New Dean of Rockefeller Chapel: Love for students &
The Rev. Alison Boden, chaplain at Bucknell University, has been named Dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, effective July 1. Boden will succeed the Rev. Bernard Brown, who is retiring.
"Alison Boden has been an active and involved spiritual leader at Bucknell, and we look forward to her continuing the tradition of a caring and vibrant leadership at Rockefeller Chapel," said Provost Geoffrey Stone.
Boden received her B.A. in 1984 from Vassar College and her M.Div. in 1990 from Union Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She served as an assistant chaplain at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., before becoming chaplain at Bucknell in 1992.
Boden said she realized shortly after her ordination that she serves best as a minister on the collegiate level, rather than in a local parish.
"I love the academic environment, and I love the time of life that this is for students . . . I think there is no greater or more fun task than to be involved in that," Boden is quoted as saying in the Bucknellian, the Bucknell student newspaper that last month named her one of two "People of the Year" at the university.
At Bucknell, Boden holds weekly interdenominational services, leads Bible studies and offers counseling. She serves as an adviser for the Bucknell chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a campus interreligious fellowship called Horizons and a campus female a cappella group, the Silhouettes. She serves on numerous Bucknell committees, including the advisory boards for the Women's Resource Center and the Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Advisory. She also teaches in Bucknell's Social Justice Residential College.
Social justice is a concern for Boden as a teacher and, perhaps even more so, as a member of the clergy.
"We can worry about whether or not a particular artist is an artist or a pornographer," Boden said in the Bucknellian. "I don't care about that as much. I care about the fact that 40,000 children die every week in the world from hunger-related causes in a world that produces more than enough food for everybody to eat . . . That's where I ask myself, what am I going to do? And I want students to ask themselves those same questions. I want students to interrogate themselves on a spiritual level all the time."
-- Jeff Makos