Reverend James Ley to Receive Honorary Doctorate

Rev. James L. Ley, the Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, will receive an honorary doctorate of public service degree during Widener's graduate commencement ceremony on May 16.  As a resident of West Chester, Ley operates non-profit organizations in the Chester area. He immediately associated with Chester Eastside Inc. (formally known as Chester Eastside Ministries) and within three months recognized his call to ordained ministry. Ley was ordained in 2003 and the following year was appointed as the Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Ley is currently the vice chair of Chester Eastside Inc. and president of the advisory board of Episcopal Place at Park Row, a low income housing project in Upland, Pa. He is a member of the Chester branch of the NAACP and the Chester Swarthmore Leadership Institute. In his 18 years of social justice advocacy, he has been associated with more than a dozen other organizations in Chester and the Episcopal Diocese and was the recipient of the John Shelton Sr. Freedom Award given to the Chester branch of the NAACP and the Liberty Bell Award given by the Delaware County Bar Association.

Ley works very closely with Widener on the Community Based Learning Strategic Planning Taskforce, The Bonner High Impact Strategic Planning Committee, The Presidents Community Advisory Board and frequently guest lectures and provides administration, professors and students tours of Chester as seen through the lens of social justice.

“Reverend Ley’s commitment to the community and social justice is an inspiration for all of us and a value that we strive to instill in our students before they graduate," said Widener President James T. Harris III. 


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