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Lord and Savior



Jewish Preacher, Religious Leader, Social Revolutionary, Central Figure of Christianity

4 BC/33 AD


The teachings of Jesus have changed the course of human history. His work has inspired us through the millennia. His teachings continue to inspire us by challenging us to uplift human dignity through forgiveness, service and generosity. Through modern lenses, seen as a social revolutionary, he fought for the powerless and marginalized among us. The teachings from the Sermon on the Mount were an inspiration to our University’s founder - W.N. Ferris. His vision to create an inclusive University can be traced to the lessons from the Sermon on the Mount.



Rachel Carson

American Marine Biologist, Author, and Conservationist

1907 - 1964


Rachel Carson catalyzed the worldwide environmental movement with her 1962 book Silent Spring.  She challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government and advocated for a change in the way we viewed the natural world. Despite significant resistance from powerful interests, Rachel campaigned and championed for protecting the environment.

Astronomer Galileo


Galileo Galilei

Italian Astronomer, Physicist & Engineer

1564 - 1642


Galileo was one of the first modern thinkers to clearly express that the laws of nature are mathematical. Considered as the father of modern physics, he was forced to recant his views by the church. But, his work laid the path for eventual separation of science from both philosophy and religion and the advancement of human thought.

This pun is un-'bear'-able


Luther Standing Bear

Native American Author Educator & Philosopher

1851 - 1921


An outspoken critic of federal Indian policy to redress the injustices, is a civil rights hero. He is the first Native American to testify in US Federal Court. He rose to say the following words, “My hand is not the color of yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you also feel pain. The blood that will flow from mine will be the same color as yours. The same god made us both. I am a man.” He stands in testament and witness to the idea we are interconnected. He is honored with a statue in the Capitol Building in Washington D. C.

A true hero


Harriet Tubman

African-American Abolitionist and Political Activist

1822 - 1913


Born as a slave, Tubman escaped slavery to become conductor on the Underground Railroad.She is known as the “Moses of her people.” She was enslaved, escaped, and helped others gain their freedom. She is considered the first African American woman to serve in the military, and she campaigned for women’s suffrage. She inspired generations of men and women yearning for equality and civil rights.

Great Man


Nelson Mandela

South African Anti-Apartheid Revolutionary

1918 - 2013


Mandela is widely regarded as a symbol of democracy, social justice, and non-violent resistance. As the President of South Africa, he worked towards national reconciliation and was instrumental in ending racial segregation in South Africa peacefully, after 50 years of white supremacy.He lead the transition of South Africa to a democracy and created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995 to heal the wounds of apartheid. He favored forgiveness over vengeance and demonstrated the power of Ubuntu.

Evoloution what?


Charles Darwin

English Naturalist, Geologist and Biologist

1809 - 1882


Charles Darwin’s work brought to life the understanding that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors. His work has helped us to understand the interconnectedness of our species and our common roots with other living species.

Cool guy


Lao Tzu

Chinese Philosopher and Author

8th Century BC


Lao Tzu is the founder of the philosophical system of Taoism. He is the author of the book, Tao-Te-Ching. Lao Tzu’s philosophy tends to look at the apparent discord in the world and see an underlying harmony. He introduced the idea of yin-yang and suggests the idea that opposites are needed in order for harmony to exist.​



Adi Shankara

Indian Philosopher, Early 8th century

788 - 820


Adi Shankara advocated for the school of thought of non-dualism, called Advaita.  His work connected the Brahman (which is the entire universe) to the Self (which is the distinct individuality of the human mind). He considered them as absolutely the same and not different from each other, and taught that one can be liberated and free through this self-realization.





Greek Philosopher and Founder of the First Institution of Higher Learning in the Western World

428/427 BC - 328/327


Plato is widely viewed as the father of Western Philosophy. His popularity has fluctuated over the years, but his complete body of work appear to have survived for more than 2,400 years and continues to be read.  He was a student of Socrates and a teacher to Aristotle, who was in turn was a tutor for Alexander the Great. He represents a lineage of great minds and the churning of ideas that have shaped individual and collective actions over the course of history.

e = mc^2


Albert Einstein

German-Born American Theoretical Physicist

1897 - 1955


Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. He developed the theory of relativity, a vital part of modern physics. Einstein’s work led to the understanding of the link between space and time.  Einstein was stateless for more than five years until he acquired Swiss citizenship in 1901, eventually becoming an American citizen in 1940.



Cecilia Payne Gaposchkim

British-Born American Astronomer and Astrophysicist

1900 - 1979


Cecilia Payne proposed in her 1925 doctoral thesis that the composition of stars were primarily hydrogen and helium. Her discovery of the cosmic abundance of elements quite literally changed how we understand the universe. In many ways, she brought to light the idea that what we find in the sun is what find in the stars, and hence, we belong to the stars.

To be Frank


Rosalind Franklin

English Chemist and X-ray Crystallographer

1920 - 1958


Franklin’s work was instrumental in unraveling the structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite. The brilliant chemist did not get the recognition that her male colleagues got for the discovery of the double helix structure. Franklin wrote in a letter in the summer of 1940: Science & everyday life cannot and should not be separated.



 Cesar Chavez

Mexican American Labor leader and Civil Rights Activist

1927 - 1993


Cesar Chavez, a World War II veteran, brought attention to the plight of farm workers in a non-violent way and formed the National Farm Workers Association, which later became United Farm Workers. Chavez is a symbol of support for workers and for Hispanic empowerment. For his commitment to social justice and his lifelong dedication to bettering the lives of others, Chávez was posthumously recognized with the highest American civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.