Dear alumni/ae and friends,
I love institutions of higher education and I love the scholarly knowledge that surrounds me everywhere I turn. During any given semester, some of the smartest theological minds visit our campus. In lectures, classes, or workshops, a student or faculty colleague may have access to people who are changing the face of theological discourse. Our library is unrivaled in terms of resources to support theological education. We are abundantly blessed to have a learning community that continues to welcome great scholars and great students.
Yet the collective knowledge gleaned from all the books in the world cannot replace wisdom: wisdom that comes from life experience; wisdom that comes from common sense; and wisdom that comes from God. The book of Proverbs reminds us that "wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice." I want Vanderbilt Divinity School to continue to be a place which celebrates both academic knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom is present in the pews of our congregations as well as in the public square. Wisdom is found in the voices of our children and in the encouragement of our elders. My prayer is that along with the vast array of knowledge at our disposal, we continue as a community to seek the nourishing waters of the fountain of wisdom.
Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair
Professor of Religion & Literature