Drew Theological School Student-led Organizations Celebrate Graduates

Professor Katherine Brown honored for 35 years of service

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The AfriSCaD graduates

May 2024 – Drew Theological School’s student-led organizations honored the accomplishments of graduating students with a series of celebrations.

Drew’s Black Ministerial Caucus (BMC) joined forces with Drew’s Women’s Ministerial Alliance (WoMA) to sponsor a Rite of Passage celebration honoring graduates who identify as female and/or of the African Diaspora.

“WoMa and BMC, you advocate for marginalized communities and you make sure we centralize you into our understanding,” said Associate Dean for Vocation Formation Tanya Linn Bennett during her welcoming remarks. “That’s critical because it makes strategic and institutional change.” 

John Fletcher Hurst Professor of Hebrew Bible Kenneth Ngwa, who was awarded the student-nominated Theological School Teacher of the Year Award, offered the keynote speech. 

The evening prior to Commencement, Drew’s African Students Community at Drew (AfriSCaD) student caucus celebrated their graduating student members during their second annual Rites of Passage ceremony.

AfriSCaD offers students the opportunity to form relationships, connections, and a sense of community while transitioning from Africa to the U.S. The caucus is a resource for African students in need of support navigating the differences within the foreign community and the ability to remain present to the African identity, cultures, and integrity.

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Drew's Korean Caucus celebrates Assistant Professor Katherine Brown (front, center)

Associate Teaching Professor in the History of Christianity and Methodist Studies Kevin Newburg offered the Commission Address, encouraging the soon-to-be-graduated to use their voices in the world.

James W. Pearsall Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies Traci West and Ngwa officially transitioned each graduating student through a formal, individualized blessing. Students’ family members and other influential individuals were welcomed to participate in the ceremony.

Finally, Drew’s Korean Caucus, which consists of over 40 actively engaged members with a mission to promote the well-being of the Korean community and promote cultural exchange, celebrated Associate Teaching Professor of Language and Culture and Director of Theological Language and Learning Katherine Brown’s 35-year legacy of teaching and mentoring the Theological School’s international students. 

The event, affectionately called “The Brown,” encouraged participants to attend in brown attire. 

“We’re proud of all of our students, but we’re especially proud of our graduating students,” said Theological School Dean Edwin David Aponte. “Think about all that you have accomplished and begin to dream and think about what’s next after graduation.”

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