Edom Wessenyeleh '17
Tucker Foundation Office Assistant
Major: Geogrpahy, Pre-Health
Hometown: Boston, MARead the full interview
The 2013 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 8, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, IX Bishop of New Hampshire, Retired.
V. Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire on June 7, 2003, having served as Canon to the Ordinary (Assistant to the Bishop) for nearly 18 years. He was consecrated a Bishop on All Saints Sunday, November 2, 2003, was invested as the Ninth Bishop of New Hampshire on March 7, 2004 and retired as Bishop of New Hampshire on January 5, 2013.
A 1969 graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, he has a B.A. in American Studies/History. In 1973, he completed the M.Div. degree at the General Theological Seminary in New York, was ordained deacon, and then priest, serving the church in various capacities until becoming Canon to the Ordinary in 1985.
Co-author of three AIDS education curricula for youth and adults, Gene has done AIDS work in the United States and in Africa (Uganda and South Africa). He has been an advocate for anti-racism training in the diocese and wider Church. He helped build the Diocese of New Hampshire's close working partnership with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, advocated for debt relief for the world's most impoverished nations, and lobbied for socially-responsible investments within and beyond the Church. He holds three honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards from national civil rights organizations.
His story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary, "For the Bible Tells Me So." In 2008 Gene's book In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God (Seabury Books, New York) was released. He is the subject of "Love Free or Die," another feature-length documentary, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The Bishop's latest book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage, was published by Alfred Knopf in the fall of 2012.
Bishop Robinson has been active particularly in the area of full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Working at the state, national and international levels, he has spoken and lobbied for equal protection under the law and full civil marriage rights. He has been honored by many LGBT organizations for this work, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, GLAD, NH Civil Liberties Union, GLAAD and the Equality Forum.
Bishop Robinson was invited by Barak Obama to give the invocation at the opening inaugural ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009.
In his "retirement," Gene is serving as a Senior Fellow at the Center for America Progress, a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C., where he writes and speaks on a variety of issues faction the nation. He is also "Bishop in Residence" at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.
Gene is the father of two grown daughters and the proud grandfather of two granddaughters. He lives with his husband, Mark Andrew, who is employed by the State of New Hampshire's Department of Health & Human Services.
The 2012 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 9, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was The Reverend Doctor Serene Jones, 16th president of Union Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 174-year-old nondenominational seminary, which is in Manhattan and neighbors with Columbia University, Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was co-principal investigator on the "Women, Religion, and Globalization Grant" for the Henry T. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs at Yale. Dr. Jones is a prolific and popular scholar in the fields of theology, religion, globalization, and gender studies. Her most recent book, Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World, explores the devastating social and personal effects of violence on the human psyche and the role religious communities can play, both negative and positive, in healing wounds. Her book, Feminist Theory and Christian Theology, is a standard textbook in feminist theology. In addition to three other books, and 37 articles and book chapters since 1991, she has delivered a long list of professional papers and public lectures across the United States and around the world. She holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Yale Divinity School and Yale University. Jones is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
The 2011 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 11, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was Bill McKibbon, environmentalist, author and Sunday school teacher.
Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, best-selling author, and Sunday school teacher. He is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time Magazine called him 'the planet's best green journalist' and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was 'probably the country's most important environmentalist.'
Bill is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College and holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges, including the Universities of Massachusetts and Maine, the State University of New York, and Whittier and Colgate Colleges. Bill has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Bill is a frequent contributor to various magazines including the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The Christian Century, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine.
Bill currently resides with his wife, writer Sue Halpern, and his daughter, Sophie, who was born in 1993, in Ripton, Vermont.
The 2010 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 12, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was Rabbi Ellen W. Dreyfus, President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus was born in Chicago and grew up on the South Side. She received a B.A. in History from Fairhaven College in Bellingham, Washington in 1974. Upon entering the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, she spent the first year in Jerusalem, and then studied at the New York campus, where she was ordained in 1979. Rabbi Dreyfus worked as a hospital chaplain at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and at Doctors Hospital in New York City. She was the Educational Coordinator at Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park, Michigan, and served for two years as the rabbi of Temple B'nai Israel in Kankakee, Illinois. From 1987 to 1998, she was the rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom in Park Forest, Illinois, and since 1998 has served as the rabbi of the merged B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom in Homewood, Illinois.
