Dr. Ed Waggoner was inaugurated as assistant professor of theology in the Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Chair in Episcopal Studies at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at Robert Carr Chapel. Dr. Waggoner is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and Yale University.
D. Newell Williams, president of Brite, welcomed the congregation, which included the Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey and his wife, Isabelle; the Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth; and the Rev. Janet Waggoner, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, and Dr. Waggoner’s wife. Dean Joretta Marshall introduced Dr. Waggoner.
“Selecting someone to join a collegium of faculty is an onerous, demanding, and significant task. In fact, some would say it is among the most important things we do as it sets a vision for the institution into the future. The energy of an institution and all of its members – students, staff, faculty, Board – are drawn into the process as we engage a search and invite applicants to consider whether Brite Divinity School is a good match for their gifts and graces,” she said.
“Yet, in the case of the position and person we honor today, the work was not done alone by those within the institution. With a growing desire to more intentionally serve the Episcopal Diocese and those churches that surround Brite, the institution brought together partners and donors from within the Episcopal Church in order to fund a particular kind of position. With a vision for scholarship and service, and named after one of the formidable and revered Episcopal leaders in the Southwest, the Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Chair in Episcopal Studies, was born.”
Dr. Waggoner gave an address, Trinity Thoughts, in which he began, “One of the most intriguing claims that Christians make is that they are re-birthed at baptism, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Three divine names invoked, that resonate inside us, that change and re-form us. A burst of divine light, that illumines the roots of our being. A friendship with God, begun; at zero-distance.”
The Rev. Dr. Marilyn McCord Adams, one of Dr. Waggoner’s mentors, offered a prayer. During her academic career she has been Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, the Horace Tracy Pilkin Professor of Historical Theology at Yale University, and Professor of Philosophy at UCLA.
“O God, you are the Teacher of teachers. You live in our hearts to teach us all things. You are always busy teaching everyone. But midwifing others into “aha” insights is too much fun to keep it all to yourself. O God, thank you for the gift of teachers who are also learners. Thank you for Ed’s gifts. Make him wise and wily, daring and demanding, sharp and insightful, humble and humorous, curious and compassionate. Help him befriend your other friends as we all continue to grow in the knowledge and love of you,” she said.
A luncheon followed in the Bass Conference Center in the Harrison Building. You’re invited to watch a video of the inauguration.