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Notes from the Quad

AttridgeThe Yale Corporation at its April 2009 meeting confirmed the appointment of Harold W. Attridge as the first Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean of Yale Divinity School. The new endowed deanship was created through a gift from Robert L. McNeil Jr. ’36S, honoring his grandfather, an 1877 graduate of the Divinity School. In acknowledging the donor’s generosity, Yale President Richard C. Levin said creation of the deanship will ensure “the continuity of strong leadership at the School, for now and for future generations” and will underscore the “commitment to core principles of scholarship that have guided Yale Divinity School from its very inception.” >Go to story

At a time when the concept of America as a “Christian nation” is increasingly up for grabs, ministers, lay leaders and academics gathered at Yale Divinity School April 30-May 1 to talk about the challenges of church life in the 21st century and share insights about leadership in the congregation.   Some alumni on the two featured panels described what they saw as a kind of silver lining in the cloud hovering above the mainline American religious landscape: a secular and materialistic culture, caught in the storm of a severe economic downtown, that is ripe for a return to a more spiritual climate. >Go to story

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University is establishing partnerships with institutions in Poland, South Africa, and Australia, reflecting a growing global interest in the 18th century American theologian best known for his sermon “Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God.”  A Jonathan Edwards Center will be inaugurated on May 29 at the Evangelical School of Theology in Wroclaw, Poland. In 2010, centers will be opened at the University of the Free State, Faculty of Theology, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia.

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KinnamonPublication of the spring issue of Reflections magazine has prompted National Council of Churches General Secretary Michael Kinnamon to call “with urgency” for renewed engagement by the churches in efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.  Kinnamon issued his call at a May 12 New York City reception launching the spring issue, which is devoted to the subject of faith and nuclear weapons.  He said the NCC has failed to pursue the nuclear weapons issue aggressively enough in recent years and pledged to distribute the magazine among NCC leaders to rekindle church interest in the topic. >Go to story

Three young scholars have accepted invitations to join the Yale Divinity School faculty as assistant professors, effective July 1, 2009.  Joining the faculty will be Chloë Faith Starr, who holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford in Oriental studies and is currently conducting research in Beijing; Clarence E. Hardy III, who teaches religion at Dartmouth and earned a Ph.D. in theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York; and Tisa J. Wenger, who teaches religion at Arizona Sate University and holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University. >Go to story

Recent news about alumni, faculty and students

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Through these days of economic uncertainty, we must remain committed to supporting students who will become the future leaders of the church and the academy.  That’s why a group of dedicated donors have come forward to challenge their fellow Yale Divinity School alumni to give to the 2008-2009 Annual Fund and keep our alumni participation strong.  We’re calling it the “25 for 25” Participation Challenge: if 2,500 YDS graduates give to the Annual Fund by June 30, 2009, the group will make an additional contribution of $25,000!  Receiving this additional $25,000 grant is crucial to reviving the Annual Fund, which is down almost $50,000 in comparison to its level at this time last year.  Will you be one of the 2,500 YDS alums to rise to the Challenge?  The amount you give is up to you.  It’s your participation that counts.  All gifts are important and all Annual Fund gifts are applied directly to student scholarships. >Give online now

YDS’s Gifts of a Lifetime initiative can help provide financial certainty in these times of financial uncertainty. With a life-income gift benefiting YDS, such as a charitable gift annuity, you can receive guaranteed quarterly payments from Yale during your lifetime. To learn more about this, other Planned Giving options, and about remembering YDS in your will, please visit http://yale.planyourlegacy.org or call 203-432-5358/800-445-6086.

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