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Convocation and Reunions Week: October 8 -12, 2006

2006 YDS Alumni Award Recipients

price  williams  neilsen  shorrock

William Sloane Coffin '56 Award for Peace and Justice
U.S. Representative David E. Price '64 B.D., '66 M.A., '69 Ph.D
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

David E. Price '64 B.D., '66 M.A., '69 Ph.D

The 2006 recipient of the William Sloane Coffin '56 Award for Peace and Justice is an 18-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives and foreign policy leader who voted against the U.S. invasion of Iraq and has called on the administration to submit a detailed plan for withdrawal of U.S. troops.

U.S. Representative David E. Price, a Democrat who represents North Carolina 's Fourth Congressional District, also was among those calling for an immediate ceasefire in the recent flare-up of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah; cosponsored legislation aimed at combating global warming; and helped improve the availability of financing for low-income families seeking mortgages.

Price received his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina , Chapel Hill and then earned a B.D. from Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University . Before entering Congress in 1986, he was a professor of political science and public policy at Duke University .

Price currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee, including two of its subcommittees: Homeland Security and Military Quality of Life/Veterans Affairs. As co-chair of the Democratic Budget Group, he remains actively involved in efforts to pass economic proposals that he believes are fair, effective, and fiscally sound. Previously, he served on the House Budget Committee.

In North Carolina, Price is known as a strong supporter of education, accessible health care, affordable housing, clean air and water, and improved transportation alternatives, as well as an advocate for North Carolinians who have served the country-from veterans, to active duty troops, to members of the Guard and Reserves and local first responders.

Raised in Erwin , TN , Price lives in Chapel Hill , NC with his wife, Lisa. They have two grown children and a grandson.


Distinction in Theological Education
Preston Noah Williams '54 S.T.M.
Belmont, Massachusetts

Preston Noah Williams '54 S.T.M.Preston N. Williams, a renowned scholar who served as Houghton Professor of Theology and Ethics at Harvard Divinity School for more than three decades, has spent his entire ministry on college and university campuses. After earning his S.T.M. at Yale Divinity School in 1954, he became a chaplain and instructor in religion at three historically black colleges: Knoxville College, North Carolina College at Durham, (North Carolina Central University) and Lincoln University.

From 1956-61 Williams was assistant chaplain at Pennsylvania State University, followed by an appointment as professor at Boston University School of Theology and, finally, as Houghton Professor at Harvard Divinity School from 1971-2002. In 1974-75, he served as acting dean of the Divinity School and then, in 1975-77, was acting and founding director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research. Since 1995 he has served as director of the Summer Leadership Institute at Harvard, a continuing education program for faith-based community and economic development practitioners.

Harvard has bestowed upon him the Harvard Foundation Medal for Interracial and Race Relations (1994) and the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal (2000). In addition, Harvard established the Preston N. Williams Black Alumni/ae Award in his honor.

Williams has been president of both the American Academy of Religion (1975 - 76) and the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics (1974-75). The author of numerous articles and books, his areas of study and research are ethics and African American religion. Williams is an editor-at-large for Christian Century magazine and has lectured and taught in India, Japan, Korea, England, Canada, the Caribbean, and Africa.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington and Jefferson College, A.B. '47, A.M. '48, he earned his B.D. at Johnson C. Smith University. In 1967 he received a Ph.D. from Harvard and in 1993 was awarded the doctor of humane letters degree from Tuskegee University.

An ordained United Presbyterian minister, he is married to Constance W. Williams. They live in Belmont, MA and have two grown sons.

Distinction in Congregational Ministry
Thomas S. Neilsen '76 M.Div.
New Glarus, Wisconsin

Thomas S. Neilsen '76 M.Div.For more than two decades, Thomas S. Neilsen, senior pastor of the Swiss United Church of Christ in New Glarus, WI, has been heavily involved in programs aimed at protecting human rights of the Latin American poor.

Since 1984, Neilsen has worked in partnership with various groups: Guatemalan refugees in Chicago and Mexico; indigenous Mayan people in Chiapas, Mexico ; the Roman Catholic Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia of San Cristobal de las Casas; as well as partnerships in El Salvador with Pastor Miguel Tomas Castro and rural communities in Usulutan, El Salvador. He is also involved in human rights projects in other countries in Central and South America, including the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Guatemala.

In 1994, he was nominated by Bishop Ruiz as the first Protestant member of SICSAL (International Christian Solidarity for Human Rights in Latin America), a solidarity community started by Monsignor Oscar Romero, Bishop Ruiz, and Bishop Acero, leading human right activists in Latin America. He continues to serve on the Executive Committee of SICSAL. He has been recognized there for his work saving the lives of many indigenous Guatemalans between 1984 and 1997, as well as establishing projects between churches and conferences in the United States and poor communities in Latin America. He is currently involved in a sponsorship program that helps poor children in El Salvador continue their education beyond the sixth grade.

Neilsen has received many awards for his work in Latin America, including human rights awards from the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ (1989), the city of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico (1984, 1986), the city of San Salvador (2000, 2005), Gustavus Adolphus College (1992), and others. He has been a frequent speaker throughout the United States on Latin America and United States policy in Latin America, including appearances in documentaries on Central America and testimony in Washington.

He earned his B.A. at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and is ordained in the United Church of Christ. He and his wife, Joan, have raised four adopted children.

Lux et Veritas
Hallam C. Shorrock, Jr. '52 M.Div.
Claremont , California

Hallam C. Shorrock, Jr. '52 M.Div.A boyhood Christian commitment in Seattle, wartime study of Japanese, and post-war reconstruction work in Japan as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) missionary set the stage for Shorrock's diversified career in ecumenical, educational and not-for-profit organizations.

After teaching English in a Tokyo Christian secondary school beginning in 1947 and organizing and participating in the first Japan National Christian Council-sponsored international Christian work camps in 1949-50, Shorrock went on to direct Church World Service's extensive relief and rehabilitation programs in Japan and then Korea. He worked closely with Catholic Relief Services, the Quakers, and the welfare ministry of each country, also representing the interests of the International Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Hong Kong Office. In 1954 he was cited by the Emperor of Japan and awarded the Public Welfare Medal by the Republic of Korea 's president. Shorrock subsequently served for two years as Asia Secretary for the Geneva-based World Council of Churches' Interchurch Aid/Service to Refugees.

In 1963 Shorrock was named vice president for financial affairs of International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo. Six years later he became associate director of the University of California Education Abroad Program, responsible for the care of 1,000 UC students studying in 35 host institutions abroad. During 1966-67 he was visiting lecturer in missions at Yale Divinity School.

Shorrock spent four post-retirement years in Japan as ICU's dean of international affairs, and concurrently one year as general secretary of the Association of Christian Colleges and Universities in Asia.

He has three sons, two daughters, and 12 grandchildren. His wife of 54 years, Helen '67 M.A.R., originally a member of the YDS class of 1948, died in 2001. He is now married to Yasuko Fukada. They live in Claremont, CA. 

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