Rabbi Dreyfus is President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the international organization of nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis. She is past-president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, the first woman to hold this office. She is a founder and past-president of the Women's Rabbinic Network and is an Associate Chair of the Israel Bonds Rabbinic Cabinet. She has served as president of the South Suburban Ministerial Association, and chair of the Rabbinic Advisory Committee of the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute Camp, where she teaches each summer. She is a member and immediate past-chair of the Ethics Commission of the Village of Homewood.
Rabbi Dreyfus is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Israel, and is one of a select group of rabbis from North America to have completed a 3-year program of study called “The Rabbinic Leadership Institute.” In 2004, the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion awarded her the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, for 25 years of service to the Jewish people.
In April 2009, Rabbi Dreyfus was ranked number 18 on Newsweek’s list of “50 Influential Rabbis.”
Rabbi Dreyfus lives in Homewood, Illinois with her husband, James N. Dreyfus, M.D., a rheumatologist practicing in Munster, Indiana. They are the parents of Benjamin (married to Rabbi Elizabeth Richman), Lina (married to Adam Wallace) and David, and the grandparents of Sivan Rina Wallace, born February 2010.
The 2009 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 13, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was J. Bryan Hehir, professor of government at Harvard University.
J. Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also the Secretary for Health and Social Services for the Archdiocese of Boston. Prior to assuming these positions Father Hehir served as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the national network of Charities in the United States, from 2001 through 2003. From 1973-1992 he served on the staff of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in Washington, D.C., addressing issues of both foreign and domestic policy for the church in the United States. From 1984-1992, he served on the faculty at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. In 1993 he joined the faculty of the Harvard Divinity School as Professor of the Practice in Religion and Society. From 1998-2001 he served as Interim Dean and Dean of the Divinity School.
Father Hehir took his A.B. and Master of Divinity degrees at St. John's Seminary and his Doctor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School. His research and writing focus on issues of ethics and foreign policy, Catholic social ethics and the role of religion in world politics and in American society.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Board of the Arms Control Association, the Global Development Committee and the Independent Sector. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1984 and is the recipient of over thirty honorary degrees from American colleges and universities.
Publications include: "The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Continuity and Change"; Military Intervention and National Sovereignty"; "Catholicism and Democracy"; "Social Values and Public Policy: A Contribution from a Religious Tradition"; and "The Moral Dimension in the Use of Force".
The 2008 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 7, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was Eboo Patel, founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core.
Eboo Patel is the founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit working to build mutual respect and pluralism among religiously diverse young people by empowering them to work together to serve others. He is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, released by Beacon Press in June 2007. Dr. Patel holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. He writes “The Faith Divide,” a featured blog on religion for The Washington Post, and also has written for the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Chicago Tribune, Clinton Journal, The Review of Faith and International Affairs, Journal of College and Character, and National Public Radio.
Dr. Patel serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation USA, the Advisory Board of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center, and the Board of the Chicago History Museum.
A sought-after speaker, he delivered the keynote speech at the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Forum and the commencement address at Augsburg College in 2007. He also has spoken at the Compassion Forum, TED Conference, Clinton Global Initiative, and Nobel Peace Prize Forum, as well as at universities around the world.
Dr. Patel is an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select group of social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the world, and was named by Islamica Magazine as one of ten young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America. He was selected as one of “Five Future Policy Leaders” featured in the Harvard Kennedy School Review in spring 2008 and has been profiled by PBS and several other media outlets.
The 2007 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 9 at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was Fred Berthold, the first Dean of the Tucker Foundation and teacher emeritus of Dartmouth.
The Rev. Dr. Fred Berthold Jr. is Preston Kelsey Professor of Religion, Emeritus, and served as first Dean of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth.
After receiving an A.B. in psychology from Dartmouth in 1944, Berthold continued on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1947 and a Ph.D. in religion from the University of Chicago in 1954.
Berthold joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1949 as an instructor in philosophy. He moved to the religion department in 1950, subsequently chairing that department from 1951 to 1958 and again from 1960 to 1967. His religion department classes covered such subjects as "Kierkegaard and Religious Existentialism," "The Christian Tradition," and "Luther and the Protestant Reformation." In addition to his work in the religion department, Berthold served as associate dean of the faculty for the humanities from 1975 through 1980.
Instrumental in the founding of the Tucker Foundation, Berthold served as its first dean from 1957 to 1962.
