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Press Release  
Release Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 3:28 PM
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Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist

Sharolyn Rosier
Howard University School of Divinity
Howard University School Of Divinity Hosts 98th Annual
 Alumni Convocation

       Event features keynote speakers Dr. Rueben Warren and Dr. Marsha Foster Boyd and  marks the premier of God’s Trombones Revisited.

WASHINGTON, DC (June 2, 2014) - Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD) announced its 98th Annual Alumni Convocation will be held Oct. 14-16, 2014, with God’s Trombones Revisited as its inaugural play and Dr. Rueben Warren and Dr. Marsha Foster Boyd as keynote speakers.

The theme of the convocation is “Equipping the Saints: Promising Practices in Black Congregational Life,” which also is the name of a Lilly Endowment funded HUSD national research project.

“The 98th Alumni Convocation will be unlike any convocation in recent history,” said Alton B. Pollard, III, Ph.D., dean of the Howard University School of Divinity. “From our phenomenal speakers, to ground-breaking research findings, and the premier of God’s Trombone’s Revisited, there will be something to inform, inspire and empower everyone on all levels.” Pollard is the principal investigator and faculty researcher for the national research project that bears the same name as the conference theme, “Equipping the Saints: Promising Practices in Black Congregational Life.”

Warren is director of Tuskegee University’s National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. He also serves as director and adjunct professor of the Institute for Faith-Health Leadership and adjunct professor of Public Health, Medicine and Ethics at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. Warren has also held numerous executive leadership positions in government. Warren served as associate director for Minority Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was associate director for Urban Affairs at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 

Warren also served part-time as the director of Infrastructure Development for the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  As associate director at CDC/ATSDR, Warren was responsible for the agency’s positions on environmental justice and minority health.   

Boyd is president emeritus of the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit. Boyd previously was director of Accreditation and Leadership Education at the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). She has also served as academic dean of Payne Theological Seminary and associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at United Theological Seminary. Boyd was the first African-American woman to serve in each of these positions, and she was only the second African-American woman president of an ATS-accredited seminary.

God’s Trombones Revisited is an adaptation of James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse, a 1927 book of poems drawn from African-American folklore and patterned after traditional African-American religious oratory.  Each of Johnson’s sermon-prose poems is followed by a counterpoint interpretive response. The play is produced, directed and adapted by Dr. Renee K. Harrison, assistant professor of African-American and U.S. religious history at Howard University School of Divinity.

Registration for the 98th Annual Alumni Convocation is complimentary for Howard University students, faculty and staff.  Online pre-registration is available at  Early bird registration is available to the general public through September 15th for $75.

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Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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