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Class of 1978


Class Secretary

   Ms. Vaughan D. McTernan '78 M.Div.

   3330 Springridge Cir.

   Colorado Springs, CO 80906


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Class Notes

Welcome to 1978'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, 2007, for publication in the next issue of Spectrum.



Notes from 2008


Ed Beddingfield ’78 M.Div. is pastor of the First Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC, and a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.beddingfield Following YDS he completed a CPE residency at NC Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Since then he has been pastor of four churches in North Carolina, including one in the Smoky Mountains and one in a town where Cam West ’78 M.Div. was pastor of the Methodist church next door. Ed has served on the governing bodies of both the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the NC Baptist State Convention and has been a trustee of Western Carolina University. His wife Sarah recently retired after thirty years as a middle school English teacher, having finally decided enough is enough. Their daughter Shannon graduated from the University of North Carolina, her dad’s alma mater, with highest distinction (the equivalent of summa cum laude) in classics and honors English. She starts grad school at Ohio State this fall in medieval English. Their younger daughter Meghan is a senior majoring in music (piano) at UNC, a certified Emergency Medical Technician and an advanced scuba diver. In his spare time Ed still plays guitar, mostly bluegrass and electric blues, and rides his motorcycle. The Beddingfields usually get together each summer with Judy and Jim Fisher ’78 M.Div., either at the Fishers’ lake house in Missouri or at the Carolina coast.


Larry Buxton ’78 M.Div. became Senior Pastor of Burke United Methodist Church (www.burkeumc.org) in July 2007 and greatly enjoyed seeing old friends and a revamped YDS at the recent cluster reunion. In October 2007, he and his wife, Bev, celebrated their 27th anniversary. Their son Garret graduated from UVA and moved to Cambridge, MA in May and their other son, Tyler, completed his second year at Virginia Tech. Larry has plans to teach Pastor’s School in Kenya.


Jill ’78 M.Div. and Richard Edens ’78 M.Div. are in their 30th year of ministry at United Church of Chapel Hill, UCC in Chapel Hill, NC. They love their congregation and continue to thrive in this ministry. Their big news is that their daughter, Ruth, is halfway through her M.Div. at Andover-Newton Theological. They enjoyed their 30th anniversary of the class of ’78 last year in New Haven. Wonderful to see so many of you!


Last October, Jon W. Galloway ’78 M.Div. returned to the Quadrangle for the first time in 29 years.  The Convocation and Cluster Reunions exceeded his expectations, especially the privilege of worshiping with classmates again in Marquand Chapel.  Gradually, Jon recognized familiar voices in unfamiliar older bodies and faces!  On September 15th, he’ll begin his 12th year as Vice President of Development for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Saint Paul, MN.    


Chuck Garrettson ’78 M.A.R. has spent the past twelve years teaching Religion/Philosophy/History at a private boarding school in Pottstown, PA. The Hill School [where there are three YDS grads now teaching]. Hill happens to be Chuck’s alma mater, and it has been a very happy re-union. After teaching for ten years at the college level—and loving that—he nonetheless has found that there is something really special about boarding school life. One way to put it is that his job entails him dining with, and meeting with his students in his own living room nearly as much as it entails him being with them in the classroom. It is a very intense, consuming—and inspiring job, and indeed, vocation. Chuck writes, “I am fortunate to be able to work with tremendous students from around the world, and I cannot imagine greater satisfaction in any other work.” Chuck is also blessed with two beautiful children, Hadley and Ash, and is very happily involved in a wonderful country parish outside of Pottstown: St. Gabriel’s. His spiritual growth these days includes the serious study of Taoism, including the practice of taijiquan, something that has “opened my eyes—and mind—to the wisdom of the East.” All in all, life is tremendously fulfilling, and Chuck is grateful. The Athenians spoke of “eudaimonia”: “the profound sense of well-being that comes from exercising one’s highest faculties to their fullest.” “After a long, hard journey, I am happy to be able to report that my life entails a ‘goodly portion’ of eudaimonia.”


After almost 30 years in parish, hospital and pastoral counseling ministry in California, Chris, and Anne Swallow Gillis ’78 M.Div moved to the north shore of Lake Superior, MN, where Anne has been working with congregations in transition. Daughter Marcella is in Peace Corp in Nicaragua; son Nicholas is headed to Taiwan to teach English. Anne’s next interim is with Olivet Congregational UCC in St. Paul, and the couple will enjoy seeing more of Erik ’77 M.Div and Deb Strand, and Patricia Lull ’77 M.Div.


