I was an exchange student at Candler between fall 1998 and spring 1999, and it seems to me that in that specific period of time I came of age as a human being as well as a theologian. I built deep friendships with other students from the U.S. and Sweden that still last today. I still remember the ethics class of Professor Liz Bounds, the lectures of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a special course on Jesus Christ in the letters of Paul with Professor Luke Timothy Johnson. Many books had to be read. And for that, one place became very special for me: a certain tree at the mumbling and burbling creek in the shades of Hahn Woods (pictured).

It was Ted Runyon who had shown me Hahn Woods at the beginning of my Candler year, and very often I used this place to immerse myself—not in the creek, but rather in the thoughts and intellectual worlds of Sören Kierkegaard, Peter Singer, or Paul himself, sitting by the side of the cooling waters.

A few years ago, during a research stay for my doctoral thesis, I revisited Candler, and also Hahn Woods. Sadly, my tree had been felled in the years between. Still, sometimes when I think of my readings back then, or when I turn a page in my Greek New Testament, I can hear a distinctive burbling, soft and low, and refreshing.

Thank you, Candler! And thank you, Ted!