Fowler, '81, to Address Class of 2015 at Albion Commencement

February 20, 2015

Rev. Faith Fowler, Albion College Class of 1981, will speak at 2015 Commencement.A Detroit impact-maker at the individual and community levels for nearly 30 years, particularly in the fight against poverty, Rev. Faith Fowler, ’81, will deliver the Commencement address to Albion College’s Class of 2015 on Saturday, May 9, at 1 p.m. from the steps of Kresge Gymnasium on the College Quadrangle.

Since 1994, Fowler has served as senior pastor of Cass Community United Methodist Church and executive director of Cass Community Social Services (CCSS), a nonprofit agency that responds to Detroiters in need with programs offering food, health care, housing, and employment. Her efforts have been recognized on many occasions over the years, including by The Detroit News, which included her among its 2003 Michiganians of the Year, and by the Detroit Free Press as one of its inaugural Michigan Green Leaders in 2010. The Free Press’ Mitch Albom wrote about Fowler’s work in a September 2014 column.

CCSS, formed in 2002, has grown exponentially under Fowler’s leadership. The Food Program prepares and serves a million meals annually. The Activity Center for Adults with Developmental Disabilities accommodates 125 participants five days a week. In addition to a Warming Center and a Rotating Shelter, CCSS provides transitional housing and permanent supportive housing for 325 homeless men, women, and children. In response to the financial crisis, the agency began offering employment in 2007, resulting in 85 permanent Green Industries jobs linked to sustainability.

She has written about her work in a recently published memoir, This Far by Faith: Twenty Years at Cass Community.

Fowler, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Albion, received her master of divinity degree from the Boston University School of Theology and her master of public administration degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. While in Massachusetts in the 1980s, she worked with the Catholic Chaplaincy Team at Walpole Maximum Security Prison. She received Albion’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005 and is a current trustee of the College.

Albion College’s Commencement is free and open to the public, except in the case of inclement weather. If Commencement is moved indoors it will become a ticketed event. The Albion College Office of Campus Safety will announce the location of Commencement on the morning of May 9; that information can be obtained by calling 517/629-1234 or by visiting the albion.edu home page.

For more information, contact the Albion College Office of Alumni Engagement, 517/629-0448 or .