bestowed on Charles Bradford
Elder Charles E. Bradford, former president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, has received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Walla Walla College.
Jon Dybdahl, WWC president, presented the honorary degree during commencement exercises at the college on Sunday, June 12. A doctor of letters is the highest level of university doctorate, usually awarded to a person who has exemplified exceptional achievement in his or her life.
Bradford became the first African-American president of the North American Division in 1979. He served as president for 11 years, also spending many years in other administrative positions, including as an unofficial consultant for race relations in the church and educational institutions. During his four and a half decades of church service, Elder Bradford also served as pastor and evangelist.
Bradford spoke at WWC’s baccalaureate service, held in the Walla Walla College Church Saturday morning. His speech, entitled “Debtors All,” reminded each person in the congregation that they are indebted to tell others about Christ. He challenged the graduates to face up to their debts, telling them to “be proud to be a debtor to Christ, and repay that debt with the skills and knowledge you have gained at this wonderful institution.”
Founded in 1892, Walla Walla College is a Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education located near Walla Walla, Wash. The college offers liberal arts, professional, and technical programs in more than 100 areas of study. WWC has an average annual enrollment of 1,900 students.