Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Duke Divinity School Dean L. Gregory Jones announced the student recipients of several academic awards for the 2020-21 academic year during the 95th Closing Convocation held online April 21.   

The worship service was livestreamed on the Duke Divinity School YouTube channel from Goodson Chapel.

The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, preached the sermon. Presiding ministers were Jones, the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor Theology and Christian Ministry; the Rev. Dr. Edgardo Colón-Emeric, the Irene and William McCutchen Associate Professor of Reconciliation and Theology and the associate dean for Academic Formation; and the Rev. Meghan Benson, Divinity School chaplain. 

The service also included a blessing and commissioning for Jones, who is leaving in May to become the president of Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Colón-Emeric, who is also the director of the Center for Reconciliation and senior strategist of the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity, will become the new dean effective July 1.

The academic awards and this year's recipients were:

  • Award for Excellence in Bible — Jonathan David Mansen and Yudai Chiba;
  • Frederick Buechner Writing Award — Brittany Darst-Hermsen Edwards and Micah Christian Riley;
  • Richard P. Heitzenrater Award for Excellence in History — Michael Kojo Larbi;
  • Jameson Jones Preaching Award — Margaret Anne Liston;
  • Hoyt Hickman Award for Excellence in Liturgics — Angie Kay Hong;
  • Seminarian Award of the Fellowship of United Methodist in Music and Worship Arts — Angie Kay Hong; and
  • McMurry Richey Awards ­— Heidi Sun Schreiber (Field Education), Ben Spangler (Missions), and Ann Stone Benson (Student Pastor).

In other scheduled events at the end of the academic year, Duke Divinity will host a Graduation Celebration for all graduating students on May 5 in Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University at 5 p.m. The celebration for current graduates only will be in-person or by livestream. Registration is required.

The school also will hold two Baccalaureate Services virtually on May 8: one for the Class of 2020 at 11 a.m. after last year’s service was cancelled due to COVID-19 and also one for the Class of 2021 at 3 p.m. More details will be announced soon.