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Remembering Alvord Beardslee
Obituaries CTUCC.org obituary In Memoriam: Alvord Miner Beardlee Roanoke.com (The Roanoke Times) Posted on Apr 2, 2014 by Ralph Berrier Alvord Beardslee, longtime chaplain at Hollins, was 'open thinker' Notification of Alvord Beardslee's death to Hollins community by its President Alvord Beardslee’s Legacy Roanoke Times & World-News Sunday, April 4, 1993 Keeper of History The Rev. Alvord Beardslee closes the book on a colorful career at Hollins An excerpt from "This is My Story: Testimonies and Sermons of Black Women in Ministry" edited by Cleophus James LaRue Pilgrims of the Wave By Pamela J. Podger “In an era of activism and unrest, three Hollins graduates felt the stirrings of social change during their college years in the early to mid-1970s. Those influences, during their formative years, have helped them chart new territory and alter the religious landscape of the Roanoke Valley.” Some quotes from the article: The REV. DEBORAH HENTZ HUNLEY ’74 was the first woman ordained in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia in 1991. "During her time at Hollins, she was influenced by Rabbi Barry Silberg at Temple Emanuel, who lectured on Jewish studies, and by the Rev. Alvord Beardslee, the former Hollins chaplain and an ordained United Church of Christ minister, who taught philosophy and religion." The REV. KATHY O’KEEFFE ’71, M.A.L.S. ’95, who is pastor of the charismatic Kingdom Life Ministries, embarks on yearly missions with her parishioners to villages in Ghana. "Faith was present in her family when she was growing up, and her father was a Sunday school teacher. But during her college years, she said she was more active in political thought than in religious thought. “When I went to college, it was turbulent times, with the Vietnam War, Kent State, campus unrest, and budding feminism.” She remembers Alvord Beardslee for his wonderful debates and thought-provoking discussions. He would challenge what I would say, and I would challenge back. He inspired me to continue a deeper level of the journey.” After the United Nations relocated some refugees to the Roanoke Valley, the REV. SUSAN EMMONS BENTLEY ’75 expanded the mission of St. James Episcopal Church to include her Sudanese neighbors in the city. "Eventually, she came to St. James Episcopal Church in Northwest Roanoke. She said Beardslee’s teachings came to fruition there with her jail visitations. 'Alvord encouraged people to go visit the jail. All three of us [interviewed for this article] are saying what a significant mentor he was—he was the first voice I heard calling us forth for social justice,' Bentley said. 'I’m hearing the echoes of his voice almost 35 years later.' "
September 6, 1926 – March 21, 2014