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Garrett-Evangelical President, Dr. Lallene J. Rector, Named Distinguished Alumna of the Boston University School of Theology

August 19, 2015

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary President Lallene J. Rector was recently named the recipient of the Boston University School of Theology’s Distinguished Alumni/ae Award. Rector was nominated for the award by Garrett-Evangelical President Emeritus and Senior Scholar in Theology, Neal F. Fisher.

“It was an honor to place President Lallene Rector’s name in nomination to receive a Distinguished Alumni/ae Award from Boston University School of Theology,” Fisher said. Fisher and Rector have known each other since Rector was a student at Boston University, where Fisher was on faculty at the time. Later, when Fisher was president of Garrett-Evangelical, he invited Rector to join the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical as assistant professor of psychology of religion and pastoral psychotherapy.

“President Rector has served with distinction for twenty-nine years as a professor, scholar, clinician, academic dean, and now as president of Garrett-Evangelical. She is a person of unquestioned personal integrity, intellectual strength, and spiritual depth,” commented Fisher. “Her service reflects honor both upon the seminary of which she is the leader and upon Boston University where she completed her doctoral studies. I join all her many friends and colleagues in rejoicing at this well-deserved recognition.”

In addition to being the first woman and the first lay person to serve as president of Garrett-Evangelical in its 162 year history, Boston University School of Theology named Rector as distinguished alumna for her extensive work both in the academy and the church. In her 29 years of ministry, Rector has served on numerous committees including the Association for Theological Schools Advisory Committee for Chief Academic Officers, the Association of United Methodist Seminaries, the American Academy of Religion, the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago, the Board of Directors for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church, and more.

Upon hearing about the award, President Rector said, "My time at Boston University, in addition to being happy days full of the wonder and joy of living in a new region of the country, were also deeply formative of an intellectual point of view. Though I had chosen BU as the place I wanted to study psychology of religion with Dr. Orlo Strunk, Jr., I was naive about the power of being immersed in a theological ethos committed to seeking justice. Unknowingly, a strong foundation was being laid that informed most of my future efforts in life. I remain indebted and exceedingly grateful for the education I received there."

Rector earned a master of theological studies from Boston University’s School of Theology in 1978 and her doctor of philosophy in psychology of religion from Boston University’s Graduate School for the Arts and Sciences in 1986. She will be honored with other Distinguished Alumni/ae Award winners at a celebration on September 17, 2015 at Boston University.

To learn more about President Lallene J. Rector, go here.