Linley, Brooks and Johnson Awarded Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees - October 2015

On October 8, CDSP held its annual alumni convocation in All Saints Chapel. The Rev. Dennis Tierney ’02 preached at the service, and the Rev. Canon Robert J. Brooks ’73, Dr. Ronald C. Johnson and the Rev. Eliza Linley ’90 were awarded honorary degrees: 

The Rev. Cn Robert J. Brooks ’73

Canon Robert Brooks is a priest of the Diocese of Connecticut and Canon for International Affairs of the Diocese of El Salvador. He is President of the national Episcopal Urban Caucus, and member of the Executive Committee of APLM. He was appointed to the Standing Liturgical Commission (1985- 1988) that produced the first expansive language Eucharistic texts which are still in use; chairing the Committee on Initiation that enhanced the liturgies for the catechumenal process. He represented The Episcopal Church on the Consultation on Common Texts, making contributions to the development of the Revised Common Lectionary. Among his many accomplishments, Canon Brooks was elected to the Bretton Woods Committee to honor his role in the funding of debt relief for the world’s poorest countries. As Director of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church (1988-1998), Canon Brooks worked with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on democratic transitions from apartheid systems, and has worked with leaders in the Middle East in search of peace. Canon Brooks played a definitive role on the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National and Community Service Act (Americorps), the Omnibus Crime Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the International Religious Freedom Act. He organized religious community support for ratification by the Senate of the treaty banning chemical weapons. For his work around the world in conflict resolution, Canon Brooks was invested by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a Commander of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

Dr. Ronald C. Johnson

Band raised in Philadelphia, baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church in my teen years. After completion of military service and pursuit of a career in science, I earned a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. Following graduation, I was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship position at the University of California, San Francisco, and after a two-year period was invited to stay on as full time staff. I am currently retired from the University after a 30 year career as a research biochemist. 

In retirement I have been involved in tutoring and mentoring young people. I have served in both leadership and participatory capacities in several governance and service positions in my parish, Grace Cathedral, and in the Diocese of California, where I was appointed to the Commission on Ministry and elected to the Standing Committee. I have also functioned for many years in adult Christian formation and have assisted those in their discernment to calls to lay and to ordained ministry.

The Rev. Eliza Linley ’90 

After beginning her professional life as an artist and architect, followed by a detour as a caterer and refectory manager at CDSP, Eliza received her MDiv with Distinction from CDSP in 1990. She then served various Bay Area parishes as Priest-in-Charge and Interim and returned to CDSP as Visiting Chaplain to Students in 1997-9. She joined the CDSP Board of Trustees in 2001 and, in 2007, became the first ordained woman to chair the board of an Episcopal seminary until her term ended in 2013. She has taught as adjunct professor at the GTU in the area of Worship and the Arts and has led numerous congregational workshops on sacred space and the building process. Eliza was a founding member of the Episcopal Church in the Visual Arts and has served on the boards of the Church Building Fund, the Center for Arts, Religion and Education at the GTU, St. Dorothy’s Rest and the Bishop’s Ranch. She is also an artist whose work hangs in collections across the country including Stanford University, the Episcopal Church Center in New York, and Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago.