Angelique Walker-Smith '83 M.Div. Honored for Service to YDS
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 celebration jointly hosted by the Yale Club of Indiana and The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis.
Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge presented Walker-Smith, whose two-year term ended in October, with an honorary plaque at the celebration.
“Angelique has impressed all of her colleagues on the alumni board at YDS with her infectious enthusiasm, her dedication to the school and her creative leadership of the efforts of our alums to support inclusive and ecumenical theological education,” said Attridge upon his return to New Haven . "She has displayed the same qualities of leadership in The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, which she has headed for the past ten years. It has been a pleasure to work with Angelique during her tenure as president of the alumni board, and we all look forward to many years of further fruitful collaboration".
Walker-Smith's two-year term as president ended in October. A highlight of Walker-Smith's tenure on the board was her leadership as co-chair of YDS's first-ever alumni of color reunion and convocation in 2003. In addition to the YDS recognition, Walker-Smith was honored for her service leading The Church Federation, which was established in 1912.
The daughter of an Ohio Baptist minister, Walker-Smith grew up during the racial struggles of the sixties. She earned a degree in telecommunications and dance at Kent State University and graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1983. She was ordained at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in New York, and later was awarded a D. Min. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, becoming the first black female D. Min. graduate in the seminary's history.
Walker-Smith and her husband, the Rev. R. Drew Smith, settled in Indianapolis, where she became the first African American executive director-minister of The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis. She also is one of the youngest people ever elected to the Central Committee, the top governing body of the World Council of Churches.
She has hosted a Saturday and Sunday morning talk show called Faces of Faith on the local ABC affiliate, WRTV/Channel 6 and PAX-TV. She has also been co-host (with Marlene Hartley) of two national series, Odyssey Big Screen and Odyssey Matinee on the Odyssey Channel (now the Hallmark Channel). In addition to her television pursuits, Walker-Smith is a columnist for the Indianapolis Star News .
In Indianapolis, she founded The Church Federation's Prayer Network public prayer vigils, held at the site of violent deaths, a healing practice that has been emulated in a number of other cities. Walker-Smith serves as prison chaplain to the Indiana Women's Prison. She was recognized by former President Clinton for her work in racial reconciliation, was given the YDS Alumnal Award for Community Service and Kent State University 's Special Achievement Award.