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In Memoriam: Stephen De Staebler

Stephen Lucas De Staebler, noted Bay Area sculptor, passed away at his home in Berkeley, California, from complications from cancer on May 13, 2011, with family by his side. He was 78. His sculpture Winged Figure is a focal point in the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library. A prominent figure in Bay Area art world, De Staebler was also an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees for the Center for Arts, Religion and Education (CARE), a GTU affiliate.

And the Winner is … Ronald Y. Nakasone for the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award

Ron NakasoneThis year the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award honors Ronald (Ron) Y. Nakasone as a teacher who embodies the values of interreligious sensitivity and commitment, interdisciplinary approach and content in teaching, sensitivity to ethnic and cultural diversity, and creative classroom pedagogical methods and performance.

“I am a teacher, yes, but I see myself as a mentor,” says Nakasone, who is a Buddhist cleric from the Pure Land tradition — one of the most popular traditions of Buddhism in East Asia — and a renowned calligrapher. And because of his interest in spirituality and aging, he is also on the faculty at Stanford Geriatric Education Center, charged with training caregivers who work with ethnic minorities.

Documentary Captures Alumna's Journey of Faith and Love

Raw FaithRaw Faith, a surprisingly intimate and revealing documentary featuring an original song by Sheryl Crow, follows two years in the private life of Marilyn Sewell, an outspoken and socially progressive Unitarian minister who has re-energized her Portland community. Sewell graduated 1991 with a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union.

Alumnus Named Next President of Holy Cross

Philip BoroughsThe College of the Holy Cross (Worchester, Mass.) has selected Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., as the College’s 32nd president beginning January 2012. He graduated in 1989 with a Ph.D. in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union. His doctoral dissertation was on John Woolman (1720-1772), the itinerant Quaker preacher in Colonial America, who advocated against slavery and whose journal is considered a spiritual classic. Fr. Boroughs also holds a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.

In Memoriam: Fr. Don Gelpi, S.J., 1934-2011

Father Donald Louis Gelpi, S.J., a member of the New Orleans Province, died on Friday, May 6, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri, following a long illness. All services will be in St. Louis. Wake services will be held on Monday, May 9, at St. Francis Xavier College Church followed by the Funeral Mass that evening. Burial will be on Tuesday, May 10 at Calvary Cemetery.

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Commencement 2011

The May 12 Commencement ceremonies marked the beginning of a new journey for 62 graduates who completed their degrees in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011. Thirty-three students graduated with a Master of Arts degree, four received a Master of Arts with a concentration in Biblical Languages, and 25 received the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Alumnus Ferguson New Dean of Bexley Hall

Thomas FergusonThe Rev. Thomas J. Ferguson will become the dean of Bexley Hall, an Episcopal Church-affiliated seminary. Since 2010, he has served as the Episcopal Church's ecumenical and interreligious relations officer working to foster ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and cooperation with other Christian communions and world religions. He is also the part-time chaplain of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Buddhist Studies: New Avenues

by Tori Pinto, M.A. '11

Growing up Buddhist, I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to better understand my own religious heritage, as well as contribute academically to the growing body of research on contemporary Japanese religion. We are moving into an exciting time for Buddhist Studies as more attention is being given to ritual, popular religion, folk and oral tradition, as well as visual and material culture. Ultimately I would like to bring a deeper awareness and understanding of Buddhism to American universities, moving beyond the sweeping generalizations and surface readings that we sometimes encounter with imported religions.

WATCH: Brownbag Lunch with Indonesian Scholar Rev. Nancy Souisa

Wednesday, March 30 at 12:30pm

Pacific School of Religion, Mudd 101, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley

Reverend Souisa teaches at Indonesia Christian University in Maluku and has previously served as Co-Moderator of Congress of Asian Theologians and Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools in Indonesia. She holds Masters degrees from Indonesia Christian University in Maluku and Satya Wacana Christian University. She is completing her Certificate of Advanced Professional Studies at Pacific School of Religion this semester.

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