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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 12, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 21
Chaplain Sharon Kugler Named to Post at Yale University

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

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 background."

"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 celebration.

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 HIV/AIDS.

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 of the 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 academic term.

Boswell said that discussions on finding a new chaplain will begin immediately, and more will be announced at a later date.


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