Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, the Navy chaplain who assisted at the burial-at-sea service for John F. Kennedy, Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Lauren Bessette, will speak at Samford University Thursday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel. The public is invited to the program, presented as part of the school's regular convocation series.
Black, Deputy Chief of Chaplains, U.S. Navy, was the most senior officer present and the Navy's Flag representative to the family at the service aboard the USS Briscoe off Martha's Vineyard on July 29. He met and prayed with the family prior to the service, and offered a prayer during the service.
A native of Baltimore, Md., Black is a graduate of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University and U.S. International University. He holds master of arts degrees in divinity, counseling and management, and doctorate degrees in ministry and psychology.
Commissioned a Navy Chaplain in 1976, his personal decorations include the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals. He was selected from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights.
According to Navy officials, burial at sea is a centuries-old custom frequently requested by Navy families.