In academic institutions spring is often bittersweet - we say goodbye to graduating students even as we joyfully send out acceptance letters and prepare to welcome a new class.
This spring, we will also be saying godspeed to Dr. Donyelle McCray who has accepted a teaching position at Yale Divinity School as Assistant Professor of Homiletics.
It is so poignant for me to even write that last sentence, because even as we celebrate this remarkable achievement, I know that we will miss her deeply. Dr. McCray has deep roots at VTS - she received her M.Div. degree here in 2006, and, after working on her doctorate in Homiletics at Duke Divinity School, returned to teach. She was the Martha Horne Visiting Professor in 2012-13, then Instructor in Homiletics (2013-14), and finally Assistant Professor in Homilitics (2015-present). For the last three years she has also served as the Director of Multicultural Ministries.
Dr. McCray has enriched our community in so many ways. As a scholar, she has contributed to the academic conversation regarding contemporary homiletical rhetoric and lay preaching in the Middle Ages; as a teacher she has taught courses on preaching and spirituality in both the Masters and the DMin. programs; and as the Director for Multicultural Ministries she has brought the VTS community into a deeper awareness of the importance of truth-telling, confession, and celebration. And, perhaps most significantly, she has warmly welcomed us into her office and her home for rich and deep conversation.
Donyelle, we are so very proud of you at this juncture. I pray that our goodbye to you this spring will be matched sevenfold by our warmest greetings when our paths cross again.
The Rev. Melody D. Knowles, Ph.D. Acting Dean and President Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament