Yale University last week named Sharon Kugler its new
university chaplain. Kugler, who has served as Johns
Hopkins' chaplain since 1993, will assume the post at Yale
on July 1, when the current chaplain, Rev. Frederick
Streets, retires after 15 years of service.
Kugler, a lay Catholic, will join a university rooted
in the Protestant tradition but with a diverse population
representing many faiths.
In his letter announcing the appointment, Yale
President Richard C. Levin said that Kugler throughout her
career has demonstrated her respect for all traditions and
ability to bring those of different beliefs together.
Levin said that the members of the search committee
were particularly impressed by Kugler's success in building
programs that support numerous faiths, her work to
facilitate interfaith dialogue and her "keen pastoral
skills that were appreciated by students of every
"The future of our global community requires the kind
of leadership that Sharon Kugler has already provided at
Johns Hopkins in forging mutual respect and understanding.
We look forward to her creative role in guiding the
religious life of the university," Levin said.
Kugler's role at Johns Hopkins has been to take the
lead in promoting and advocating for the religious and
spiritual life of the entire university community. Her
duties include convening the Interfaith Council and the
Campus Ministers Advisory Board, advocating for the more
than 20 student religious groups on campus and providing
pastoral care and support during times of crisis and
She is widely recognized as one of the nation's most
creative university chaplains.
Susan Boswell, dean of student life, said that Kugler
has been a very visible and important member of the Johns
Hopkins community and will be sorely missed. "She has been
the heart and soul of this community, particularly through
times of tragedy," Boswell said.
A graduate of Santa Clara University with a master's
degree from Georgetown, Kugler began her career devoted to
social service ministry. She was the resident counselor for
a battered women's shelter in Ohio before becoming an
associate campus minister at Santa Clara University. In
1987, she became the founding director of AIDS Interfaith
Residential Services, which was Baltimore's first
residential program for adults living in the last stages of
She has served as president of both the National
Association of College and University Chaplains and the
Association of College and University Religious Affairs,
and she has earned wide respect for her innovative
leadership in interfaith chaplaincy.
At Johns Hopkins, Kugler was pivotal in the creation
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith and Community Service
Center, which opened in May 1999. Along with serving as
the main base for
Campus Ministries, the center is the home for a wide
variety of prayer and worship services and formal and
informal educational and social gatherings.
Kugler will retain her position until the end of the
Boswell said that discussions on finding a new
chaplain will begin immediately, and more will be announced
at a later date.