A specialist in philosophy of religion and modern religious thought, Berthold's areas of interest include theodicy (the problem of evil), religion and science, and modern existentialism (from Kierkegaard onward). Among his books are God, Evil, and Human Learning, which revises the traditional free will defense regarding the existence of evil in the world of a loving God, and The Fear of God, which examines issues in the relationship between psychology and religion. Berthold currently is working on another book that analyzes the relations between the religious right and secular humanistic believers in modern science.
Ordained by the United Church of Christ in 1949, Berthold has preached often in local and regional churches. He has been married for 61 years to Laura Berthold, M.Div., and takes great pride in his four children, all of whom, he writes, "reach out to help people in need."
The 2006 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 10, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was The Reverend Robert K. Goowin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Points of Light Foundation.
The Reverend Robert K. Goodwin is president and chief executive officer of the Points of Light Foundation, an organization that, together with the Volunteer Center National Network, mobilizes millions of people in volunteer service designed to help solve serious social problems in communities throughout the nation. Goodwin has headed the Points of Light Foundation since 1995.
In 1997, Goodwin was instrumental in the development of the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future, which celebrated a commitment to improve the quality of life for this nation’s youth. He also created Connect America, a collaborative effort led by the Foundation and a diverse group of national and local organizations—nonprofits, civic associations, local governments, businesses, labor unions, fraternal organizations, news media, an others—to engage every American in helping to solve serious social and community problems through volunteering.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 1992 as its executive vice president and chief operating officer, Goodwin served as executive director of the U.S. Department of Education’s White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In this role, Goodwin brought together representatives from the federal government, historically black colleges and universities, other colleges and universities, and the private sector to formulate and implement strategies for strengthening the nation’s black institutions of higher education.
Goodwin also has served as assistant deputy chancellor for external affairs for Texas A&M University, as associate vice president for university relations at Prairie View A&M University, and as publisher of his family-owned weekly newspaper, the Tulsa Oklahoma Eagle.
After graduating from Oral Roberts University in 1970, Goodwin received his M.A. in philosophy (Christian ethics) from the the San Francisco Theological Seminary. He has completed course work for an M.A. in Social Psychology at The University of Tulsa and has engaged in further graduate study at Texas A&M University. While a student, Goodwin served as associate pastor at several churches in Oklahoma and California.
Goodwin serves on the boards of the Interdenominational Theological Center, National Assembly, National and Community Service Coalition, National Urban Fellows, Inc., Salvation Army, Youth for Understanding, and Generations United.
In 2001 Goodwin received the Award for Excellence in National Executive Leadership from the National Assembly of Health and Human Services Organizations. For eight years in a row, he has been named by the NonProfit Times as one of the fifty most influential people in the nonprofit sector. Among other distinctions, he has received honorary doctorates from LeMoyne-Owen College, Ripon College, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the University of Notre Dame.
Goodwin and his wife, Ruth, reside in Fairfax, VA.
The 2005 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 11, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was the Honorable Andrew Young, President, National Council of Churches, 2000-2001 and Chairman of Goodworks International, Atlanta, GA.
Ambassador Andrew Young is chairman of Goodworks International, a specialty consulting group based in Atlanta, Georgia, that provides strategic services to corporations and governments operating in the global economy. He serves as a member of the boards of directors of numerous organizations and businesses including Delta Airlines, Argus, Host Marriott Corporation, Archer Daniels Midland, Cox Communications, and Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Now the National Council of Churches' Immediate Past President, Ambassador Young served as NCC President -- a part-time, non-salaried leadership post -- in 2000-2001. His NCC presidency brought him full circle, as he had served as associate director of the Department of Youth Work of the NCC’s Division of Christian Education from 1957-61.
Ambassador Andrew Young is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He has published two books, A Way Out of No Way, Thomas Nelson, and An Easy Burden, Harper Collins. His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom and many honorary degrees. He served three terms in the US Congress from the 5th district of Georgia. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter named him Ambassador to the United Nations. He served two terms as Mayor of Atlanta and was Co-Chairman of the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.
Ambassador Young was a top aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement, was involved in its inception, and served as Vice-President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He presently serves on the Board of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change.
The 2004 Baccalaureate service was held Saturday, June 12, at 3pm in Rollins Chapel. The speaker was Diana L. Eck, a professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard Divinity School. The sermon, which was delivered at Rollins Chapel, is now available online in Microsoft Word format.
Last Updated: 5/2/14