We are in the middle of a very significant year: September 20, 2015 was the beginning of the 40th year of theological education at UTS. I hope that you will join with me this anniversary year by contributing to the Annual Fund and the 40/40 Campaign.

Donors 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.

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man-ho kim smlMan-Ho KimRev. Man-Ho Kim, the chief secretary of Dr. Hak-Ja Han Moon, and best-selling author Bill Gertz will address the commencement ceremony at the Unification Theological Seminary on May 23, 2015 and will be awarded honorary doctorate degrees. The commencement ceremony, beginning at 3:00 p.m., will see 21 students receive their degrees, ranging from the bachelor of arts in world religions and philosophy to the doctor of ministry degree, at the school founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon 40 years ago. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony.

Rev. Kim is currently serving as the Director of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification International Headquarters (FFWPUI HQ), Chairman of the Wonmo Pyeongae Foundation, and Secretary-General of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee.

He was born in 1963 and raised in Goheung Jeollanam-do South Korea. Kim received a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Cheonnam National University in 1988, and in June of 1997 he graduated with a master’s from the Unification Theological Seminary in New York. In August of 2014, he graduated from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea with a master’s of business administration.

From 1997 to 2006, he served as regional director of FFWPU-USA in Atlanta and San Francisco. In 2006, after returning to South Korea, he served as the Seoul-Branch Director and Central-Chief of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF)-Korea until 2012, after which he served as chief of staff for Sun Moon Academy of Chairman Hak-Ja Han Moon. From 2008 until today he has been educating the next generation of scholars as an adjunct professor of liberal arts at Sun Moon University. Currently he also serves as Chairman of Aewon, a South Korean not-for-profit organization.

UTS graduationGraduation proceedings at the UTS chapel in Barrytown, NY prior to installation of new windows.In October 30, 1988, through the 6500-Couples Blessing wedding ceremony held by True Parents, Kim married, Mie Ishii from Japan. They are the parents of two sons and one daughter.

Author and national security reporter Bill Gertz also will speak. Gertz is the most accomplished professional writer in the Unification movement.  Gertz, who grew up on Long Island, New York, joined the Unification movement more than 40 years ago and became a reporter for the Washington Times in the early 1980s. Today he is a columnist and reporter for The Washington Free Beacon and The Washington Times. He is the author of six books and writes a weekly column on the Pentagon and national security issues called "Inside the Ring." During the administration of President Bill Clinton, Mr. Gertz gained a reputation for investigative stories exposing sales of dual-use technology to foreign governments.

bill gertzBill GertzGertz is known for breaking worldwide exclusive reports. His stories in 2014 on China’s hypersonic weapons were submitted for a Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting. His many national security “scoops” made him a thorn in the side of Democratic and Republican administrations alike. Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey stated: “Bill used to drive me crazy because I couldn’t figure out where the leaks were coming from. Now… I read him religiously to find out what’s going on.” Gertz’ ground-breaking book The China Threat and other reports earned him a listing in 2006 as the world’s foremost China critic by the official Xinhua News Agency. UTS founder the Reverend Sun Myung Moon was known to take pride in Bill’s accomplishments and inscribed The China Threat for him with the words “Blessings come to a courageous man.”

Gertz’s awards include the Washington Times Excellence in Achievement Award (1997); the U.S. Business and Industry Council Defender of the National Interest Award (1998); the Western Journalism Center award for investigative journalism (1999);  the Virginia Press Association Certificate of Merit (2011); and Accuracy in Media’s Reed Irvine Investigative Journalism Award (2014).

A faithful Unificationist who attends church regularly, he lives in Annapolis Md., with his wife Debra. They have two adult daughters and a son (deceased). Impressively, Gertz achieved his outstanding record without the benefit of a college degree, as he devoted his youth on the front line of Unification movement and then pulled himself up by his bootstraps in the journalistic school of hard knocks.

Dr. Michael Balcomb, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification USA and chair of the UTS Board of Trustees, will give the commencement address to students and alumni gathering to celebrate UTS’ 40th anniversary. A reception will follow the graduation ceremonies.

Long known for its international student body, the graduating class of post-graduates includes several from the United States as well as some from Japan, Korea, the Philippines, India and Nigeria. Barrytown College of UTS, the newly opened undergraduate degree program of the Unification Theological Seminary, will graduate its first three students on Saturday.

Visitors to the UTS Chapel will notice a new look and atmosphere as a result of 16 brand-new windows. The historic stained-glass windows were recently installed courtesy of a special arrangement with the Christian Brothers religious order. With interfaith banners representing the world’s religious traditions, the chapel will be attractive as a venue for interfaith organizations, according to UTS staff.

On Sunday afternoon, May 24, alumni and friends will take part in a wide-ranging conference on ministry, church governance and interreligious dialogue. They also will have an open-ended discussion with Dr. Hugh Spurgin, president of the Unification Theological Seminary, on the future of UTS and of the Barrytown property.

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