Former Colleges Chaplain Receives Honorary Degree – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Former Colleges Chaplain Receives Honorary Degree

The Very Rev. Durstan McDonald received an honorary doctoral degree from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest during its recent commencement. McDonald was chaplain, ombudsman and assistant professor of philosophy at Hobart College from 1967 to 1977. He received the honorary doctor of divinity degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1979. The full press release from the seminary is below.

Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest Seminary awards dean-emeritus an honorary doctoral degree

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The Very Rev. Durstan McDonald received an honorary doctoral degree from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest during its recent commencement.

Dean-emeritus McDonald, who headed the seminary for almost two decades, was awarded the honorary doctor of humane letters degree. McDonald was chaplain, ombudsman and assistant professor of philosophy at Hobart College from 1967 to 1977. He received the honorary doctor of divinity degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1979.

“Gifted teacher, inveterate reader, and transplanted son of Texas, you fostered the growth of the Seminary of the Southwest from its regional roots to a vital church-wide presence during your eighteen years of leadership,” read the citation that accompanied McDonald's honorary degree.

More information about the seminary commencement — including the graduation sermon preached by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold — is at http://www.etss.edu/Comm04.shtml

The full text of the McDonald citation reads —

“Gifted teacher, inveterate reader, and transplanted son of Texas, you fostered the growth of the Seminary of the Southwest from its regional roots to a vital church-wide presence during your eighteen years of leadership.

“Your accomplishments as Dean and President are many as you ensured the vitality of theological education at ETSS. You twice guided significant enhancement of the Master of Divinity curriculum. You opened up theological education for working lay people by creating the innovative, faith-based Master of Pastoral Ministry degree program. You championed a mission outlook with a multicultural flavor that permeates what we do as a seminary and mirrors the changing needs of the greater church.

“You oversaw the transition of the seminary faculty as several veteran professors retired and new ordained scholars joined our community. As a result of your efforts to broaden recognition of our seminary throughout the church, more than two-thirds of ETSS divinity students now come from outside Province VII. The Weeks Campus Center and the Middle Building we dedicated last night are bricks and mortar testament to your leadership in two successful capital campaigns.

“Your true love remains in the vibrant moment of teaching and learning. You are a teacher at heart. Sent to a Jesuit school as a teenager for not entirely scholastic reasons, you absorbed standards of scholarship and the love of learning that shaped you and your ministry for the rest of your life. Your ascetical theology course during January Term enhanced the spirituality of many seminarians. You continue to teach part-time here and always have a lively answer to the question — 'Read a good book lately?'

“Today we formally say “Thank You” to the boy from Brooklyn who came to Texas, nurtured our seminary and with Ruth built a cabin in the Hill Country along the Frio River. We rejoice in awarding you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.”