Celebrating Commencement 2011

Message from the President banner

photo of Rebecca ParkerDear Friend of Starr King,

I am delighted to announce that Starr King will award M.Div. degrees to fourteen graduating students and will bestow honorary doctorates on two remarkable women at our Commencement Exercises, Thursday, May 19th, at 7:00 p.m. at First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco (link). The celebration is open to all.

A public reception and conversation with our honorees will be held at Starr King School, 11am to 1pm, May 19, in the Fireside Room, to which you are also warmly invited (view the flier).

Esin Celebi Bayru

Esin Celebi Bayru is the 22nd generation of Mevlana Jalauddin Rumi. Currently the Vice-Chairperson of the International Mevlana Foundation, she is an accomplished writer and public speaker, who lectures around the world on the mystical traditions of Islam. “Esin Celebi embodies our school’s commitments to multi-religious theological education in a context of educating to counter oppression,” Professor Farajajé notes. “As a contemporary Muslim woman and leader of an international spiritual movement, she serves as an excellent role model for all of us.  And she is very fond of the UU hymn, ‘Come, come whoever you are,’ based on the words of her grandfather!”  Esin Celebi is beloved by the Starr King students who have been part of Starr King’s Rumi pilgrimage to Turkey led by Professor Ibrahim Farajajé. (Our Rumi Immersion course in Turkey is offered again this December – see our website for details.)

Rosemary Matson

Rosemary Matson, “foremother/implementer/activist,” is a living exemplar of Unitarian Universalist feminism.Beginning in the 1970’s, Rosemary Matson pioneered the Women and Religion Resolution adopted by the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly. An advocate for  women in the ministry, for feminist curricula and worship, and for nonsexist language, Rosemary Matson has been unflagging in her commitment to substantive change: “We do not want a piece of the pie. It is still a patriarchal pie. We want to change the recipe.”  Her activism has extended to counter-oppressive, justice work in many realms: She worked with César Chávez and the United Farm Workers while she was on the staff of Starr King School in the 1960s. She’s been active with Humanists of America, the United Nations, and the UU Women’s Heritage Society – an inspiration to all who know her.

I hope you will join us – in person or in spirit – on May 19 for conversation, music, refreshments, inspiring words, and beautiful ritual as we send forth this year’s graduates from Starr King School for the Ministry to “bless the world in the spirit of love.”

See Commencement 2011 announcement for the names of all our graduating students and honorees and directions to the event.

In grace and gratitude,

Rebecca Parker
President and Professor of Theology


We look forward to hearing from you.  Email comments and responses to me at rparker@sksm.edu.

P.S. We will take an offering in honor of our graduates and honorees.You can make a gift online right now! Your gifts of financial support are needed and appreciated.  Click here to make a secure online donation.

Donations by check may be mailed to:

Starr King School for the Ministry
2441 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709-1209
Attn: Donor Relations

Educating Unitarian Universalist ministers and progressive religious leaders for society since 1904.

If you are interested in exploring a Starr King education, or know someone who is, visit www.sksm.edu/about/prospective_students.php and contact our Recruitment and Marketing Director, Crystal H. Weston, at recruitment@sksm.edu.