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Dear alumni/ae and friends,

Smiles, hugs, applause and even a few cheers filled Benton Chapel at Commencement May 12 when we proudly welcomed 69 Divinity and 13 Graduate Department of Religion graduates into the Vanderbilt alumni/ae family.

Twelve of our students earned certificates in the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality; the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies; Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture; and African American and Diaspora Studies.

We also celebrated the achievements of our 98th Founder’s Medalist, Dorothy Elizabeth Parks-Piatt, and of those who received awards for scholarship and service.

In addition, the Student Government Association honored Marie Bayard Tracy, MDiv’17, and Lyndsey Godwin, assistant director of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality, for their service to the Divinity community.

I wish you all the best while The Spire begins its summer hiatus as we practice everyday acts of humanity and outrageous moments of hope and joy…regardless.


 Emilie M. Townes

E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair
Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society

Click here to view the May 2017 Spire. 






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