Episcopal Divinity School Announces Honorary Degree Recipients: Dr. Robert W. Radtke and Dr. Bruce B. Lawrence

Dr. Robert W. RadtkeEpiscopal Divinity School (EDS) announces its 2012 commencement ceremony will take place on May 17, at the First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 2:00 pm. At the ceremony, EDS will present honorary doctor of divinity degrees to two individuals: Dr. Robert W. Radtke (top right) and Dr. Bruce Lawrence (bottom right). Dr. Robert W. Radtke will deliver the commencement address.

“We are thrilled to honor Dr. Radtke and Dr. Lawrence at commencement this year. Both of these incredible individuals have done critically important work in the world. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments and contributions,” shared The Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School. 

Since 2005, Dr. Robert W. Radtke has served as president of Episcopal Relief & Development, the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church. In this role, he leads and oversees several major efforts including extensive Church engagement programs, fundraising, board development, and international and domestic program evaluation and monitoring. He provides strategic leadership to the agency’s programs in moDr. Bruce Lawrencere than 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the United States. Rob holds degrees (AB) from Columbia College of Columbia University and a doctorate (DPhil) from New College of the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive an honorary degree from EDS and to deliver the commencement address. It is especially meaningful for me to receive an honorary degree from EDS, as Massachusetts is my home diocese and my father is a graduate of EDS. As an infant, I was baptized in the chapel at EDS, and that is where I began my life as a member of God’s beloved community and a follower of Jesus,” shared Dr. Radtke in advance of his visit to EDS. 

Dr. Bruce B. Lawrence EDS ’67 is the Marcus Family Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, and Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. He has authored numerous books that reflect on ideology as the other, darker side of religion. As a Carnegie Scholar of Islam (2008-2010), he traveled extensively from coastal Africa to island Asia to research and write a monograph on religious minorities as secular citizens. He holds degrees from (AB) Princeton and (PhD) Yale, as well as from Episcopal Divinity School.

When asked about his visit back to EDS, Dr. Lawrence answered, “I am most looking forward to being back in a place that will always be hallowed for me, from the time I first visited and met then Dean John Coburn, to my recent visits with former Dean Harvey Guthrie (and his wife, Doris) in California, to the pleasure of so many friends, fellow voyagers and lifelong exemplars, with [EDS faculty member] Canon Ed Rodman being near the top or at the top of that list.”