Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Dr. Kuykendall of Davidson College. John Kuykendall was president of Davidson College while Macon, Kellsey, and Walter were there. He had retired from that office by the time that Mary began, but he continued teaching in the religion department. Mary took three of his courses. He was reputed to be a tough grader, but Mary made an A in each. He told me once that "Mary is as bright as a new penny!".

I first met him when he was in Miami calling upon a client of mine who was an important Davidson supporter. The client asked me to have lunch with the two of them, because Macon was then a student at Davidson. Dr. Kuykendall was just a splendid man.

Macon and Dr. K. butted heads over whether Dr. K. should step in when the Davidson Student Government Association took away the charter that the InterVarsity chapter at Davidson enjoyed. The executive board of the chapter had refused to permit a self-avowed, unrepentant homosexual to be a small group leader. The chapter continued to welcome this young man to small group, large group, and other IV events. But the exec would simply not permit him to be a leader. The exec's position was in line with "national" IV policy.

Macon was president of the chapter at the time; he took the brunt of the pressure that the young man and the campus community brought to bear. It was rough. Macon thought that Dr. K. should intervene, but Dr. K. kept his hands off. (Dr. K later explained to me his rationale, as he did to Macon. He told me that Macon was just furious with him. He told me that with a smile.) Macon held up well through all of it. (I was so proud of Macon.) And the next year, when Kellsey was president of the IV chapter, SGA reversed its ruling.

Dr. K. retired from the Davidson faculty the same year that Mary graduated. With the last Stokes kid gone, he must have figured it would be too dull.

He is now serving as interim president of Louisville Theological Seminary.

My wife, Carol, who reads Presbyweb avidly, picked up an article about Dr. K. It concerns a speech he made to a Presbyterian Church (US) body about confessions, and its worth reading. You can find it here.

No comments: