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News from the Hill May 22, 2010 | back to index

Andover Newton Commencement 2010 marks 200 years of graduate degrees in theology

Andover Newton‘s 2010 Commencement ceremonies were held at the First Baptist Church in Newton in Newton Centre, MA, on Saturday, May 22, 2010, The school conferred 74 degrees, the same number awarded in 2009 and, once again,  one of the largest graduating classes in recent years.

The event also marked the 200th anniversary of the school’s first degrees, conferred by Andover Theological Seminary, the nation’s oldest graduate seminary, in Andover, MA, in 1810. These were the first graduate theological degrees ever awarded in the United States. Thus the 2010 Commencement was also the bicentennial of American graduate degrees in theology.

Dr. Michael Gilligan, president, The Henry Luce Foundation, gave the Commencement Address, which was entitled “Repairing the Breach, Restoring the Streets Where We Live.”

The Invocation was given by Dr. Nancy Nienhuis, senior vice president for operations and dean of students. Rev. Dr. Nancy S. Taylor, senior minister of Old South Church, Boston,  represented the Andover Newton Board of Trustees as its chair. The Rev. Dr. Nick Carter, president, presided and gave the Benediction.  Joel Kemp, M.Div. 10, gave the student address.

The 74 degrees conferred comprised:

  • Doctor of Ministry: 4
  • Master of Divinity: 61
  • Master of Arts: 9

Music was provided by Rev. Burns Stanfield and the Andover Newton Community Choir and the Lakeside Brass Quintet.

President Carter and Dean of the Faculty William Herzog II presented the awards.

Dr. Lawrence Lowenthal, former executive director of the Greater Boston Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, received the Rabbi Murray I. Rothman Award for outstanding inter-religious leadership. Long a prominent figure in the Newton community and an adjunct professor at Andover Newton, Rabbi Rothman influenced hundreds of Christian seminarians. Upon his death in 1997, members of the congregation of Temple Beth Shalom in Newton created the Rothman Awards to be conferred periodically upon that person or persons who, in the mind of the leadership of Andover Newton and Temple Shalom, best exemplify the spirit of Rabbi Rothman