Divinity School to install new dean

With ceremony, song, and prayer, Yale University will officially install alumnus Richard J. Wood as dean of the Divinity School on Wednesday, November 13, at 4 p.m. The installation will take place in the Marquand Chapel of the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect Street.

University President Richard C. Levin will perform the installation. Speakers will be University Provost Alison Richard; the Reverend Harry Baker Adams, master of Trumbull College and professor of pastoral theology; and W. Burley S. Salmon, president of the Divinity School student body. The worship service will begin with a reading by Philip W. Turner III, dean of the Berkeley Divinity School; and Margot E. Fassler, director of the Institute of Sacred Music, ISM. Both Berkeley and the ISM are affiliated with the Yale Divinity School. University Chaplain Frederick J. Streets will lead an opening prayer. Other participants include University Secretary and Vice President Linda Koch Lorimer; Professor and former Dean of the Divinity School Leander E. Keck, and Professor and former Dean of the Divinity School Thomas W. Ogletree.

The Right Reverend Victoria Matthews will deliver the installation address. An alumna of Yale Divinity School, 1979 and a fellow of Trumbull College, she was elected to the Yale Corporation in 1995. Ordained as Bishop of the Credit Valley, Diocese of Toronto, in 1994, she became the first female bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada. She is one of five women in the world to serve in that capacity.

A native of Michigan, Dean Wood received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Duke University in 1959 and a bachelor of divinity degree, also magna cum laude from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He earned master’s – 1964 – and doctoral degrees – 1965 – in philosophy from Yale. He was ordained a minister in the Methodist Church in 1961, and became a recorded Quaker minister in 1988. From 1966 to 1980, he was professor of philosophy at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where he developed a career-long interest in Japanese philosophy and culture. Dean Wood is a fluent speaker of Japanese and has twice held year-long visiting professorships at Wasada University in Tokyo. He was appointed president of Earlham College, a position he held for 11 years, prior to coming to Yale.

“I regard my coming work as dean of the Divinity School as a genuine calling,” Mr. Wood said. “Yale Divinity School is unquestionably one of the nation’s foremost theological institutions and it has a special role to play in American and global theological education, as well as in developing religious and social leadership.”

Mr. Wood replaced Thomas Ogletree, who served as dean of the Divinity School from 1990-1996.

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Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325