June 8: Transitions Update from Interim President Nelsen

June 8, 2017

Dear Alumni/ae, Donors, and Friends,

Serving as the Interim President at EDS this past year has been a real honor and privilege. With the recent announcement of the formal agreement of affiliation between Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) and Union Theological Seminary (Union) in New York City, EDS will be entering an important year of transition. EDS will begin its new academic program at Union in the fall of 2018. At this point, I want to inform you as to what will be happening in the meantime that is of special importance to alumni/ae, donors, and friends of EDS.

Alumni/ae Records: We are in the process of transferring all alumni/ae records to Union where they will be carefully maintained as distinct entities. Until July 31, Kathie Hart (khart@eds.edu) will be available to handle alumni/ae matters. After July 31, contact my office—Interim President Bill Nelsen (617-682-1520, wnelsen@eds.edu) or Executive Assistant Jane Wagner (617-682-1519, jwagner@eds.edu) with any questions or service needs. By sometime next year a contact person for EDS alumni/ae will be housed at Union.

Alumni/ae Coordination and Activities: Currently discussions are underway among alumni/ae organizational leaders at both EDS and Union. We anticipate valuable ideas to be forthcoming for EDS alumni/ae services and events, including potential joint EDS/Union alumni/ae activities. More information will be shared this coming fall concerning new and effective ways to serve all EDS alums.

Transcripts: Complete the online request form available here. This request page includes a payment screen for the $7.00 transcript fee. At this time, transcripts can only be sent via paper and orders are typically filled within 3 business days. 

Library Privileges: EDS alumni/ae will continue to have access to the online Sherrill Library services through the end of 2017. Then EDS alums will be able to enjoy the same campus and library privileges as all Union alums, including access to Union’s Burke Library, part of Columbia University’s Library system, and one of the outstanding theological libraries of the world.

Donor and Gift Records: All donor and gift records are also being transferred to Union where they will be carefully and separately maintained. Until June 30, Janine Dailey (jdailey@eds.edu) or Denise Maccioli (dmaccioli@eds.edu) can handle donor questions and gift acceptances. After June 30 contact my office (Bill Nelsen or Jane Wagner). All donations will continue to be carefully processed and acknowledged. We are grateful for the gifts we have received since the announcement of EDS’s new and vibrant future through the affiliation with Union. Gifts can continue to be sent to our Cambridge address until further notice.

Endowment Accounts: EDS retains possession and control of its endowed resources. Designated endowed funds will continue to be used for their original intended purposes or for similar purposes where any adaptations might be warranted.

We are excited that the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas has been named the first dean of EDS at Union. She is a preeminent scholar, teacher, religious leader, and social activist. She will begin her service for EDS at Union on September 1. She will spend this coming year giving leadership to recruiting a professor of Anglican studies and hiring selected administrative staff. In the meantime, I will be located on the Cambridge campus to complete all the transition arrangements by the summer of 2018. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

We were grateful that so many EDS alums were able to attend Alumni/ae Days last month, and many were present for the final Commencement on the Cambridge campus. To view photographs and videos from the events, and to read texts, including the Kellogg Lecture, please visit http://eds.edu/comm-alumdays-recap.

We have also posted on the EDS website a set of answers to “frequently asked questions,” which can be found at http://eds.edu/news/transition/faq. These FAQs should be helpful in providing more comprehensive information concerning the next stages in the life of EDS at Union.

May God continue to bless the people and the future of EDS in service to church and world.


Rev. Dr. William C. Nelsen
Interim President
Episcopal Divinity School

For more articles about EDS’s transition and future, visit eds.edu/news/transition.