I was privileged to serve as Dean for this past year in the interim period between Dr. Jeffrey Kuan’s leaving Drew and Dr. Javier Viera joining us as Dean. “Privileged” is the only word I can use to describe my feelings throughout this season and I shall always remember this year as an unusually rich one. It has been filled with opportunities for working more closely with faculty colleagues; helping the community grow to become more loving and just through some conversations about race; and working more closely with staff as well at a time when resources are tight and creative problem solving is the order of the day.
I am humbled by the support I received throughout the year. Faculty took on additional responsibilities normally carried in the Dean’s office. Without an administrative assistant to the Dean, I turned to Alma Tuitt, Emily Cyier, and Michelle Campbell for help throughout the year. They worked tirelessly to insure that the work got done with minimal disruption to the level of service we always want to extend to students, faculty and staff of the school. The Rev. Dr. Cecil Stone, a Theological School alum himself, joined us in my “former” position as Associate Dean for Contextual Education and did a splendid job of bringing a wise and pastoral presence to his work with students and the whole community.
Last, but not least, I owe more than a small debt of gratitude to my colleague and friend Dr. Morrey Davis, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. His wisdom about Drew and about theological education generally, his belief in me and his unflagging efforts on the part of the Theological School and in significant university committees, helped to insure that this year was a good one for the Theological School. And that is putting it mildly. It was a wonderful year.
We ended this year stronger than we started it. We pulled together; we dreamed together about the seminary of the future; we celebrated various important milestones and holidays; we laughed together and we did good, hard work together. I have long been amazed by the unusual character of this community and its faculty, staff and students. It is a remarkable group if ever there was one. To have been able to serve this community in this way is something I cherish for the rest of my days.
Blessings, Friends. Come home to see us whenever you can. You are always welcome here.