Davidson College Reunion Weekend

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April 29, 2000

John W. Kuykendall Community Service Award winner Whit Hutchison '75 flanked by President Vagt and Alumni Association President Andy McElwee.

Since its inception, Davidson College's mission has been to "liberate the minds of young men and women for useful lives of leadership and service." In Whit Hutchison, Davidson surely has succeeded. His career has been marked by a high level of scholarship, coupled with service across lines that often isolate groups in our nation.

Entering Davidson as a youthful Methodist from Atlanta, Whit Hutchison majored in psychology and was active in the emerging North Carolina Public Interest Research Group. His commitment to the Methodist ministry led him to Emory for theological training. His scholarly and ecumenical interests took him then to New York City's Union Theological Seminary for master's and doctoral training. For his dissertation topic in Christian Ethics, he studied how American preachers handled the issue of race and slavery in the three decades leading to the Civil War. He continues an interest in how Christians deal with minorities, writing more recently about "Immigrants and Other Strangers." His scholarly work on the issue of racism has been tied to pastoral concern in such difficult settings as a women's prison and an immigrant congregation.

New York City and Washington, D.C., have been centers for Whit's life and work for two decades. Some of the ways he has shared skills and heart have been as pastor of a Hispanic congregation, chaplain at American University, leading a Methodist Church in a university community near our nation's capital, founding a center for education and economic development for Hispanics, and instructing young church leaders in Christian ethics.

Because you have found a calling on the cusp of a societal change related to modern Hispanic migrations; because you have applied your deep scholarship to a Christian ministry many choose to ignore; because you have extended your service and action beyond even these wide boundaries to involvement in issues of Korea, Nicaragua, health, incarcerations, ecumenicity, and higher education, all the while keeping the Davidson touch, the Davidson College Alumni Association proudly honors you, Guy Whit Hutchison, with the John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service, on the occasion of the Class of 1975's 25th Reunion, April 29, 2000.

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