In May 2008 Geoffrey Gneuhs ’78 S.T.M. presented two copies of his portrait of Dorothy Day, which were commissioned by the Archdiocese of New York, to His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan. The Vatican declared Day Servant of God, the first step of the cause for canonization. Gneuhs served as chaplain to the New York Catholic Worker in the late 1970s. Among his publications is, as co-author, A Revolution of the Heart: Essays on the Catholic Worker, and as editor, The Legacy of Pope John Paul II. He is a figurative and representational artist and lives in New York City. Contact: www.geoffreygneuhs.com


After serving a church in New Haven, Chuck Harmon ’78 M.Div. began a “tentmaking” career in small churches while also working in education, but the call to teach was the stronger. This is his 30th year in independent schools, and he is currently Head of School at York in Monterey, CA. Happily married to a fellow Yalie for 33 years, they are proud parents of two grown sons. Life is good and the blessings flow.

Lisa Jean Hoefner ’78 M.Div., Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries of the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church, has alternated between parish ministry and camp/retreat ministries, mostly in New York and Pennsylvania. She began work in Oregon-Idaho in 1998 and completed the D.Min. at Drew Theological School in 2006. She still enjoys music of all kinds, and tries not to miss opportunities to hike or canoe.


David Joyce ’78 M.Div. is beginning his sixth year as president of Ripon College in Wisconsin. The college has enjoyed record enrollment, gifts, grants, and growth in academic programs while not swaying from its historical commitment to the liberal arts and civic engagement. It has proven to be an excellent fit for Joyce and his wife Lynne, despite the long winters and their thin Southern blood. For fun and “spiritual” development, he and Lynne race and ride mountain bikes. He qualified and will compete in the national championship (“old guys division”) in Vermont this year, and is hoping to survive and even finish.


Floyd A. Loomis ’78 M.Div. went from grad to editor and executive in news and financial industries (12 years-NYC), owner of a small publishing company (7 years-Seattle), business professor in community college and dean of education for a computer trade school (6 years-Seattle). Now Floyd is chef du cuisine at an Italian restaurant, and writer and woodworker in Boise, ID. He attends Roman Catholic services at Saint John's Cathedral in Boise. He and his wife of 20 years, Kristin Marie have two daughters: Kathirine (Chicago), and Amanda (Walnut Creek, CA).


Glen S. McGhee’s ’78 M.Div. book, War in Heaven / Heaven on Earth: Theories of the Apocalyptic (Equinox, 2005) is still selling, given the continuing global interest in millenarian movements, both secular and religious. The book received a favorable review in Numen, and is being used as a textbook in graduate studies, and the series has been expanded to include another, fourth volume. The chapters cover apocalyptic millennialism, the life-cycle of cults and religious conversion, the apocalyptic context of early Islam, Native American prophetic movements, postmodernism, mass media, millennial science, and most importantly, the Nazi racial apocalypse and 9/11. During compilation, Glen had the delicate task of letting Robert Fogel, 1993 Nobel Prize winner in economics, (or rather, his secretary) know that we wouldn't be including his chapter, due to size constraints. More recently, the problem of reforming American higher education accreditation has occupied Glen. The simultaneous emergence of Insidehighered.com, the on-line higher Ed news outlet, and the Spellings Commission, has given him the opportunity to influence policy discussion well past the nation's borders. Credential inflation also deserves more thoughtful attention, as the empty pursuit of degrees continues to grow.


Vaughan D. McTernan ’78 M.Div. and her husband, Kevin, have been in touch with a few classmates since last year including Scott Myers ’78 M.Div. who had dinner with Kevin and our daughter in April in Raleigh. (“Hey Scott, want to write that movie?”) Vaughan’s Episcopal parish in Woodland Park, CO continues to grow slowly, and Kevin’s work as a development director at The Colorado Springs School has been going very well. Their daughter Lillian is headed to DC to work after getting a Masters in International Security at University of Denver (and speaking on a panel with Madeline Albright last month!), and their son Mike is a rising HS senior in love with choral music. Amidst all this, the “McTurkees” have been holding aloft the torch of Catholic-Episcopal ecumenism in their life together even while their respective churches seem bound up in internecine warfare.


Gwen Moore ’78 Div. had fun writing her autobiography from age 0-24 and posting it online. You might enjoy reading some verbal snapshots of your classmates, all written with love and grins. Gwen names many names. Go to http://gwenmoore.blogspot.com, and look under Labels for Yale Divinity School or find the dates July 3, July 20 and August 4, 2006. “Blessings to all who are mentioned and many who are not! I’d love to hear from you.”


