The recipients of the 2016 Peter J. Gomes STB ’68 Memorial Honors transcend categories. From a Yale Law School graduate who uses storytelling to fight hate crimes against Muslims and Sikhs, to a naval officer who advocates for peace, this year’s group boldly crosses boundaries to work for a better world.
“The 2016 Gomes honorees leverage religious resources in innovative and unexpected ways to illuminate, engage, and serve,” said Harvard Divinity School Dean David N. Hempton. “They represent the many HDS alumni who reach across disciplines and across professions to make a difference in a wide range of fields. I’m delighted to welcome them to the fellowship of honored graduates.”
Chosen each year by the HDS Alumni/Alumnae Council (AAC), the Gomes honorees represent the diverse personal and professional paths on which HDS graduates have an impact. This year, the council recognizes the activist, filmmaker, and lawyer Valarie K. Kaur, M.T.S. ’07; the Rev. Cynthia L. G. Kane, M.Div. ’96, a lieutenant commander in the Chaplain Corps of the United States Navy; the Rev. Dr. Betsee Parker, M.Div. ’85, an Episcopal priest whose philanthropy supports education, community development, and public health in Africa; and the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, M.Div. ’81, dean of the Howard University Divinity School. As in years past, the AAC will also recognize a member of the HDS faculty for their exceptional scholarship and contributions to HDS. This year’s faculty honoree will be emeritus professor Preston N. Williams, Ph.D. ’67, Houghton Research Professor of Theology and Contemporary Change.