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Class of 1973


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   Rev. Dr. Kenneth Clapp '73 M.Div.

   Catawba College

   2300 West Innes St.

   Salisbury, NC 28144-2488


Class Notes

Welcome to 1973's Class Notes page. Here you will find news from your classmates on what they've been doing since graduation.  Enjoy!

Moved? New job? Retired? Newly married? New grandchildren? Please submit your Class Notes to your Class Secretary or the Alumni Office by August 31, 2008, for publication in the next issue of Spectrum.



Notes from 2008


Many of us have reached or will reach the next big decade during this year. Based upon the small number of responses this year I can only assume this milestone has not been accompanied by “breaking news” that persons felt compelled to share with other members of the class. Perhaps, most of you like myself continue to experience very busy and full lives that make it difficult to find time to report on happenings and developments. I will share that as the institution I serve completed the fifth year of a Lilly Endowment sponsored project that has been a part of the larger Project for Theological Exploration, it has been gratifying to see this project which I have had the opportunity to direct emerge as a major shaper of the culture of our institution. It is a joy to work with students who are considering ministry vocations. In addition to directing this project I continue to serve as Chaplain and Senior Vice-President at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. My thanks to all who provided information for this issue. Ken Clapp ’73 M.Div.

John Berntsen ’73 M.Div. is serving as Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Perkasie, PA. He completed a Ph.D. at Emory University focusing upon Karl Barth and authored a book “Cross-Shaped Leadership” which will be published by the Alban Institute this fall.

Michael Bruner ’73 M.Div. is a full professor in the Communication Department at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, a position he has held since 2001.  He writes about his experience of suffering a heart attack and then bypass surgery, “Looking mortality squarely in the eye was a good experience, and I discovered that I am not afraid to die.  I just need to do a better job of living.  My faith has been central in all of my joys and sorrows.”  Michael is thoroughly enjoying nurturing his two children, Hanya, age 14, and Camden, age 17.

Mac Canter ’73 M.Div.  has spent the past 30 years providing legal representation to tax-exempt organizations of all types.  He provides assistance with all aspects of legal and tax issues related to tax-exempt status and in connection with charitable contributions, including planned giving.  He remains active in the United Methodist Church and until recently had served as president of the Mount Olivet Foundation, a Methodist related charity in Arlington, VA.

Dorothy Dean ’73 M.A.R. wrote, “The day your letter arrived I received notification that, ‘Because of the reference value of your outstanding achievements, Marquis Who’s Who has selected your biography for inclusion in the forthcoming 2009 Edition of Who’s Who in America.’” Dorothy notes that this is a result of her dissertation at Boston University about the social psychology of conflict resolution as illustrated by Kingman Brewster.

Now serving as pastor of Ridgeview Congregational Church in White Plains, NY, Robert Everett ’73 M.Div., ’75 S.T.M. recently was elected Moderator of the Metro Area/Suffolk Association of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ. Bob’s marriage to Kimberly Jane Beard in 2003 expanded his family from a daughter and two sons to five daughters and two sons, but he still has time to be heavily involved in the Obama campaign. He writes that he would love to hear from old friends and can be contacted via email at raereb@yahoo.com.

William Fraker ’73 M.Div., ’75 S.T.M. is employed by a company that provides web-based services to the Medicaid departments of several states (First Health Services/A Coventry Company) where he has been certified as a Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute. His interest in the arts has led to the proposal for an art appreciation course at local colleges and he was invited to participate in Lynchburg College’s Book and Art Expo where he signed Copies of Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology, a book to which he contributed (Cold Tree Press, 2006). He is enjoying the interaction of the generations of his family as he spends time with his mother and her siblings as well s his children and grandchildren. A communicant at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Von Air, VA, he is active in the Episcopal Public Policy Network and continues to be in contact with the Very Rev. J.C. Michael Allen, former Dean of Berkeley Divinity.

