Dear Candler community:
Earlier this afternoon, Harvard University President Claudine Gay announced via email that Marla Frederick, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture at Candler, has been selected as the next dean of Harvard Divinity School. Since 2007, Professor Frederick is the sixth Candler faculty member to be honored with an appointment as a dean, president, or other senior administrator in theological or higher education, a powerful illustration of the excellent talent Candler attracts and fosters.
It comes as no surprise to those of us who have had the privilege of working with her across her four years at Candler that Professor Frederick rose to the top of the pool of candidates being considered for Harvard Divinity’s deanship. She is a scholar of eminence and vision whose gifts bring great value to any institution she serves, whether it is Candler, Harvard, the American Academy of Religion, or another organization.
This news is truly bittersweet for the Candler community. We would love for Professor Frederick to pursue her research and live out her calling among us, but we unstintingly celebrate with her this well-deserved recognition and enormous achievement. She goes with our blessing, our prayers, and our very best wishes.
But she’s not going just yet! Her new role as dean of HDS will begin in January, a detail she carefully negotiated so she could fulfill her teaching commitments at Candler for the fall semester—a perfect example of both her professional integrity and genuine caring for her students. I am grateful, and I know you are, too.
Please join me in congratulating Professor Frederick!
Grace and peace,
Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean
Professor of Christianity and World Politics
Candler School of Theology | Emory University
Read more at The Harvard Gazette