The contributions of Harry Baker Adams, the Horace Bushnell Professor Emeritus of Christian Nurture, and his wife, Manette, were celebrated during Convocation ceremonies outside Marquand Chapel on a bright, sunny, but windswept afternoon. A section of the Quadrangle on the north side of the Chapel near Beecher House was dedicated in their honor, and a special poem for the occasion from University President Richard C. Levin was read (printed below).
Despite his “retirement” more than four years ago, Professor Adams has continued to be a generous and active member of the YDS community—as demonstrated when he accepted Levin's call to be acting dean of the Divinity School after Richard Wood stepped down at the end of 2000. At that time, Levin called Adams “one of the jewels of the University, always willing to assume major responsibility without hesitation.” Adams remains active with the University's United Way campaign and the Connecticut Food Bank; serves on the boards of the Koerner Center for Emeritus Faculty and the Grove Street Cemetery ; and is Chair of the Board of Incorporators of the Elizabethan Club. Manette Adams works with several students through Literacy Volunteers and serves on the board of the Yale University Women's Organization. Both are active in the United Church on the Green, where Harry is a member of the Board of Stewards.
A graduate of Yale College in 1947 and YDS in 1951, Adams began working at the University in 1956 as associate director of field work at the Divinity School. He joined the YDS faculty in 1960 and was named professor of pastoral theology in 1976. The University's chaplain from 1986 to 1991, he was master of Trumbull College for 10 years, served one year as acting master of Saybrook College, and was acting director of the Institute of Sacred Music on three occasions. He served for many years as an associate dean of the Divinity School.
Lines for Harry and Manette
In Honor of Their Celebration
And in Thanks for All they Have Given
From Richard C. Levin
(Written by Penny Laurens)
October 12, 2004
Cheer Harry and his bride Manette!
A gracious and caring duet.
In all Yale has asked
They've both multi-tasked
We owe them a towering debt.
At the Div. School in this lovely quad,
They honor where Harry has trod.
He's been a peacemaker
A Giver, not Taker,
(And it's proven he's patient as God!).
His stewardship's not commonplace,
He preached at Battell with great grace,
Both mastered at Trumbull
With never a stumble
And took Saybrook in their embrace.
Wherever we've been in a clench,
When we've had to redo or retrench,
When we've been in despair
We've called for this pair
Heavens knows, now they merit this bench!
May many in spring or in fall
Who sit and consider it all,
When they dream and they tarry
Like Manette and Harry
Gain strength to respond to the call.
May they share a great sense of release,
May they feel a deep spirit of peace,
Like the duo we love
Give them strength from above
And forever their blessings increase.
So Manette and Harry, all Hail!
As they toast you with bench and with ale,
Thanks for doing your parts
With your minds and your hearts
For God and for Country and Yale.