Yale Divinity School (YDS) has launched We Are Called, a four-year effort within the university’s For Humanity campaign. This fundraising and engagement initiative draws from YDS’s mission and its dedicated alumni base. We Are Called aims to strengthen support for students, academic programs, justice work, and the construction of the first major “living building” residence hall in the college and university sector. The campaign aims to raise at least $130 million by 2026. To date, donors have contributed over $80 million.
“The only way that we can make significant progress,” says Gregory E. Sterling, the Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean of YDS, “is through external support, since we are almost entirely dependent on our endowment. Our goal in the campaign is not simply to meet our objectives but to enable us to address the major issues that confront humanity, issues like racism, climate change, and poverty. This is our raison d’être and the purpose of our campaign.”
On October 14, alumni, faculty, students, and friends gathered in YDS’s Old Refectory to launch the campaign. Among the attendees were honorary campaign co-chairs George and Carol Bauer, longtime YDS friends and volunteers who have been the lead donors to YDS’s Living Village project. Alongside the Bauers stood campaign co-chairs Nancy Taylor ’81 MDiv and Elijah Heyward ’07 MAR.
Sterling Professor Emeritus of Divinity and former dean Harold Attridge delivered a rousing toast to the campaign and the 200th anniversary of YDS as a distinct school at Yale.
“Join me in toasting the mission to which we have been called,” declared Attridge, chair of the school’s Bicentennial Committee. “The mission to bring light and truth to church and world. A mission we’ve pursued for some 200 years. And which, with the help of God, we’ll continue to pursue for many generations to come. To the ‘Grand Errand!’”