Dear Starr King Friends,
I am delighted to announce that Starr King School will award three honorary doctorates at our Commencement Ceremonies, May 21, 2009. All are welcome. Each honoree embodies in a distinctive way what we at Starr King School strive to teach through our emphasis on the Unitarian Universalist values of countering-oppressions and creating just and sustainable communities.
Rev. Mary Harrington, a beloved Unitarian Universalist minister and Starr King graduate, will receive the Doctorate of Sacred Theology for outstanding service as a parish minister and her inspiring leadership as president of Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, which has organized over 300 trips of volunteers to help “people in the Gulf Coast region rebuild their homes, their neighborhoods, their communities and their lives for as long as it takes.”
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. renowned pastor, will receive the Doctorate of Sacred Theology for his long career as a theological educator, church builder, and prophetic leader. During his 36 years as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, he built a progressive congregation to a membership of over 8,000. We particularly honor Dr. Wright for his leadership as an educator of progressive clergy for the African American church through the “Ministers in Training” program at Trinity, and for his affirming stance on LGBTQ issues in the church and in society.
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, will be awarded the Doctorate of Humane Letters. In the tradition of his teacher James Luther Adams, Mr. Hedges offers a vibrant progressive voice on religious and moral issues in the public square. We especially honor him for his witness to the immoral impacts of war in his books War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), What Every Person Should Know About War (2003), and Collateral Damage (2008). He also has addressed Christian fundamentalism and American Fascism, and critiqued public intellectuals who overly blame religion, especially Islam, for conflict in the world.
During Commencement week, there will be opportunities for students, faculty, staff, graduates and friends of the school to meet with these honorees and learn more about their witness and work. Three open conversations will take place at Starr King School.
Tuesday, May 19, 4-6 p.m., Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
Wednesday, May 20, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Rev. Mary Harrington
Thursday, May 21, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Mr. Chris Hedges
At Commencement we will celebrate the graduation of sixteen Master of Divinity students, one Master of Arts in Religious Leadership for Social Change student, and three Master of Arts students, and honor this year’s Balázs scholar. It will be a joyful, festive evening.
Come celebrate with us if you can!
In grace and gratitude,
President and Professor of Theology
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