Arthur Hamm ’73 M.Div. made a major career switch in 1990 and since that time has been living in the Washington, DC area where he helps professionals develop new careers. This follows his 17 years with Chase Manhattan Bank where his work resulted in living and working in Riyadh, Hong Kong, London and New York. He was an energy specialist with Chase.

John Hill ’73 M.Div. writes, “Since 1992, I’ve been directing a pastoral Counseling center in SC and GA. Until 2000, I worked as Clinical Manager of Care and Counseling of Aiken in N. Augusta, SC under Palmetto Baptist Medical Center. When that system “downsized” the center became a private not-for-profit agency, the Center for Care and Counseling for the CSRA, Inc. John has been the Executive Director of that center and plans to retire from there, God willing, in 2018. He and his wife, Ann, have been married for 37 years, and have a son, Shawn, 27 and a daughter, Christy, 25. John invites classmates to participate in an annual week-long retreat he leads at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA under the auspices of Columbia Theological Seminary. You may contact him at centerforcare@bellsouth.net.


Susan Miller Hokanson ’73 M.A.R., ’81 M.Div. is serving as “Bishop’s Assistant for Congregational Life and Mission” in the Saint Paul Area Synod of the ELCA. A major part of her work is helping congregations regain health when they are in the midst of conflict. She also works in areas of stewardship, children, youth and family ministries and in helping congregations through transitions of leadership.  She writes, “I am privileged to work with Bishop Rogness…I love congregations and the people with them…it’s all fun, even when the work is difficult and tragic and chaotic.  My growing age continues to be in the stewardship work I do.”  Susan and Rudy ’74 M.Div. are the parents of a daughter who lives in Anchorage, AK with her husband and 2 children and a son who is working on his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.  She describes her thoughts on a recent visit to YDS…”How many memories came back!  I took a deep breath, and thought how fortunate we were to study here…what a great education it was, what wonderful people and profs we had…”

Terry Hokenson ’73 M.Div. of Minneapolis, MN had his first young-adult novel The Winter Road published by Front Street books in May 2006. The book features a 17 year-old young woman who survives the crash-landing of her Cessna 185 (airplane) and 20 days in the winter wilderness of Ontario. The book was favorably reviewed in major trade journals in the U.S. and in Canada. The first two chapters and other background and contact information can be found at www.thewinterroad.com. Terry is nearing completion of a second young adult novel that explores the resolution of a young man’s alienation from his emotionally abusive father utilizing nonviolent communication methods developed by Marshall Rosenberg.

Arthur Hamm ’73 M.Div. made a major career switch in 1990 and since that time has been living in the Washington, DC area where he helps professionals develop new careers. This follows his 17 years with Chase Manhattan Bank where his work resulted in living and working in Riyadh, Hong Kong, London and New York. He was an energy specialist with Chase.

Arthur Keys ’73 M.Div., and his wife, founded International Relief and Development (IRD) ten years ago. This year we are working in 32 countries, doing public health, community development, economic growth and trade, infrastructure, food security and relief projects. IRD has 3000 employees, a $600 million budget and is the largest recipient of assistance from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2007.Arthur maintains clergy status in the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. Thier offices are in Arlington, VA and Arthur and his wife live in Potomac, MD. He worked on Capitol Hill as Executive Director of Interfaith Impact for 6 years, the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries in New York for 10 years and had a consulting firm in humanitarian assistance for 6 years.

Peter Strommen ’73 Div. has completed his second term and 12th year as Bishop of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA.  He has begun a new ministry as lead pastor of Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, MN.  His wife, Normajean is a Spiritual Director and on the St. Scholastica spiritual direction faculty.

Micahel Tessman ’73 M.Div. writes, “My supposition is that the Class Notes will start reporting tentative accounts of early retirement, so I want to get in on the front end of that enterprise.  I’ve opted to become “a pensioner” after 32 years of full-time ministry, including 10 Connecticut parishes (among them, one in each of the poorest and wealthiest Zip Codes of the state!) and six years teaching full-time in one of our seminaries near Milwaukee.”  In ‘retirement’ he is serving half-time at a Rhode Island seaside parish just five minutes from his home.


