Please watch the following message from Dr. Gabriella Lettini, Dean of Faculty and Chief Academic Officer at Starr King School for the Ministry, about a recent decision she has made about the next step in her career and her life.
To Members of the Starr King Community,
We announce with deep regret and great pride that our beloved dean and chief academic officer, Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini, is leaving Starr King to become Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, beginning July 1, 2020. Although we are deeply saddened by her imminent departure from our school, we are thrilled at the new opportunities ahead for her, as she remains our dear and treasured friend. We are confident that she will bring the same level of wisdom, grace, and commitment to her new post that she has brought to Starr King for the past 15 years.
It’s important to reflect on all of the many ways that Gabriella has been a leader not only at Starr King, but in progressive religion as a whole. Gabriella arrived at Starr King in 2005 to lead the newly created Master of Arts in Social Change (M.A.S.C.) program. This was the first ever program of its kind; under Gabriella’s leadership it has become a model within theological education. Thanks to her, our school’s skilled faculty represents of a variety of experiences, identities, and expertise. Gabriella has broadened and deepened our pedagogical commitment to educating to counter oppressions (ECO). She is also a pioneer in work on trauma and moral injury, co-organizing with Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock the Truth Commission on Conscience in War and co-authoring Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War while teaching at Starr King. Gabriella’s contributions to our school, and to progressive religion, are legion; her impact on our students and the wider world will be felt for generations.
Even amidst our sadness, we are so grateful to Gabriella for her years of devoted service! Of course, there will be time and opportunity to thank Gabriella for her many contributions, and to celebrate this next chapter in her professional journey. But there’s no need to wait: if you have been touched or inspired by Gabriella, don’t hesitate to thank her and wish her well!
In the coming months, we will name an Interim Dean of Faculty, who will serve next year as we begin the national search for a permanent dean/chief academic officer.
We know that Gabriella’s departure adds another layer to these moments of change and transition in which we find ourselves. We know that change is unsettling and disruptive. But as current and future religious leaders, we also know that change has the capacity to help us grow stronger. Amidst our sadness, let us celebrate the wonderful legacy that Gabriella leaves behind. And may we embrace that legacy to build the future for Starr King that all of us believe in.