A “Loyal and Active” Discussion

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Trustee Committee explores relationship between heritage and core values.

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By Stacey Schmeidel

What’s the relationship between the college’s religious heritage and its core values ? That’s the question now being asked by the Trustee Committee on Church-Relatedness.

To help address the issue, members of the Davidson family will receive a questionnaire from the committee in July. “The questionnaire is brief,” said committee chair William Rikard ’67, “and we hope people will take the time to complete it. We are eager to hear people’s thoughts about this important issue.”

The questionnaire is the latest step in the ongoing work of the committee, which was formed in January 2012 to examine the bylaw that requires Davidson’s president to be a “loyal and active Christian able to affiliate with Davidson College Presbyterian Church.” Questions about the bylaw arose during Davidson’s 2010– 11 presidential search, and the Trustees committed at that time to beginning an examination of the bylaw within a year after the new president took office.

“We recognize that there are strong and passionate views on these issues, and we are committed to examining this topic honestly and thoroughly,” said Board Chair Mackey McDonald ’68. “The presidential requirement has been in place in some form since the college’s first constitution was adopted in 1839. The Board—and the broader Davidson community—will take the time warranted to examine the bylaw and assess its meaning in the light of who we are today.”

The Committee on Church-Relatedness hopes to present its report to the trustees at the Board meeting in January 2013. Comments are welcome through the July questionnaire, as well as via e-mail to TrusteeCommittee@davidson.edu and at talk.davidson.edu.

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