Carol Seifrit Pepper ’78 M.Div. is a clinical psychologist at Bellevue Hospital and the Bellevue/NYU Survivors of Torture Program in NYC. She is a psychoanalyst in private practice in NYC, who specializes in trauma and in immigration psychology. No longer active as an ordained minister, for the last decade she has been an advocate for undocumented immigrants, who are in detention facilities, facing deportation, or seeking political asylum in the U.S. She joins the chorus of delighted grads in welcoming Peter Hawkins back to YDS.


After 14 1/2 years as Sr. Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Akron, OH, Rev. D. Lynn Snider ’78 M.Div. has been transferred to the position of Sr. Pastor of the Chagrin Falls United Methodist Church. He and his wife Jane will be living at 104 Spring Drive, Chagrin Falls, OH. When not working, he will be checking out the Steelhead fishing possibilities in the Chagrin River and visiting their daughter Emily in Atlanta and their son Colin in New York City.


Rick Steele ’78 M.Div. recently completed his eight-year stint as the Chair of the Dept. of Theology in the Seattle Pacific University School of Theology, as well as his second concurrent term as the School's Interim Dean. Two results of his doing hard time as a low-level academic administrator are: (1) the forthcoming publication of “The Faculty Search at the Christian University: Ethical and Practical Considerations” in Christian Higher Education, and (2) the imminent; launching a new graduate program in theology which he helped to design. In July 2008, he taught a two-week masters-level course in Christian Ethics Hope Africa University in Bujumbura, Burundi.


Glenn Wagner ’78 M.Div. and Nancy Wagner (Ray Woods’s Administrative Assistant) are now living in Holt, MI where Glenn serves as the Pastor of Holt United Methodist Church and chair of the Lansing District Board of Church Building and Location. Nancy is the secretary for the East Lansing City Council. The Wagners have two children. Michael will be a first year student at the University of Michigan Law School in the fall, and Bethany will be a Junior at Hope College.


Holly W. Whitcomb ’78 M.Div celebrates 30 years whitcombordained in the UCC and is a widely traveled retreat leader and spiritual director. She is the author of four books including her very popular Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting (Augsburg, 2005). Holly and her husband, John Whitcomb (Yale Med ’77) still live in Milwaukee, WI. Their children, David (27) and Kate (24) live in Minneapolis and Boston. Holly enjoyed recent visits with Caroline Wales ’78 M.Div. and Marilyn Hair ’77 M.Div.



Notes from 2007


Lawrence Buxton ’78 M.Div. has been in the pastoral ministry ever since leaving YDS.  In those first four years, he met and married his wife Beverly. They lived in Northern Virginia for 11 years, spent 10 years in the Richmond-Ashland area, and moved back to Northern Virginia in 1999. Just this summer he’s begun serving Burke United Methodist Church, a large suburban congregation. Bev is a training consultant and life coach, teaching personal and business planning and retirement visioning. Their younger son Tyler is a sophomore communications and psychology major at Virginia Tech. Their older son Garrett is a senior religious studies major at the University of Virginia and a prospective divinity school student. Both discovered crew while they lived in Arlington and rowed four years each. Garrett was a two-time Washington Post All-Metro selection and Tyler rowed on the lightweight boat that won the 2005 National Championship! But now Lawrence and Beverly are “Empty Nesters” in a new home.  He’s doing a little sculling, a little sailing, some part-time teaching at Wesley Seminary in DC, and some Conference work on their Board of Ministry.  He’s also planning on being in New Haven for the Reunion.  (“Long live Archie Moore's!”)

Since graduating YDS, Bruce Duncan ’78 M.A.R. has been a computer programmer, a volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Wheeling, WV, a student again (having gotten his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in physics), a visiting assistant professor at Union College (Schenectady, NY) and now an assistant professor in Geo/Physical Sciences at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts.

Richard Foster ’78 Div. writes, “One of my worst days during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was the day I was discarding my waterlogged library. Many books were stuck together, and I could only put a few books into each bag. As I made my many trips to the curb, I was always overwhelmed by the odor of decay that was so pervasive throughout New Orleans. Despair was oppressive in the city. However, on one trip, as I turned with heavy heart to go back into the house, suddenly there appeared the most gorgeous bright red cardinal. It flew around with such life and energy. I couldn’t take my eyes away from this beautiful red color in the midst of all the dreariness. And as it finally soared away, it was like it was lifting my spirits with it. I was enthused. Life goes on. Everything that I had lost could be replaced, or wasn’t really worth having to begin with. All that mattered in my life was still strong and intact. I returned to my task with a smile on my face. Life is about the choices we make. We have no control over what life may bring, but we do have control over how we respond to it.”  

