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HDS Alumni/Alumnae Council Announces New Membership and Leadership
Whitcavitch-DeVoy to Become Chairperson and Four New Members to Join the AAC on July 1
The HDS Alumni/Alumnae Council (AAC) is pleased to announce four new members, who will begin terms of service on July 1, 2013: Peter K. Anagnostos, MTS '86, of Shaker Heights, Ohio; Christopher J. Hanson, MDiv '10, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Shenila Khoja-Moolji, MTS '10, and Margaret R. Rose, MDiv '79, both of New York, New York.
Julia Whitcavitch-DeVoy, MTS '94, of Newton, Massachusetts, the AAC's current vice chairperson, will assume the position of chairperson on July 1.
"It has been a pleasure to serve on the AAC for the past several years, and I look forward to building on the great momentum of this year as the council's chairperson in the year ahead. We have an exceptional group of members—new and returning—who are a pleasure to work with," Whitcavitch-DeVoy said of the upcoming transitions.
Succeeding her as vice chairperson for the 2013-14 academic year is Sarah Taylor Peck, MDiv '07, of Memphis, Tennessee. The AAC also approved the nomination of a new School-appointed Director to the Harvard Alumni Association board, Gloria White-Hammond, MDiv '97, of Dorchester, Massachusetts.
This is the second transition of membership and leadership to take place since the AAC restructured in 2010-11, under then chairperson Ruth B. Purtilo, MTS '75, PhD '79. More than 80 alumni have been nominated or self-nominated in each of the past two cycles, for a maximum of four vacancies each year.
"It is an incredibly enthusiastic show of support for the School from our graduates," remarked Michael Goetz, the annual giving and alumni relations staff liaison in the Office of Development and External Relations. "Each year the process highlights for me how exceptional our alumni are, how much they care for this School, and how eager they are to help HDS be its best."
Upon learning of his selection, Hanson, an environmental lawyer, political operative, and parks enthusiast, said, "The education—both formal and informal—I received at HDS not only shaped my senses of community, engagement, and faith but continues to have a meaningful impact on a day-to-day basis as I approach new assignments in my workplace and new adventures in my neighborhood, city, and state.
"That HDS education truly was invaluable. I look forward to giving back time and energy to HDS and assisting in engaging and re-engaging all alumni/alumnae with HDS and the larger Harvard community."
Khoja-Moolji, a doctoral student and adjunct professor, expressed similar excitement. "I am honored to have this opportunity and look forward to participating in the council's efforts to strengthen and build bridges between HDS alumni and campus."
Anagnostos and Rose offered similar sentiments of excitement at the opportunity to join the AAC.
Under the leadership of outgoing chairperson Samuel Nixon Jr., MDiv '91, the AAC has instituted two new signature initiatives – the Divinity Dialogues distinguished alumni speaker series and the Peter J. Gomes STB '68 Memorial Honors in addition to considering ways that alumni can assist with admissions efforts and participate in the coming capital campaign.
"It's been a busy year for us, and I am very thankful for what we have accomplished," said Nixon. "I know that Julia, Sarah, and the members of next year's AAC will continue to develop ways for alumni to connect with one another and with the School, and to share our stories with one another and the School community. We are a community of many exceptional gifts and stories."
Whitcavitch-DeVoy expressed her great thanks to Nixon and the members who will conclude their terms at the end of this year: Richie L. Butler, MTS '96, of Dallas, Texas; Sabrina Knox Cleary, ALB '92, MTS '97, of New York, New York; and Casely Essamuah, MDiv '95, of Crofton, Maryland.
"Sam Nixon has been an incredible leader and advocate for HDS, and it has been a delight to work with Richie, Sabrina, and Casely for the good of the School over these past several years. We are all so grateful for their dedicated service."