From Dean Ian Markham's "Dean's Commentary" from Virginia Theological Seminary (my alma mater) in Alexandria, Virginia...
Some people just are special. Last night over 180 people participated in a sit-down dinner in the Refectory and celebrated the Ed Hall years at Virginia Theological Seminary. With outstanding music, a video capturing scenes of people and images from around the Seminary, presentations from Bishop Peter James Lee, Lee Marston, Katharine Hall, and letters, which were read out, from Senator Joe Biden and Dean Martha Horne, it was a special evening.
We all saw Ed in his richness. He is a man of wit, thoughtfulness, and passion. Several speakers referred to his wise counsel. He is a man of faith – who expresses it in the way he lives. He is a man who likes single malt whisky. He is a man who served both his country in the Senate and the Seminary with distinction.
When Ed spoke he asked his family to join him on the stage. He spoke warmly about his children. And he spoke movingly about his love for his wife Sherry.
As Sherry and Ed move on to the next stage of their life together, we wish them all the best. Last night was a testimony to his place in the broad narrative of Virginia Theological Seminary. We are deeply grateful for his service.
The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President
a letter from Ed Hall:
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WITH GRATITUDE
As I leave the Seminary September 30 after six years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and prior to that for seven years on the Board of Trustees, I am thankful for the strong philanthropic support our alumni and many friends have provided the Seminary.
I am pleased to report that this past year overall Annual Giving by alumni, friends, and parishes, exclusive of foundation grants and bequests, reached $1,145,951, exceeding $1 million for the third year in a row, and undesignated giving to the Annual Fund reached a new high of $720,000. Overall Annual Giving for the year, including foundation grants and bequests, was $2,137,686.
These positive results are due to the generosity of so many alumni and friends of VTS, and the dedication, leadership and hard work of our trustees, faculty and staff. Thank you all, with a special thanks to the dedicated staff in the Office of Institutional Advancement! I regret that this will be my last Annual Report of the Seminary’s Annual Giving, but am pleased it is a positive one.
The Seminary’s Annual Giving and endowment must continue to grow to keep pace with the cost of its timeless mission and the expanding commitment of VTS to our students and the Church. Your strong philanthropic support clearly has an impact far beyond Virginia Seminary. Since seminaries of the Episcopal Church receive no financial support from the national church, gifts to Virginia Seminary are, in the end, gifts to our churches, communities and the wider Anglican Communion.
As the Seminary moves forward under the strong leadership of Dean Markham into the next stages of its strategic planning for the future, it does so with confidence and strong momentum, made possible through the generosity, and enduring commitment, of many graduates, friends, and parishes.
I am truly grateful for the privilege of having served Virginia Seminary, and will miss my friends on the Holy Hill, as well as so many of you, alumni and friends of VTS, who have extended your own personal friendship to me, as you have supported the philanthropic goals of the Seminary over these past six years.
For this faithful enterprise on the Holy Hill to thrive and meet the challenges and opportunities of the years ahead, the Seminary will depend on the increased philanthropic support of all our friends and alumni.
Thank you for your friendship and generosity. It does make a difference!