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Former NFL Pro Joe Ehrmann to Speak at Catawba College's Lilly Colloquium on Feb. 24th

January 22, 2009

Category: Athletics, Events, Religion & Philosophy


Joe Ehrmann

Former NFL Pro Joe Ehrmann, now an ordained minister, will be the keynote speaker for Catawba College's sixth annual Lilly Colloquium on Tuesday, February 24. Ehrmann, who played professional football for 13 years and was selected as the Colts Man of the Year, followed his pro career by matriculating at Dallas Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary before being ordained in 1985.

Ehrmann, an All-American football player and lettered lacrosse player at Syracuse University, has spent more than 25 years as an educator, motivator, professional speaker and coach. He will focus his Catawba College remarks on understanding what is of value and how that speaks to the way individuals live their lives and translates into vocations of service.

Two of Ehrmann's on-campus presentations are free and open to the public, one at 11:00 a.m. in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel, and another at 7:30 p.m. in Hedrick Little Theatre in the Robertson College-Community Center. In between, he will attend a luncheon for faculty, staff and invited students, and later meet with coaches and athletes prior to the evening presentation.

Ehrmann serves as an inspirational speaker and seminar leader who works with organizations to promote growth, teamwork, effectiveness and individual responsibility. Since 1995, he has also served as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Gilman School in Baltimore, Md. For his work as a coach and his ability to transform the culture of sports by reframing and redefining the social responsibility of coaches, parents, and players, he was featured in Parade Magazine in 2004 as "The Most Important Coach in America."  He is the subject of author Jeffrey Marx's book, "Season of Life," which won the Pulitzer Prize and was a New York Times bestseller.

Joe EhrmannHe and wife Paula co-founded Building Men and Women for Others (BMWO), an organization that holistically addresses issues of masculinity and femininity. BMWO also seeks to redefine and reframe the social responsibility of sports, coaches, parents and players, as well as addressing issues of violence and child advocacy. The Ehrmanns are also co-founders of The Door, an inner city, community-based ministry that addresses issues of poverty, systematic racism and social justice. Joe Ehrmann is the co-founder of Baltimore, Maryland's Ronald McDonald House which has served over 35,000 families from all over the world since its inception.

Catawba's Lilly Center for Vocation and Values is directed by Dr. Kenneth W. Clapp, senior vice president and chaplain. The Center was established in 2003 and funded with a $2 million grant the College received from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. This year's Lilly Colloquium is sponsored by Catawba College's Lilly Center for Vocation and Values and Catawba's Development Office. Previous notable speakers who have participated in the annual Lilly Colloquiums include Leonard Pitts, Martin Marty, David Bornstein, Sharon Parks and Mackey Austin.

The Lilly Center seeks to help students and members of the larger community determine values for their lives and allow those values to guide decisions relative to the vocations they choose and the priorities they set. Critical to this process is the recognition that as the children of God all are called to use the talents and gifts that have been provided not only for the realization of their own capabilities, but in service to others and in making the world a better place.

For more details on Joe Ehrmann's appearance at Catawba, contact Dr. Clapp or his assistant, Lucretia Hughes, at (704) 637-4446. Reservations are not required.


PhotosPHOTOS: Joe Ehrmann Speaks at Catawba