Starr King Commencement 2010

Message from the President banner

photo of Rebecca Parker

Dear Starr King Friends,

It was all joy and a few tears at Starr King’s Commencement Celebration on May 20, as you can see in this montage of photos.  Rejoicing with one of the largest graduating classes in our history, we gave thanks for the journey completed and the path ahead for each of our graduates. Many will go on to serve as Unitarian Universalist ministers.  Some will be continuing on for Ph.D. studies.  Others, such as our four graduates of the Master of Arts in Religious Leadership for Social Change, will be bringing multifaith, progressive religious voices into the public square on pressing social issues.
In a beautiful evolution of Starr King tradition, this year instead of each graduate speaking for two minutes, many of the graduates chose to combine their offerings into group presentations of music, poetry, reflections and prayer.  The ensemble pieces, along with those who spoke individually, revealed how Starr King’s commitment to education that honors the unfolding of each soul also fosters vibrant communal efforts and creative interchange. Special thanks to our Provost, Ibrahim Farajaje’ (profile), our Dean of Students, Becky Leyser, and our Registrar, Katrina Croswell, for their leadership in guiding the development of our traditions.

We presented an honorary doctorate to Mr. Danny Glover, in absentia, for his remarkable social justice work.  Mr. Glover has graced Starr King over the past two years, speaking to classes and lending his support and presence to events sponsored by our M.A.S.C. program, directed by Dr. Gabriella Lettini (profile). Rev. Lindi Ramsden, Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California, and an esteemed graduate of Starr King, was awarded an honorary doctorate for her exemplary ministry translating progressive religious values into legislative change.

In a moment of special tenderness for the Starr King community, we presented an honorary doctorate posthumously to Professor Patti Lawrence, and an M.Div. posthumously to Kevin Drewery.  We give thanks for these who sojourned with us and inspired us with their love for life.

At Commencement we catch a glimpse in each graduate of the transformative impact of our educational work.   I offer my deep gratitude to you and to all our Starr King friends, donors, graduates and supporters whose gifts make our work possible.

We are boldly moving forward with our Unitarian Universalist commitment to multi-religious, counter-oppressive theological education for the 21st century.   We welcome your support as we prepare now for the new students we will be welcoming in August — another good-sized entering class is on the way!
In grace and gratitude,

Rebecca Parker
President and Professor of Theology

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