A sabbatical is a major gift. It is an extraordinary privilege to be paid and, simultaneously, to have a break from the regular routines of the workday. Naturally, those who have this gift are required to use it well. And so I enjoyed the sabbatical reports captured and described back in August. A close reading of those commentaries really did describe how a sabbatical enhances the depth of the scholar and teacher - how it helps a Faculty member to be even more effective.
However, please may I use this commentary to recognize one colleague in particular who is returning from sabbatical. It is lovely to have Vice President Melody Knowles back in her office. Dr. James Farwell did an excellent job as the interim. He struck the perfect balance; he progressed the necessities while honoring his temporary occupancy. And as Melody as returned she is bringing a renewed energy, a range of insights, and a thoughtfulness that comes from the gift of a much-deserved break.
As I look back on the last three years, the gift of my year away was remarkable. The books that are appearing in recent months are all a result of the gift of that year. My sabbatical was made possible by the willingness of Melody to be the interim and, like James Farwell, to get that balance between progressing appropriately and honoring the temporary occupancy. Melody deserved and needed this sabbatical. She had earned it. And her return is much welcome. Her passion for theological education is total; and her capacity to think for the total institution is remarkable. She is a colleague and a friend; I am deeply grateful for her presence. Welcome back Melody. And thank you.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President