Glenn McGhee ’78 M.Div. has completed a book project, co-edited with Stephen D. O'Leary (USC), entitled War in Heaven / Heaven on Earth: Theories of the Apocalyptic (Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2005). Additionally, he has been a community activist in New York and Massachusetts (1982-93), and a college professor at Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City, FL (1994-2003), where he encountered widespread accreditation issues. Out of these experiences emerged his efforts to reform the regulation of the higher education accreditor guilds by the Federal government (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education). As the Director of the Florida Higher Education Accountability Project (FHEAP), his first steps in this process have been to draw attention to higher education quality problems in Florida and the South in general.


Steve Montgomery ’78 M.Div. stayed in New Haven while his wife, Patti Montgomery ’80 M.Div., finished at YDS, after which they spent four years in a church in Appalachia, and 16 years in two different churches in Atlanta. They came to Idlewild Presbyterian in Memphis in 2000, and are having a “grand ol' time” in an active urban church.  They have two children. Their 16 year old was adopted from Peru; and their 14 year old from Nepal. They will be going back to Nepal over Christmas for the first time since she was an infant. Steve got a D.Min. at Columbia Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as a pastor, he is an adjunct professor of preaching and worship at Memphis Theological Seminary, a student body much more diverse in every way than YDS, including everything from high church white Episcopalian to low church African-American Pentecostal. He shares, “Some days I teach, other days I referee.”


Don Motaka ’78 M.Div. says that “I never hear the Grateful Dead the same way anymore after listening to the boys play ‘Sugar Magnolia’ in the Refectory on Dance Party nights.  And I have never forgotten Bob Wilson's gracious invitation to take up Old Testament scholarship, which I turned down because I was so sure I was meant for parish ministry.  The Central Pennsylvania Synod of the Lutheran Church in America was just as sure that I was not, due in part to my having studied at Yale. But I persevered, took two semesters at Gettysburg Seminary and went on to six years as a Lutheran pastor in Pennsylvania.  Alas, this was not to be—so I worked in the Washington, D.C. metro area as an IT professional until last August, when I lost my job.  I have been unemployed since then and although I go to interviews and even second interviews, it's looking very likely that I will end up like I started out, at the bottom of the heap.  But I've learned to take it all in stride, because, no matter what lies ahead, there was that one brief shining moment, on the brow of Prospect Hill, when I know I heard God call my name.”


Scott Myers ’78 M.Div. lives in Chapel Hill, NC and is an executive producer with Distillery MyersPictures.  He produced and directed the TV special, “It’s Easy Being Green”, for the Fine Living network, which debuted on Earth Day 2007.  Scott co-wrote the screenplays for the movies K-9, Alaska, and Trojan Way.  He received UCLA Extension’s 2005 Outstanding Instructor of the Year Award for teaching screenwriting online.  Scott and his wife, Rebecca McMillan, have been married 22 years and have two delightful sons, Will (16) and Luke (6).

Lynn Snider ’78 M.Div. reports that since graduation, he has served as pastor of four different parishes. Since 1994, he has been Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Akron, Ohio, a 600 member downtown congregation that keeps him more than busy. Ten weeks after he arrived, the church building was destroyed by a fire. They spent three years rebuilding and the next nine years paying off the mortgage. During this time, his wife Jane has worked as the Loan Officer at the Conference Credit Union. Since she gives people money and he gives people sermons, he claims that she is far more popular than him. The past two years have been a challenge.  In 2005 Jane donated a kidney to her brother, and last year she underwent successful treatment for breast cancer. They have decided that the theme for 2007 is “marriage,” which is a much happier focus. They celebrated their 30th anniversary in February, their son Colin got married in Brazil in April and their daughter Emily will be married in our church in September. They can be reached at thesniders@aol.com.


Rick Steele ’78 M.Div. and Marilyn Hair ’77 M.Div. were married shortly after Rick's graduation from YDS. In 1982 they moved to Brookfield, WI, where Marilyn was pastor of a growing suburban congregation, and Rick began graduate work in theology at Marquette University. Following Marilyn's first maternity leave in 1986, Rick served as interim pastor of the church. Thereafter they were appointed as co-pastors, with the intended aim of "splitting the work without splitting the church." During their 13 years in Brookfield, all three of their children (Sarah, Jonathan and Mollie) were born, and Rick completed his Ph.D. Between raising the kids and running the church, Rick taught part-time at Marquette and the Milwaukee Theological Institute. In 1995, Rick was offered the position of Associate Professor of Theology at Seattle Pacific University, so the family made the great trek west. Rick was promoted to full professor and awarded tenure in 2000. He has been Chair of the Department of Theology since 2000, was elected Professor of the Year in 2002, served as Interim Dean of the School of Theology in 2002-03 and again in 2005-07, and served as Chair of the University Faculty in 2004-05.  

