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Notes from the Quad

Emilie M. Townes, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African-American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School, has been elected vice president of the 10,000-member American Academy of Religion, putting her in line to assume the presidency in 2008. >Go to Story

Yale Divinity School alumnus Peter Nagle, founder of the organization "Friends of Bethlehem," has produced a DVD film, "Sacred Space Denied: Bethlehem and the Wall" about the West Bank barrier that separates Palestinians and Israelis. It is Nagle's hope that the film will help nurture peace in the Holy Land.   The film concludes with the words, "[This land] is greater than any one of our traditions. As such, it cries out not to be possessed, or to have more borders or walls, but to be shared peacefully, and fairly, with the generosity of spirit with which it was given to us." >Go to Story

In 2004 YDS alumnus Donald F. Beisswenger spent six months behind bars at the Federal Correctional Institution in Manchester, KY for protesting practices of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, a U.S. government agency that trains foreign nationals in counterinsurgency warfare. From prison, Beisswenger wrote about the “gift of confinement” he experienced while incarcerated. >Go to the story, printed in the fall 2005 issue of The Spire, a publication of Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Again next summer, Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, in cooperation with Berkeley Divinity School, will offer an exciting series of weeklong courses in a variety of fields, including biblical studies, worship, music, interfaith dialogue, pastoral care, art, and ministry. Three sessions are planned in New Haven, coinciding with the city's annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas: June 5-9, June 12-16, and June 19-23. Complete information will be available on the Summer Term web site by December 23. >Go To Summerterm Website

YDS Donors May Realize Special Tax Savings Until End of 2005

By acting before the end of the year, donors to Yale Divinity School and other “qualified charities” may realize special tax savings, based on a unique loosening of federal regulations that govern charitable giving. This temporary donor opportunity, which ends on December 31, results from the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA), signed into law by President Bush on September 23. Of particular note are a provision that temporarily suspends limitations on deductions for gifts of cash and another suspending a rule that reduces the value of itemized deductions for some higher-income taxpayers. Further information about giving to YDS under KETRA is available from John Lindner, director of external affairs and development, at 203-432-5363, john.lindner@yale.edu.

Angelique Walker-Smith '83 M.Div., immediate past president of the Yale Divinity School Alumni Board, was honored December 14 in Indianapolis for her service to YDS during a joint celebration with The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis.  Walker-Smith's two-year term ended in October.  A highlight of her tenure on the board was her leadership as co-chair of YDS's first-ever alumni of color reunion and convocation in May 2003.
>Go to story

Election of a Yale Divinity School professor as vice president of the American Academy of Religion and featured discussion sessions on new books by two popular YDS scholars were highlights of the Yale presence at the 2005 annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion & Society of Biblical Literature, held Nov. 19-22 in Philadelphia.

>Go to story

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, GA, began her ministry with not much more than a hope and a prayer, but she had enough faith in her dream to grow a four-person Bible fellowship into a bustling congregation of 3,500 in a span of 19 years. On Nov. 10, in a sermon at Yale Divinity School's Marquand Chapel, Hale encouraged students to dream their own dreams, take them seriously, and act on them. >Go to story

Did you miss Convocation and Reunions 2005 and wish you had been there? Do not despair—on the YDS Convocation web site are articles about the activities, text and video clips of lectures and sermons, photos of reunion classes and more.

>Go to Convocation 2005 web site

Dartmouth Scholar to Deliver William Anderton Chisolm Lecture
Susan Ackerman, professor of religion at Dartmouth College, will deliver the William Anderton Chisolm Lecture on January 31. The lecture will begin in Niebuhr Hall at 5:15 p.m., followed by a reception. Ackerman is a specialist in the religion of ancient Israel and the religions of Israel 's neighbors (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Canaan). Her publications include several articles and three books, the most recent of which is When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David (Columbia University Press, 2005). The Chisolm lecture is funded through the Chisolm Francis Asbury Palmer Fund, established in 1998 at Berkeley Divinity School. >Go to Professor Ackerman's web site

After three years as director of publications at Yale Divinity School, Jamie Manson '02 M.Div. is moving on to a position in New York City-as director of faith information at the Church of St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit apostolate parish with a commitment to prophetic witness and cutting-edge urban ministry.
>Go To Story

Bread Upon the Waters, a traveling exhibition of Christians in the Visual Arts, will be on display at the Institute of Sacred Music January 26 – February 22. Jurors for the collection described the exhibition as a “rich historical tapestry of Christendom, the deep valleys and mountain tops of human emotion, the tear between flesh and Spirit created by sin, a rift being made whole again ever since the Word first became flesh - the Body of Christ - his new creations.” >Go to story

Creators of the project Been in the Storm So Long, a chronicling of the history of the black presence at Yale Divinity School, are inviting black alumni to collaborate in the project by sharing recollections of their YDS experience. Principal investigators are Yolanda Smith, assistant professor of Christian education at Yale Divinity School, and Moses Moore '77 M.Div., associate professor of American and African American religious history at Arizona State University.
>Go to Been in the Storm Website
Reminder: Nominations Sought for Distinguished Alumni Awards, Membership on Board of Alumnal Affairs

YDS graduates are invited to submit nominations for distinguished alumni awards and for membership on the Board of Alumnal Affairs. Nominations must be submitted by January 9, 2006, either online or by using a printable form that can be mailed.
>Go to Board of Alumnal Affairs Nomination Page
>Go to Distinguished Alumni Awards Nomination Page

Convocation and Reunions 2006 will be celebrated Oct. 9-12 on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle. Featured lecturers include Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Emory University (Lyman Beecher Lectures) and John P. Meier, William K. Warren Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame (Kent Shaffer Lectures). Reunion classes include 1951, 1956 and 1981. Cluster reunions will be held for 1970-72 and 1990-92.
>Go to Convocation 2005 website

>Go to flash video presentation featuring music from the Sacramental Winers

More News:

Recent news about alumni, faculty and students
>Go to About People
A Gift of a Lifetime
Many alumni and friends have chosen to support the Divinity School through "planned gifts,” oftentimes through donations that establish permanent legacies that remain a testament to the donor's devotion and generosity. Planned gifts most frequently take the form of charitable gift annuities and bequests. Further information on planned giving to Yale is available at http://www.yale.edu/development/waysofgiving/planned.html

Financial Aid for Students
Annual gifts to the Yale Divinity School Annual Fund are directed to the School's most valuable asset—the students. In 2004-05 YDS was able to provide partial scholarships to 60 students, and the goal for 2005-06 is 65 students.

Make a gift of financial aid to the Annual Fund online:Donate to the Annual Fund


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