Call for Nominations 2016
The GTS Alumni Executive Committee is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. This annual award is for Seminary degree-holders worthy of special recognition. The award presentation will take place during the 2016 Alumni Gathering (Date to be Announced). Nominations must be received by January 22, 2016. The award will be decided by the Alumni Executive Committee at its Winter 2016 meeting.
What does it mean to be an outstanding graduate of The General Theological Seminary? The Close represents many things to those of us who studied here at General. A home for some of us, or a home away from home where we went to be in communion with others striving toward the same goals. It is a place where the serenity and beauty of the grounds are enhanced by the families who live there and the community who makes it come alive. It is also a place where Leaders for the Episcopal Church are formed. The time spent at General has led to fruitful expressions of faith in all parts of the world.
We are proud to stand as a community with all of our brothers and sisters in the General Community. Some efforts are so inspirational however, that we choose to recognize these people of faith with our Distinguished Alumni Award. Recipients of the award shall be graduates of the Seminary in either priestly or lay orders. Past recipients have included exemplars of a broad range of ministry. We have had the privilege of holding up both extraordinarily original, path breaking ministries and extraordinarily faithful, though quiet ministries. Candidates may be put forth on the basis of lifetime achievement, or to honor extraordinary accomplishment that brought credit upon the church and GTS. Nominees may be well-known, but care should be given to identifying inspiring yet unheralded ministries.
We rely on our alumni to select an inspirational example for all of us to receive this honor.
The winner of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award: The Very Rev. H. Scott Kirby ’63
The Very Rev. H. Scott Kirby (Class of 1963) was the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award. Kirby’s long ministry of service and devotion to the Church has emphasized community outreach and partnership. After many years serving parishes in Western New York, New Jersey, and Kansas, he was called as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire, where he led a resurgence of congregational, spiritual, and financial growth.
Kirby’s distinguished ministry culminated with his unanimous election to be Vice President of the House of Deputies for the 2012 General Convention. Since his retirement from the Cathedral in 2005, he has continued his life-long interest in the Church in small communities as part-time Vicar of Grace Church, Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Kirby also serves as Chaplain for the Upper Mississippi River Region for the Seamen’s Church Institute and Captain Chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol.
Born in Richmond, VA in 1938, Kirby is married to the former Heather Roberts, and they have two grown children. He received his BA from the University of Richmond in 1960 before attending General, where he received his M.Div. in 1963, and was ordained deacon and priest the same year. He has served parishes in the Diocese of Western New York, the Diocese of New Jersey, the Diocese of Western Kansas, and the Diocese of Eau Claire. He has also served as the Resident Director and Vice President for Development of the St. Francis Homes in Kansas and New York.
Kirby’s wide-ranging Diocesan experience includes Budget and Finance, Ecumenical Relations, Commission on Ministry, Long Range Planning, Christian Education, Music and Liturgy, and Standing Committee. Service to the National Church includes the Board of Directors of Episcopal Relief and Development and the Disciplinary Committee of Title IV. He serves on the Interfaith Council on Marriage and the Family, and is an Associate Member of the Community of St. John Baptist, Midwest Representative to the Anglican Society, and a recipient of the Bishop’s Distinguished Service Award in the Diocese of Western Kansas.
Kirby accepted his award at the Memorial Eucharist during the Alumni Gathering, November 5, 2015.
The winner of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award: The Rev. Margaret "Peggy" A. Muncie, '74
The Rev. Margaret “Peggy” A. Muncie (Class of 1974) was the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. Muncie, along with the late Paige Bigelow, was one of the first women to graduate in the MDiv program at GTS, and has written and spoken engagingly and movingly about what that was like. She has always sought to forward the profession of chaplaincy through practice, advocacy, and writing.
Muncie was ordained Deacon in June, 1974 for the Diocese of Long Island by the now deceased Rt. Rev. Jonathan Goodhue Sherman, also a General alum (’33) and a former President of our Board of Trustees. She credits the Bishop for supporting her postulancy at that critical time for the acceptance of female ordinands, and hopes he has “a smile on his face for me and for his brave stance sending me to GTS.” She was then priested for the Diocese of New York on April 25, 1977 by Bishop Sherman at the request of Bishop Paul Moore of New York. The ordination took place in the chapel at Vassar College where she served on the campus ministry team.
Muncie is a Board Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains. She has carried out her distinguished ministry as a chaplain in both long-term care and acute settings for over 30 years, including service as Director of Pastoral Care and Education at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.
She is now engaged as Executive Director of Canterbury Counseling Center (CCC) in Greenville, South Carolina. CCC is a non-profit, church-sponsored organization that offers a healing ministry of pastoral counseling, integrating psychotherapy with behavioral sciences, spiritual issues, wholeness and health. They offer a broad spectrum of services, conducted by fully licensed mental health professionals trained in both theology and pastoral psychology. The services at CCC are available to individuals, couples, families, clergy, and congregations regardless of race, faith affiliation or financial status.
Muncie accepted her award at the Alumni Memorial Eucharist during the Alumni Gathering, November 6, 2014.
Peggy Muncie and Paige Bigelow,
the first two women to receive MDivs from General,
celebrate at their Commencement in 1974.
Past recipients of the GTS Distinguished Alumni Award are:
2012-13 Brother Clark Berge, '84, Minister General, The Society of St. Francis, Mt. Sinai, New York.
2011 The Rev. Dr. Minka Shura Sprague, ‘78 and ‘85, St. James Episcopal Church, Jackson, Mississippi, scholar, author, preacher, lecturer, and workshop/retreat leader.
2010 The Rev. John L. Kater, ‘96 Professor Emeritus of Ministry Development, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
2009 The Very Rev. David duPlantier '93 Dean, Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans LA, Co-founder Jericho Road Housing Project
2008 The Rev. Dr. Marion J. Hatchett '66 and '72, Professor Emeritus, University of the South, School of Theology, Sewanee, Tenn.
2007 The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Geitz '93, Canon for Ministry, Diocese of New Jersey and author of several volumes, including Fireweed Evangelism and The Rev. J. Fletcher Lowe '59 Executive Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
2006 Dr. Henry Carse '94, Director, Kids-4-Peace, St. George’s College, Jerusalem
2005 The Rev. Bertram Bennett '75, Priest-in-Charge, St. David’s, Bronx, NY and Chair, South Bronx Churches
2004 The Revs. Richard Fabian '70 and Donald Schell '71, Co-founders and co-rectors, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco