DEVOTED CRCDS FRIEND, JEAN BARTLETT, PASSES AWAY

Ms. Jean Bartlett, devoted friend of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and wife of former CRCDS president Rev. Gene E. Bartlett, passed away suddenly on Friday, March 27th at the age of 97.

Jean was a presence at CRCDS for over 50 years, first arriving on the Hill with her late husband in 1960. In addition to the invaluable contributions she made to the CRCDS community and its students during her husband’s tenure, Jean was a faithful presence at all CRCDS gatherings, so much so that no gathering was complete unless Jean was there. Her life, grace and spirit are intertwined with the school and its long legacy and we continue to thank God for the gift of her life and friendship.

A memorial service for Jean will be held on April 18th at 10:00 a.m. at Lake Avenue Baptist Church, Rochester, New York.

Gifts in Jean’s memory may be made to the Bartlett Scholarship Fund at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School or the Refugee Outreach Program at Lake Avenue Baptist Church. To donate to the Bartlett Scholarship Fund, click here or contact Lisa Bors at 585-340-9647 or lbors@crcds.edu. To donate to the Refugee Outreach Program, contact the Outreach Coordinator at 585-458-5765, ext. 304.

Please join us in our prayers for the Bartlett family and in our prayers of thanksgiving for the life of Jean Bartlett.

CRCDS APPOINTS THREE NEW TRUSTEES

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School announces the appointment of three new Board members for the 2014-2015 term: Rev. Dr. Michael J. Ford (CRCDS '12), Dr. Thomas G. Poole (CRCDS '77) and Rev. Cheryl L. Price, Ph.D. (CRCDS '85).

All three appointees bring significant, diverse and valuable skills to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School's Governing Board of Trustees and will serve to strengthen the school's mission moving forward.

For a complete listing of CRCDS Governing and Life Trustees, please see:

http://www.crcds.edu/board-of-trustees/

CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. JIN YOUNG CHOI ON RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Dr. Jin Young Choi, CRCDS Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, recently completed a Postdoctoral fellowship program seminar in Theological Education at the Louisville Institute/Louisville Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.The three-day seminar, held on Feb. 22-25, 2015, focused on Public Theologians.

Dr. Choi has had a prolific year and, in addition to teaching, published several essays and articles. Her book, "Embodying Mystery: Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark," is scheduled for publication by Palgrave Macmillan, NY, later this year.

For a complete listing of Dr. Choi's curriculum vitae, please click here: http://www.crcds.edu/faculty-2/jin-young-choi/

DR. MARVIN A. MCMICKLE'S Reflections on Fraternity Life in America and the incident in Oklahoma

Following is an essay by Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, published on March 11th in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle's Unite Rochester blog.

I am a proud Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity which is one of the four major African American college fraternities in this country. The others are Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, and Phi Beta Sigma. There are also four major black sororities; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta (my wife’s sorority), Sigma Gamma Rho, and Zeta Phi Beta. All of these organizations of African American college educated men and women were formed between 1906 and 1925. Those were the years that the historian Rayford Logan referred to as “the nadir” or the darkest and most dangerous years to be Black in America. Those were the years when lynch-mob justice against black men and women was a common occurrence. The singer Billie Holiday referred to lynchings in her famous song Strange Fruit where she talked about black bodies hanging from trees. The link between black Greek letter organizations and the cruelty of lynch mob justice came rushing to my mind when I heard the chant being invoked by members of a white fraternity at the University of Oklahoma. They seemed to rejoice over the fact that there would never be a n…….in their fraternity. They went on to sing, “You can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me. There will never be a n………in SAE.” In point of fact, the primary reason for the existence of my fraternity that was founded in 1911 on the campus of the University of Indiana is that some whites on that campus had the same sentiment if not the same song. African Americans were not allowed to pledge or join any of the white fraternities or sororities on that campus. Alpha Phi Alpha was the first black fraternity to be founded in 1906 on the campus of Cornell University where the very same policy prevailed; whites only! The recent events at the University of Oklahoma are a reminder of how systemic and far reaching racism, segregation, and discrimination have been in this country. It has not been a story that was .limited to sharecroppers, domestic workers, and Pullman porters. The story reached to kill off the American Dream that lived within those men and women even if it was never to be true for them and for their generation. Surely, they thought, if they could work hard enough to get their children accepted to a first-rate college or university the cycle of racism could be broken. Then their children arrive on the campuses of America’s premier places of higher education only to find the “Whites Only” signs hanging on the doors and in the hearts of so many of their classmates, teachers, and administrators. Members of black fraternities and sororities exist today because of the policies that stand behind that chant from Oklahoma. We decided that since there would never be a n…….in their fraternities, we would form our own. We are proud members of our Greek letter organizations. Our friendships and networks last throughout our lives. We seek each other out when our jobs move us from one town to another. I will always boast and brag about Kappa Alpha Psi, and I will always celebrate the unique contributions that members of black Greek letter organizations have made to this country. To list the men and women who have belonged to these fraternities and sororities would be to list a Who’s Who of many of the leading figures in African American history.

To view or comment on this essay online, please click here:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/unite/2015/03/12/some-reflections-on-fraternity-life-in-america/70209956/

CRCDS CONGRATULATES TRUSTEE AND FORMER ROCHESTER MAYOR WILLIAM A. JOHNSON, JR., HONORED TODAY AT URBAN LEAGUE'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY LUNCHEON

CRCDS Trustee William A. Johnson, Jr., was honored today at the Urban League of Rochester's 50th anniversary luncheon at the Radisson Hotel.

Mr. Johnson played a key part in development of the Urban League when he became head of the organization in December, 1972.  For 21 years, he grew the organization known for enabling African Americans, Latinos, the poor and disadvantaged to secure economic self-reliance, equality and civil rights.

Johnson completed three terms as Rochester, NY's 64th Mayor on December 31, 2005 and was the first African American Mayor of any major city in upstate New York.  He was first elected in 1993.