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Class of 1987


Class Secretary


'87, '88 & '89 Cluster Reunion


Class Secretaries List


Other Class Notes


  Rev. Thomas G. Speers III '87 M.Div.

  230 Bushy Hill Rd.

  Simsbury, CT 06070-2637






Class Notes

Welcome to 1987'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


obrienRandall O’Brien ’87 S.T.M. was appointed as the 22nd President of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN. He looks forward to the challenge of leading a college.


Tom Taylor ’87 M.Div. currently lives in Crestwood, KY and works as the Deputy Executive Director for Mission for PC (USA). His wife, Jan, is a Delta flight attendant and they have two sons, Aaron (13) and Ryan (11).



Notes from 2007


Tom Speers wrote on behalf of the class:

It is good to hear from so many classmates! George Master ’87 M.Div. wrote to say that we were neighbors but didn’t realize it. He is rector of St. Augustine's Church of the Covenant (a small and struggling African-American Episcopal church) in Philadelphia.  George Randels ’87 M.A.R. and his wife Susanne St. Clair celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in August. He is Chair of the Department of Religious & Classical Studies at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA, and recently became director of the university’s honors program. Three of his former students have gone on to YDS: Jessica Grimes ’04 M.A.R., Aaron Leon ’08 M.A.R., and Sadie Stone, who begins in Fall 2007. Good work George in keeping YDS going strong! Gretchen van Aken ’87 M.Div. has written from Jacksonville: she is performing a 90 minute one-woman show which she wrote entitled "Called Girl" based on her life growing up in a funeral home, her life as a Broadway performer and her life as a minister. She is also enjoying Grand-motherhood and is a committed community activist and has been married for ten years to Ted Johnson, a newspaper publisher. Catherine Cook ’88 M.Div. writes that she and Stephen Cook ’87 M.Div., ’89 M.A., ’90 M.Phil., ’92 Ph.D. adopted a daughter from China who is the delight of their hearts and a gift from God. She is definitely heaven sent and her name is Rebecca Ketziah Cook born in March 2006.  Steve is the Catherine McBurney Chair of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary.  Their blogs are: www.daughterfromchina.blogspot.com and www.biblische.blogspot.comRandall O’Brien ’87 S.T.M. serves as Executive Vice President and


Provost of Baylor University, where he remains a Professor of Religion. After serving as Chair of the Religion Department, Interim Dean of the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor, Executive Assistant to the President, and Vice President for Academic Affairs over the course of the past 9 years, he began his current assignment two years ago. In addition to University administrative duties, Randall enjoys preaching and serving churches as Interim Pastor. Eric Geilker ’87 M.A.R. and his wife Joyce celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary this year--twenty years after graduating from YDS. They have lived in Charlottesville, VA for twenty years and have three children. Eric collects properties to improve and rent and Joyce practices medicine at University of Virginia. Eric spends a lot of time outdoors, recently became a trail overseer for the Appalachian Trail, and just started building a stone cabin on a mountain adjoining Shenandoah National Park. Eric Plickert ’87 M.Div. and his wife Sharon are beginning their tenth year at Worcester Academy.  She teaches sixth and eighth grade science and he is one of the school counselors and teach Geology and Oceanography.  Eric has also put together a Science and Religion elective and is working on some ethics courses. In addition he is hoping to put together an Outdoor Ed. program.  The Plickerts spent two weeks on Kauai at a conference on ecosystems and geology where they made contact with David Turner ’87 M.Div. who is doing well.

I write this as movers are packing up our house to move to Connecticut, only an hour away from New Haven! Thanks to all who responded and I look forward to hearing from others of you in the months to come! Maybe I’ll see you at Convocation.