectures.

"Off the Shelf" Blog

Read our blog post highlighting our anniversary and taking a look back over the past 50 years. Subscribe to our blog to get notifications for every new post.

Tributes to the Wade Center

Read a post titled "Bigger on the Inside" by Carol Zaleski on The Christian Century blog, reflecting on her experiences with the Wade.

Leading up to the October 29th anniversary event the Wade Center sent out a request for shared  memories and reflections of our past 50 years and the influence of our authors. The responses received were numerous, and came from around the world. We have, with the gracious consent of the contributors, posted selections from these tributes to serve as testament to the lives touched already, and as an encouragement as we anticipate the future stories yet untold.

History of the Wade Center

Dr. Leland Ryken is in the process of writing a history of the Wade Center, to be published as a book commemorating our past 50 years. More details to come.

Christian History Issue

Christian History IssueChristian History's issue "Seven Literary Sages" highlights the seven authors of the Wade Center and their ongoing legacy and importance today. The work was done in close collaboration with the Wade Center and is offered in celebration of our anniversary. The complete issue is available for purchase or download online, as well as at the Wade.

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