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Divinity - Spire E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

May 2017

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


VDS in the News

David G. Buttrick, an emeritus professor who was passionate about the art of preaching, died April 22 in Nashville.

Faith and Leadership featured Lisa L. Thompson, MA’11, PhD’13, on preaching about gun violence.

The Rev. Elbridge Wesley Bartley Jr., BD’40, who had established a scholarship to support future Methodist church leaders, died April 10 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Mark Miller-McLemore was invited to write an article in advance of the Disciples of Christ General Assembly. His earlier article, “The dark side of sabbatical,” appears in the Insights into Religion e-newsletter.

Ted Brown , MDiv’79, PhD’88, has been named interim associate general secretary of higher education for the United Methodist Church’s leadership development agency.

Read Dean Emilie Townes’ charge to the Class of 2017.

Ella Bernadette Clay, MTS’17, and Megan Elaine Gwaltney, MDiv’17, delivered the Prayer of the Graduates.

Emilie M. Townes has been awarded an honorary degree by Sewanee: The University of the South.

Community organizer Bernard Werthan, who served on the Divinity School’s Board of Visitors, died May 5.

Tara McManaway, MDiv’81, has received the Faculty Excellence Award at the College of Southern Maryland.

Visit our job listings for alumni/ae and current students.

Second annual Vanderbilt Giving Day is June 15 #give4thegold

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