New Drew Theological School Students Sign Matriculation Book

The 150-year old tradition resumes in-person

September 2021 – The Drew Theological School community had much to celebrate at the recent matriculation service. The ceremony was the first in-person gathering to sign the matriculation book, a rite of passage for all incoming students, since fall 2019.

The community celebrated with a hybrid service filled with inspiration, song, and scripture—welcoming incoming students from fall 2020, spring 2021, and fall 2021. The group represented 16 states and 17 countries. The students were welcomed by Dean Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, University Provost Jessica Lakin, Associate Dean Tanya Linn Bennett and Associate Dean Sofia Betancourt.

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Students on queue to sign the matriculation book

“In gathering here today, we remind ourselves that rituals mark time—and it is good to mark this time—it is both a transition to what lies ahead and a recognition of where we have been,” said Johnson-DeBaufre as she enthusiastically addressed the socially-distanced group in Craig Chapel.

“You have all chosen to embark on a journey by overcoming significant obstacles,” said Lakin. “You understand the commitment is so important because of what it means to you personally, what it means to your loved ones, and what it means to the world.”

Angella Son, professor of psychology and religion, delivered the matriculation address virtually. “We are having this mixed-mode event in honor of our new community that now spans distances.” said Johnson-DeBaufre.

Son’s talk, “Rage as a Transforming Force,” dissected the differences in human rage and the effects of both. Rage, caused by violence or uncontrollable anger, is typically destructive. Yet rage that is constructive can “transfer energy and be a driving force for change,” said Son.

Here’s a closer look.

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