The school year has nearly begun, and Starr King shows all the signs of preparing for a new season. Workers and staff are grooming the school grounds and redecorating rooms; faculty members are ordering books and revising their syllabi. All of us are looking forward to the school’s annual Symposium with Buddhist teacher angel Kyodo Williams. Most of all, though, we are looking ahead to the arrival of our students. Whether they are returning to continue their studies, or are entering their first year of preparation for religious leadership, our students are the reason each one of us is here.
Just as there are seasons in the life of the school, there are seasons in the life of those of us who serve here. I wanted to let you know of a particularly difficult change—the resignation of Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie as associate professor of Unitarian Universalist History and Ministry, effective August 15, 2014. I accepted Susan’s resignation with regret, and with full knowledge and appreciation of her gifts as a historian and teacher of our living tradition. Though I will have the opportunity to work with her in the coming months on a Unitarian Universalist history project for Skinner House Books, I know our students will miss the chance to study with and learn from her. Susan leaves with our gratitude, our blessings and every good wish.
This season includes not only losses but additions to the school staff. We will be announcing those additions soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, may you be refreshed and renewed in these lazy August days.