Bridging Religious and Cultural Divides

do bequests make a differenceDonors make bequests to make a difference after they are gone. Mary Goodman, a New Haven laundress who bequeathed her life savings (nearly $5,000) to Yale Divinity School to provide scholarships for African Americans, was especially successful in this regard: her bequest supported the school’s first black students, and continues to support students today, nearly 144 years later.

Goodman saw the critical need for education among African Americans following the Civil War, and her vision led her to become the first person of color to make a gift to Yale University. The Divinity School continues to recognize the transformative power of this gift, which is now worth nearly $190,000. In May 2015, Yale Divinity graduated its largest-ever class of African American students, and in January 2016, the school announced the creation of the Mary A. Goodman Circle. Any person who gives $50,000 or more to the Divinity School, cumulative, during his or her lifetime will become a member of the circle. And an alumni group is urging the university to name one of two new residential buildings that will open in 2017 in honor of Mary Goodman.

Mary Goodman did not have an education, and faced racial and gender barriers that would seem almost insurmountable from today’s perspective. And yet she continues to have a significant beneficial impact on education, society, and individuals who will minister into the 22nd century and beyond.

That is the power of bequests.

This article was first published in the blog of In Trust Center for Theological Schools | January 28, 2016

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The Unification Theological Seminary community calls for racial and religious tolerance in the wake of another outbreak of hatred and violence in Charlottesville. We repudiate racism, white supremacy and all hate groups.

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Dr. Kathy Winings, who has served as UTS Vice-President for Academic Affairs, has accepted a new position as Director of the UTS Instructional Site in Clinton Maryland. She will continue as Director of the UTS D.Min. Program and as faculty in Religious Education and Ministry. 

Dr. Winings pioneered establishment of the NY Extension Center at 4 West 43rd Street in Manhattan beginning in 2000. Now Dr. Winings will be responsible to oversee developments for UTS at the Maryland campus, reporting directly to President Hugh Spurgin. 


keisuke noda 2 profile smlDr. Keisuke Noda will assume responsibility as UTS Academic Dean and continue as faculty in Philosophy.

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