Union Presbyterian Seminary will celebrate 200 years of Forming Leaders and Transforming the Church in 2012. The yearlong bicentennial celebration began in September 2011 with convocation ceremonies for both Richmond and Charlotte campuses at Hampden Sydney College, where the seminary originated in 1812. Immediately following, alums and friends of the seminary biked 75 miles to commemorate the school’s original journey from Hampden Sydney to its current location in Richmond. The move was driven by the seminary’s long standing mission to train modern leaders for the Church and served as a catalyst for the creation of the Ginter Park community.
“As the seminary looks back, remembers, and reflects, we also prepare,” says Brian Blount, president of Union Presbyterian Seminary. “We want to use this celebration to build momentum for our future work of equipping tomorrow's church leaders. We hope to involve the communities around Richmond and Charlotte, and the entire region that the seminary serves, because we are also commemorating 200 years of generous support from faithful churches and church folk who have nurtured us in this wonderful work.”
The school’s convocation kicked off an entire slate of events for the coming year inviting participation from alums, laity, clergy and constituents across the country. Highlights to the calendar include community-wide worship services that range in anticipated participation of 4,000 people to smaller church services. There will also be educational events and lectures, reunion gatherings and a fundraising gala with an auction on the Richmond Campus in the newly designed Early Center.
Board of Trustees Chair William Rikard says, “200 years of educating church leaders is significant cause for great celebration. We hope all members of the Union community will join our celebrations to affirm our marvelous history, but also, to recognize our continuing responsibilities to the future of God’s church.”