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Eckerd Dean of Faculty Lloyd W. Chapin Receives Union Theological Seminary's Distinguished Alumni Award

posted on 10/22/2007

Lloyd W. Chapin, Eckerd College Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, was recently honored with the 2007 Unitas Distinguished Alumni Award during Union Days, the annual reunion for the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

Lloyd W. Chapin receives the Unitas Distinguished Alumni Award
Union President Joseph Hough, Jr. presents the 2007 Unitas Distinguished Alumni Award to Eckerd's Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Lloyd W. Chapin.

Recipients of the Unitas Distinguished Alumni/ae Award are chosen to represent all of the Union graduates who have distinguished themselves in the church, academy, and society across the country and around the world. Dr. Chapin received his M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees in church history from Union.

"During Dean Chapin's 40-year career in higher education, he has had a far-reaching impact on literally thousands of faculty and students," says Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College. "During his 27-year tenure as Eckerd's chief academic officer, he built on the college's early promise and shepherded the institution into a vibrant, thriving model of excellence."

"To me Union in New York has always been the primary center for the academic study of religion and ethics," reflects Dean Chapin. "Although I did not go there with the goal of becoming an academic dean in a liberal arts college, it turned out to provide the perfect preparation. I feel extremely fortunate and deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of Eckerd for so many years, a college that fosters the same values that make Union great - intellectual vitality, authentic personal faith, and the desire to make the world a better place."

Lloyd W. Chapin and Trustee Helmar Nielsen
Dean Lloyd Chapin and Helmar Nielsen, member of the Eckerd and Union Boards of Trustees.

Helmar Nielsen, a member of the Eckerd and Union Boards of Trustees, introduced Dean Chapin at the Union Days awards banquet on Friday, October 12, when the award was presented to Dean Chapin by Union President Joseph Hough, Jr. In his remarks, Mr. Nielsen noted the following:

"I believe that Lloyd was attracted to this young and risky new school (Eckerd) by the chance to be creative about teaching and administering the teaching of the liberal arts and sciences, and about creating a place where wisdom, moral awareness and reasoned judgment were as much a part of the educational experience as knowledge. I doubt he was looking for prestigious academic security. To my mind, that is the courage to be and be authentic that derives from the Union experience...

There is a phrase from St. Augustine that I find myself reciting every day. He said, "You cannot give what you do not have." It sounds simple, it is not. It is among the most theological of statements. In the life and work of Lloyd Chapin there is a deep integrity born out of many influences but not the least his days within these (Union) walls. One faculty member who worked with Lloyd over 20 years wrote to me describing Lloyd as someone who, while clear and firm, had an essentially kind way of listening and evoking the best from others and how effective this was. His manner, she said, reminded her of a quote from Marcus Aurelius, "Kindness is invincible."

About Lloyd W. Chapin
Dean Chapin has been Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Eckerd since 1979, where he also holds the rank of Professor of Philosophy and Religion. He received the B.A. degree from Davidson College and the M.Div. and the Ph.D. degrees in church history from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He has held appointments on the faculty of Colgate University, where he served as Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion and Assistant Dean of Faculty, and at Emory University, where he was a member of the religion department and Associate Dean of the College. As an academic dean, he has given particular attention to curricular reform and faculty development. He has been involved in major revisions of the curriculum at both Emory and Eckerd. Dean Chapin was instrumental in establishing the Ford Apprentice Scholar Program, a two-year course of study designed to prepare Eckerd students for graduate school and to pursue a career in college or university teaching.

Dean Chapin was named to the 2008 Who's Who in America. He has served as chair of the Board of Directors of the American Conference of Academic Deans, chair of the Board of Directors of the Florida Humanities Council, and past president of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Tampa Bay. His publications include articles on major figures in the history of Christianity, the role of the library in liberal arts colleges, and core curricula in liberal arts colleges.

Dean Chapin and his wife, Louise, have four children, including Director of Family and Student Relations Anne Chapin Wetmore '94, and nine grandchildren.

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