To the Class of 2020

Over the past few weeks, we have asked our community to extend congratulatory messages, photos, and well-wishes to the graduating Class of 2020. We are proud of the work you will do in the world, and we will miss you greatly!

To add your message to this collection, please email

Dear Amazing Graduates,

The faculty voted today [May 14, 2020] to approve your graduation and to celebrate your accomplishments as students and scholars. You are a stellar class, and your academic work and communal leadership reflect your passionate quest for learning and for developing your talented selves in ever-new directions. Thank you for being YOU. As I reflect on the individual and communal accomplishments you have made in these years, I smile. When I see each of your faces and ponder the lives you have touched, I soar with delight. You have been in STH during years when a great deal of disruption has taken place in the U.S. and the world – ecological, social, economic, political, and personal. Through that time, you have continually asked big questions and sought to be your best selves. You have awakened STH with your insights and concerns, and have reshaped who we are as a community. Oh my! I hate to see you leave.

With abundant gratitude,
Mary Elizabeth Moore

Philippians 1:2-5 

2 Grace to you and peace from
God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you,
constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you,
because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.

Dana Robert

Congratulations to an awesome Graduate Assistant, Hanna Larracas!

Much aloha,
Charlene Zuill, 
Spiritual Life Coordinator, Lecturer in Spiritual Formation

Class of 2020! Heartfelt congratulations on this milestone! Learning beside so many of you has been an honor. Being inspired by those of you who offered leadership at STH has been a privilege. So many of you went the extra mile to offer me welcome when I was a mid-year transfer student. Many thanks for your graciousness and hospitality. Although I haven’t met all of you, I am proud of each one of you! Blessings on all the future can hold!
Love, Caro Barschow

To the Class of 2020: Congratulations on completing this part of your life journeys. It has been a delight to learn and laugh and love alongside you all. Many blessings to y’all, and wishes of overflowing peace, joy, and love as you go to whatever is next!
Kyle Walden (Class of 2021)

Dear STH Class of 2020, 

Congratulations! You’ve made it to this point, and yes, there is much grieving alongside the joy of graduation. 

I remember that day in Marsh Chapel as one of my proudest, but also one of the saddest. I was grieving the goodbye to community, the goodbye to the rhythm of student life. The grief really took hold when I took my first professional job that August. 

And yet, I can easily say, I loved my time at STH because of those relationships, because of the spiritual growth, because of the active work of the Spirit. I have STH friends scattered throughout the country, and they have been my lifesavers during this time. I found in STH, people who–to use a term from Celtic spirituality–became my anam caras, my “soul friends.” 

I pray that you found and continue to find–in your classmates, in your professors, in your spiritual communities and social networks–your anam caras. They will sustain you, they will surprise you, they will remind you of the wonderful work of God and the Spirit weaving throughout the world. 


Benjamin Mead, STH ’14

Congratulations to Hanna Larracas and Tory Dillard, Spiritual Life Office Spring Retreat planning Team!


A word of appreciation and thanks to the faculty and students of the BU School of Theology:

I entered STH in 2016, already retired from a life in high tech, hoping to learn more about a life-long interest: theology. I hoped I would be tolerated as a much older student, and I found much more than toleration — I found encouragement, engagement, and a whole lot of things I didn’t know I would be learning, not just about theology, but about the Christian church, other religions, justice, peacemaking, science from a faith perspective, and film (movies) from a faith perspective. I’m grateful, first, for Boston University and the School of Theology for making this an affordable adventure, even though I wasn’t targeting ordination or any specific theological vocation. I’m grateful to the United Methodist Church for its support of BU and STH, even though I’m not currently a Methodist (though I once was). I’m grateful to the faculty for treating me as equal to any other student and expecting no less of me on account of my age or previous background. I’m grateful to all three Deans, with each of whom I was privileged to take a course during my final two semesters. And I’m joyful to realize that I have been surrounded by greatness, found in both individual faculty and many individual students. I still don’t know exactly what God is calling me to do, but I do feel prepared to go out into the world knowing so much more than I imagined I would know, and prepared to have the transformational conversations that I know are waiting to happen – whenever, wherever, with whomever. Thanks be to God.

Paul Sawyer, STH MTS 2020

Dear Class of 2020, 

I’ve learned from you since your first days at STH, and I look forward to learning from you as you transition to your respective ministries. I wish you well, and I wish you the energy to continue to do amazing things!

Kimi Macdonald, Communications Director 

Congratulations grads on your well-earned degrees! BU and STH are proud of you, and we wish you well as you step into the next stage of your lives. You have been given many words of wisdom so I leave you with just a short quotation from T. S. Eliot: Not fare well, But fare forward, voyagers!

Andrew Shenton, Professor of Music, James R. Houghton Scholar of Sacred Music

“There are two ways to live your life.” One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

You each represent hard work, tenacity, dedication, and a life of miracles, particularly graduating this semester! Congratulations!

I wish you the best as you envision and live into future miracles; unfolding peace and justice in the communities you will join and serve.

Judith Oleson, Director, The Tom Porter Program on Religion and Conflict Transformation

Congratulations class of 2020! May you be richly blessed in all your future work of ministry. You will all be missed!

Chris Evans, Professor of the History of Christianity and Methodist Studies


As you leave STH, I trust that you will carry wonderful memories with you. I also hope that, in spite of the challenges of this last semester, you will be able to look to the future. From the prophet Isaiah, after he had listed many challenges to the people, he offered this hopeful word: 

“Look! I’m doing a new thing: now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.”

Keep looking for — and discovering that new thing! 

Susan Hassinger, Bishop-in-Residence 

I hope you leave this place with your hearts widened and your minds sharpened. And I hope you tend to your body; give it time to rest and restore. I am grateful to have walked with you for a few steps on your life path. Holding you close, while celebrating from a distance. 

Shelly Rambo, Associate Professor of Theology 

Congratulations, Courageous Graduates! You’ve persevered and made us proud. May you serve your community well, feel blessed in the work, continue to grow in strength, and stay in touch with STH. 

Courtney Goto, Associate Professor of Religious Education

Congratulations Class of 2020

You’ve done it! The readings, papers, examinations; the community building, spiritual wandering, intellectual exchanging; the crying, the laughing; the falling apart, and the reconstructing — you’ve done it all, yet the journey is not complete. 

Having traversed the halls of BUSTH, Howard Thurman’s reminder to us is that “A crown is placed over our heads that for the rest of our lives we are trying to grow tall enough to wear.” My prayer is that you continue growing in wisdom and stature so that every person you encounter is inspired, edified, and appreciated. In other words, keep hope alive!

All the best,
Andrew Kimble (STH ’19), Assistant Director of Alumni and Donor Relations

Dear STH Class of 2020,

We are so fortunate and blessed to now call you alums of STH. Congratulation on your many accomplishments to get you to this point especially given the unprecedented challenges since March. Please take advantage of your new network both your now fellow 3,600 STH alumni and beyond to all of BU’s 336,000 former students. And remember the STH Development and Alumni Office will always be here for you. Onward and upward!

Ray Joyce, Assistant Dean for Development