Spring 2000
Volume 4 Number 4

 Alumni/ae update

Two years ago I was elected to serve on the Alumnni/ae Association Executive Council. In the course of being one of three candidates standing for election, I made a few promises to those whose vote I was seeking. One of those pledges was a commitment to strengthen the connection between the Seminary and its graduates. In reflecting on my experience thus far on the council, it occurs to me that this task is one that still dominates my sense of call to service on this council.

It is a source of tremendous encouragement to come to this campus on a regular basis and see all the things the Seminary is accomplishing with excellence. The student body is strong, the facilities are experiencing critically important renovation, and new faculty additions are ensuring the future academic leadership of the Seminary. A living symbol of this vitality is the ongoing restoration of Miller Chapel, the spiritual center of the community, which declares the service of this institution to the church of Jesus Christ. The manner in which we can best communicate a sense of this vibrancy to our alumni/ae, as well as provide important resources for their benefit, is a top priority for the council.

Under the gifted leadership of advisor Dean Foose and chair Joanne Martindale, the council will be exploring ways in which the Seminary can be more closely related to its graduates this coming year. One item we have been discussing is the use of the Internet and web-based technology. The Seminary web site (www.ptsem.edu) is a natural tool for us to use in providing resources and information for our alumni/ae, and we are exploring options for its development and augmentation.

If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding how PTS might best use its web site to communicate with and support its alumni/ae, we would love to hear from you. What kind of information and resources would you like to see the Seminary provide its alumni/ae? How can this tool be best used to strengthen the connection between PTS and its alumni/ae? What models have you seen to which we should attend in addressing this issue? If you have any input, please contact me by email at peter@lopc.org. Thank you for your continued interest in, and support of, Princeton Seminary!

The Rev. Peter Whitelock is pastor of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, California. He represents Region 11 of the Alumni/ae Association, which includes Arizona, Hawaii, and southern California.


Memories of Princeton
by Edward J. Calhoon Sr.
Princeton rises above
the coastal plains
of New Jersey
like a medieval fortress town
transplanted from Europe,
out of place in its setting:
impressive on first sight;
quaint colonial history;
revolutionary war battlefield;
gothic spired university;
Georgian/Victorian seminary
(my abode long ago,
recently returned Viet vet
studying alongside
draft-dodging divinity students);
Institute for Advanced Study
down the street
Einstein once walked
deep in profound thought,
with a burning pipe
in his jacket pocket
(so they say).

Home of:
world-class scholars,
some saints and/or geniuses,
but mostly
less-than-perfect people;
undergraduate students,
once big fish in little ponds
now floundering and gasping for air;
and graduate students,
perhaps amazed as I,


from a minor-league school,
making it to the Ivy League
awed by the fancy footwork
of academic all-stars.
I went away to try on
the robe and role of a cleric
finally withdrawing
in a classical calling crisis
feeling failure for not finishing.

Twenty years hence I returned:
first for reunion;
next year a seminar
on spiritual life
not taught in my student days.
I saw again the allure
of an academic oasis
nourishing parched minds;
also a new nurturing
of the Spirit’s flame,
kept aglow through centuries
of dark nights of the soul.

My spiritual director Diogenes,
in name and fact
a philosopher,
taught timeless lessons
from the classics,
including catholic mystics.
He may eventually retire,
but such wisdom
is never retired,
as it is passed on
to each generation
in the hallowed halls
of Princeton.

Copyright 2000 Princeton Theological Seminary
The URL for this page is http://www.ptsem.edu/read/inspire/4.4/alumni_update.htm
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