August 28, 2015

A Look Back at Max Carter

In 1990, Max L. Carter arrived at Guilford College to become the campus ministry coordinator under then Friends Center Director Judith Weller Harvey. In addition to creating the Office of Campus Ministry, Max started teaching Quaker classes in the Department of Religious Studies and handling the First Year Experience courses, thus exposing many new students to his amazing breadth and depth of all things Quaker and beyond, as well as to that particular Max-flavored humor which makes the listener laugh and groan all at once!

Quickly becoming a Quaker Icon (an oxymoron if there ever was one) of the campus, Max jumped into the deep end of Guilford life. Soaking in the rich history of North Carolina Friends faith and practice, ranging from the Underground Railroad Tree in the Guilford Woods to the Allen Jay Farm in High Point, co-created with Friends from Baltimore to shore up the decimated Quaker population after the Civil War to the Revolutionary War grave in New Garden Friends Meeting’s cemetery containing British and American soldiers, Max brought the Quaker history of the area and of the College vividly to life in his classes and tours of the campus.

Max Carter carried the vision and work of the Friends Center on as Judith Weller Harvey retired in 1993 and Max became the director of Friends Center while continuing to be the campus ministry coordinator. In the second year of his presence on campus, Max created the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program (QLSP), which has over 250 graduates and is nationally recognized among Friends as a leading program of servant leadership. QLSP alumni serve the world in a wide variety of ways, understanding their work in the world as a part of their ongoing Quaker ministry.

The following list of activities initiated by Max Carter in the past 25 years is by no means comprehensive but gives a sample of his legacy to Guilford College:

College Meeting for Worship
Daily morning worship
Evening Vespers
Campus Interfaith Council
An Office of Campus Ministry
Religious Emphasis Week
Quaker Leadership Scholars Program
Work trips with N.C. Friends Disaster Service and with other groups
The Quaker studies concentration
Courses on Quaker testimonies, Quaker spirituality, Quaker history and Quaker faith and practice
Campus and community Quaker history tours
Summer and January term work
Study trips to Israel and Palestine
The Hut as a 24-hour center for religious life and spirituality
Friends Meetings progressive dinner for new students and staff
Quaker Festival Week
Take Back Your Time Week

World-class speakers brought to campus through the Judith Weller Harvey Quaker Scholar Program and through the Luby Casey Campus Ministry Visitor Program
Baccalaureate service at graduation

In addition to these various programs, Max has been a valued and valuable presence at Guilford. In times of trouble on campus, Max has been quick to bring people together to explore solutions and ways forward in Spirit-led and gathered ways, exemplifying clearly the Quaker maxim to “let your life speak.” Max’s wisdom and guidance over the years has kept Guilford clearly anchored to its Quaker roots, as well as able to step forward guided by the practices that have made Guilford unique throughout its history.