|Mendenhall (M.Div. '80) honored during Presbyterian national convention
San Francisco Theological Seminary graduate Rev. Laura Mendenhall is the recipient of the 2012 Ernest Trice Thompson Award for excellence in education, church history, journalism or social justice. She received the award on June 30 at the Presbyterian Outlook luncheon that was held as part of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Mendenhall earned her Master of Divinity degree from SFTS in 1980. She has served as Christian educator, pastor and, most recently, senior philanthropy advisor for the Texas Presbyterian Foundation.
She may be most well known for her tenure as president of Columbia Theological Seminary from 2000-09. Among her many accomplishments, besides being one of the few women to serve in that capacity nationwide, Mendenhall spearheaded the largest fundraising campaign in seminary history, oversaw the appointment of half of the school's faculty and helped the school alter the makeup of its students by appealing to younger theologians..
Jack Haberer, editor of the Presbyterian Outlook, said of the recipient, “Laura has been such an extraordinary presence at Columbia Seminary through new faculty appointments, new construction and renewal of the campus. The reputation of that institution for making great pastors was enlarged by her tenure there.”
“Thank you so much. I am deeply grateful and truly humbled,” said Mendenhall.