James B. Vigen ’78 S.T.M. of Fairfax, VA was named the Interim Director of the International Learning Center and affiliate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in June 2007 by the Luther Institute of Washington D.C. Paul Wangerin, chair of the Institute’s board of trustees, said "[Dr. Vigen’s] international and Lutheran higher educational experiences as well as his Washington, D.C. experiences fit perfectly with two key focus areas of developing international learning center resources and cultivating a higher profile for faith in the public square issues." Vigen has 27 years of experience as a pastor and theologian, teaching in Madagascar and Norway, and serving pastoral roles in Binghamton, NY and the Northern Virginia area. Vigen established the state advocacy office in Raleigh, North Carolina and directed the International Relations and Human Rights program for the Washington, D.C. office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Pastor Vigen is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. He received masters degrees from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH, and YDS. His doctoral degree in historical theology was granted by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Glenn Wagner ’78 M.Div. and wife Nancy Wagner (Receptionist for Ray Woods) report that they have moved five times since leaving YDS.  Their post-New Haven journey has included a Chaplaincy residency at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI followed by parish ministry appointments with the United Methodist Church in Freeport, and Harvard, IL and later in Michigan for fourteen years at North Muskegon and currently in Holt.  Along the way Glenn finished his Doctor of Ministry degree at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL with a focus on developing leadership for small groups in the church.  They have also done a pulpit exchange near York, England, continuing education in the Middle East, and have just returned from China following their son’s semester abroad at Beijing University.  They have raised two awesome children: Michael is a senior at American University in Washington, DC and Bethany is a sophomore at Hope College in Holland, MI.  Nancy is currently employed with the City of East Lansing where she acts as the recording secretary for the City Council.

Caroline Wales ’78 M.Div. reports that after Commencement she spent a summer at the University walesof Texas - Austin working at the Catholic Campus Center.  After that, she had a stint at the Ecumenical Campus Religious Center, Southwest State University, Marshall, MN. In 1982 she took a position as the first woman chaplain at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.  Once known as RPI, it is now referred to as Rensselaer—a stimulating place to be with a student body of over 6,500 and students from 65 foreign countries.  A unique experience was to pray with the hockey team when it won the NCAA Championship in 1985.  Caroline, who is now known as Miss Wales, having left the Sisters of Mercy in 1990, was inducted into the honor society called Phalanx for leadership on campus. While at YDS as an independent study she had designed a workshop called MEDIA-MAX which aimed to empower people in human services and nonprofit agencies to educate their publics  to engender goodwill and support and to let  persons in need be aware of their services.  It was very well received. Now retired and in her eighties (“the Rusty Years,” she says, “not the Golden Years”), she remains active in her parish as a lector and in other areas.


Cam West ’78 M.Div., after 21 years of United Methodist parish ministry, entered the ministry of United Methodist higher education in April, 1999, serving as vice president of Brevard College (NC) and, since June, 2003, as president of Huntingdon College (AL).  Along the way, he earned a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School, where his academic advisor was Geoffrey Wainwright.  During the mid-1980s, he and YDS classmate Ed Beddingfield ’78 M.Div. served churches literally next door to each other in Warrenton, NC.  In 1989, he married Elizabeth Batchelor, and they are the parents of a daughter, Grace (age 15), and a son, William (age 11).  Elizabeth is a Certified Public Accountant and worked outside the home most recently as Comptroller of Kanuga Conferences, the international retreat and conference center of the Episcopal Church located in the North Carolina mountains.  She is currently active in the lay teaching ministry of First United Methodist Church, Montgomery, AL.  In May, 2005, the Wests hosted YDS Dean Harry Attridge at Huntingdon for a series of lectures and workshops on The Da Vinci Code and the role of popular fiction in Christian spirituality.

After 24 years in New Hampshire, Martha Bateman Yager ’78 M.Div. recently moved to Seekonk, MA.  She had worked for the American Friends Service Committee in NH for 14 years as the Economic Justice Project Coordinator.  She is now the Program Coordinator for the South East New England office (Providence, RI), with a primary focus on Middle East peace.  She gets to travel all over Rhode Island, go up to Worcester and out to the Cape and the Islands providing support to local peace groups, arranging speaking tours for all kinds of fascinating people (Iraqi refugees, conscientious objectors, Middle East scholars, etc) and supporting study circles on Israeli/Palestinian issues.  In Providence she is working with a group working on immigration issues.  She enjoys meeting new folks and exploring new territory.  Her new address is 37 Pine St. Seekonk, MA 02771.