Duke Divinity School and Duke Chapel will hold separate farewell celebrations for Professors Jo Bailey and Sam Wells , also dean of Duke Chapel, in appreciation for their many contributions to the Divinity School, Duke, and Durham communities.
The couple will return to England early this summer after being at Duke since 2005 for Sam Wells to become vicar of the historic St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in London. Jo Bailey Wells will continue in priestly ministry and seek a new post also in London.
Divinity School faculty, staff, and students are invited to a private farewell reception for the couple, hosted by Dean Richard B. Hays and Dr. Judith C. Hays on May 2 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Common Room.
In addition, Duke Chapel will hold a public sendoff celebration for the Wells family May 6 from noon to 2 p.m. at the chapel. That event will begin immediately after the regular Sunday worship service. It will feature food, beverages, and a program in the chapel nave.
Jo Bailey Wells, associate professor of the practice of Christian ministry and bible and also director of Anglican Studies at the Divinity School, founded the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies and spearheaded a Divinity School arts committee initiative that has led to the placement of numerous works of art throughout the school.
In addition to serving as dean of Duke Chapel, Sam Wells is a research professor of Christian ethics at the Divinity School who has written 17 books. He has been an active leader of the Duke and Durham communities, making connections with students, campus deans, and others to address ethical issues and establish close ties with diverse faith groups. He also has emerged as an influential voice on behalf of the poor.