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BERKELEY, Calif., May 21, 2012 – Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) awarded graduate degrees on May 18, when more than 300 family, friends and alumni/ae cheered the Class of 2012 and honored two lay servants for decades of contributions to the seminary and The Episcopal Church.
Doctor of Humane Letters degrees were awarded to Margaret Louise Webster of Berkeley, Calif., who retires June 30 as CDSP registrar after than 40 years of service, and to Walter E. Smith of Panama, a leader for decades of a project where U.S. seminary students spend the summer working in the Diocese of Panama. Third-year CDSP M.Div. student Steven DeMuth of Los Angeles is serving in Panama this summer.
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth Jr., the Bishop of Ohio, reminded the graduates in his homily that they are “fully equipped with the restless yearning to surrender your life again and again to God.”
Bishop Hollingsworth, a 1981 CDSP alumnus whose term on the seminary’s board of trustees ends this month, said the vocation to which each is called “is not a job – but how we do a job can be a manifestation of …being called.”
Presiding at the Eucharist celebrated at CDSP’s 118th Commencement was the Most Rev. Paul Kwong, a 1982 CDSP alumnus and continuing board member who is the Archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui and Bishop of the Diocese of Hong Kong Island. The Ven. Beatryce “Cookie” Clark, of Vacaville, the Archdeacon for Diaconal Ministries, Diocese of Northern California, served as Deacon. Also in attendance at the 2012 CDSP commencement were the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Diocese of California, and the Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern California, both of whom are CDSP trustees. The Rev. Dr. Arthur Holder, former CDSP academic dean who is the Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, invited the audience to attend the GTU’s 50th anniversary celebration in the 2012-13 academic year.
Degrees were conferred by the Very Rev. Dr. W. Mark Richardson, President and Dean of CDSP, and by the Rev. Eliza Linley, of Aptos, Calif., chair of the CDSP Board of Trustees, for Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry, and certificates were awarded in Anglican Studies. The Master of Arts degrees were conferred by President Richardson and Dean Holder.
The seminary also announced that Kirsten Spalding of Berkeley, a lawyer and former California chief deputy treasurer, received the Rt. Rev. Richard Millard Prize for Excellence in Preaching; and that Matthew Seddon of Salt Lake City, Utah, a Ph.D. archeologist, received the Fran Toy Prize for Multicultural Ministry at a Field Education Site. Seddon and Spalding were among recipients of Master of Divinity degrees at the CDSP commencement.
At CDSP’s Baccalaureate service on May 17, first-year student Twila Smith, of Norman, Okla., received the annual L. Vernon Trabert and Martin L. Graebner Scholar’s Resource Award.