Notes from 2007


Dorothy Dean ’73 M.A.R. had her biography listed in the 25th Anniversary Issue of WHO’S WHO OF AMERICAN WOMEN, 2006-2007.  She continues to be active in the Learning in Retirement organization located at Smith College and is enjoying being close to her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

William (Bill) Fraker ’73 M.Div., ’75 S.T.M. and his wife live near Richmond, Virginia where their lives are filled with activities with their six children and two grandchildren. They also enjoy spending time at Sandbridge…the outer banks of Virginia.  Bill mentions having found recent articles about William Sloan Coffin, Jr. and Henri Nouwen very meaningful and a link to our days at YDS.

Semi-retirement permits Canon Joe Frazier ’73 M.Div. to be active in the folk music group, the Chad Mitchell Trio.  He recently completed a ‘gig’ which was a cruise of the Western Caribbean with 300 ‘old fans’.  Joe is the priest rector at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Torrance, California and serves at St. Columba’s Mission in nearby Big Bear lake.

Carey Gifford ’73 M.Div. is the Director of Theological Programs at the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta, Georgia.

Having served as the president of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond since 1991, Tom Graves ’73 S.T.M. has announced his retirement which is effective July 1. Retirement has been prompted by a medical disability resulting from multiple sclerosis.

Barbara Henriques ’73 M.Div. is an Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut where she is on a tenure track and is responsible for teaching mathematics and science pre-service courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs. She shares, “Over the last fifteen years I have been working with the American Professional Partnership for Lithuanian Education.  Over the last several years I have worked with topics such as Action Research, Teacher Centers, Administration and Education for Sustainable Development. For the past two years I have served as the Program Director for the Summer Sessions in Vilnius. As of August 2006 I have been elected to serve as the President-Elect of the organization.



Susan Miller ’73 M.A.R., ’81 M.Div. lives in the Twin Cities area with her husband Rudy Hokanson, ’74.  About a year ago they became the grandparents of Peter, born to their daughter Beth and her husband Frank who are residents of Anchorage, Alaska.  Son Aaron lives in Melbourne, Australia.  Life since graduation from YDS has entailed time spent in several different parts of the country and engaged in a wide variety of ministries.  Many of Susan’s assignments have involved conflict management and helping parishes heal from the wounds of conflict and leadership abuse. While living in New Jersey she served as an assistant to the Bishop for leadership development and congregational health.  Following the move to the Twin Cities area in 2002, Susan has served as an interim and presently works as a Bishop’s Associate for 35 congregations, addressing stewardship and children, youth and family ministries throughout the synod.  

For 26 years Jennifer Riggs ’73 M.Div. has served as Director of the Refugee and Immigration Ministries program of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the unite of the church currently called Disciples Home Missions.  In that capacity she has had the privilege of traveling to over 30 countries to visit refugee camps and meet with church partners who are assisting refugees. Jennifer also has been extensively involved in Church World Service and currently serves as First Vic-Chair of the CWS Board of Directors, Chair of its Planning Committee and a member of its Immigration and Refugee Program Committee.

After teaching in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for 14 years and following 13 years at the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia where he served as the vice-president and later president, David Vikner ’73 M.Div. currently is president of the Japan ICU Foundation located in New York City.  David writes, “YDS played an instrumental role in getting it all started.”

Following ordination in Marquand Chapel in 1973 Donald Westerberg ’73 M.Div. became pastor of the Roxbury Congregational Church in Roxbury, Connecticut.  After 10 years of service to this congregation, Don began full-time service as a pastoral counselor, licensed psychologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist at a non-profit, faith-based ecumenical counseling center in New Milford, Connecticut.  His wife of 34 years (their wedding also was in Marquand Chapel) is a nurse at a local public high school.  They have two children:  a son who is a commercial airline pilot, and a daughter who is in the masters program at Columbia University Teachers College in Art Education.