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UTI is 35! Gala Celebration Banquet: Keynote video, story, photo gallery

UTI 35th Anniversary logo - goldThe Urban Theological Institute of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is celebrating its 35th Anniversary, and a highlight of the anniversary year was the Gala Celebration Banquet, keynoted by the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.’s address (above).

The banquet was an evening of fellowship, song, inspiration, and recognition of some who have been part of UTI’s 35 years. Included in the program were UTI Director the Rev. Dr. Quintin Robertson, co-chair of the anniversary along with the Rv. Dr. Alyn E. Waller (who sent a video greeting); LTSP President the Rev. Dr. David Lose, ’95/’97; the Rev. Audrey Moody, ’88, secretary of the Urban Theological Institute Committee of Advisors (UTICA) and member of LTSP’s Board of Trustees; a testimonial by the Rev. Janet Peterman, a former member of UTICA; UTI/LTSP Student Minister James Mack; introduction of Dr. Wright by the Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Crofs, Sr., Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., LTSP Associate Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies; and remarks by LTSP Dean the Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian. Musical selections were offered by Sheila D. Booker, Daniel Theodore Harris (who also provided musical accompaniment), and Yvonne Jones. UTI/LTSP student Lisa Younger-Richardson served as Mistress of Ceremonies.

Honorees included:

Pioneering Leaders  Bishop Andrew Willis (UTI Co-Founder) and Dr. Philip D.W. Krey (Former LTSP President)

Former and Current Faculty  Dr. George W. Thompson, Jr. (former professor for 25 years) and Dr. James A. Pollard, Sr. (professor for 35 years)

Old and New Friends  Bishop Ernest C. Morris (former and longest serving UTICA chair), Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, Dr. Ronald King Hill, and the Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller (UTI 35th Anniversary Co-Chair)

Alumni  The Rev. Dr. Janet Jenkins Sturdivant, ’95/’08; Bishop Dwayne D. Royster, ’10; and Mrs. Sheila D. Booker, ’08

UTI Chair  The Rev. William B. Moore, ’85

Two special gifts to UTI were announced at the banquet. Honoree and Professor James Pollard and his wife, the Rev. Virginia Pollard, from Zion Baptist Church in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, announced a gift of $100,000 to endow the African Presence in the Bible class, a popular UTI offering. During his keynote, Dr. Wright reminded the gathering that he had previously announced that Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, where he is Pastor Emeritus, upon his death would donate an amount sufficient to insure the full $1.5 million endowment of the Jeremiah A. Wright , Sr. Chair – though he reminded the audience that it he doesn’t expect that to happen until well into the future, and that gifts to the Wright Chair are still needed and encouraged. Proceeds for the Gala are designated to the Chair endowment, and gifts to the endowment can be made online.

You can read articles about the Gala Celebration from The Philadelphia Tribune and West Oak Lane Leader.

View a photo gallery from the Gala Celebration:

Visit the photo gallery to download and purchase photos

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