There was plenty to celebrate during MTSO's 50th anniversary Day of Celebration Sept. 24, but for many guests with an abiding appreciation for the history and formation of the school, the installation of former Academic Dean John Kampen into the Van Bogard Dunn Chair in Biblical Interpretation held special significance. Shortly after the ceremony began, President Jay Rundell shared the news a good number of those gathered had waited years to hear.
"After decades of faithful efforts—successful efforts—to fund this chair, yet one more effort has been made," Rundell said. "And it is my privilege to announce that the Van Bogard Dunn Chair in Biblical Interpretation is a permanent fixture in the life of Methodist Theological School in Ohio."
The MTSO Board of Trustees declared the chair permanent in recognition of a final appeal that raised more than $130,000 in cash and pledges this year.
Sadly, Kampen's installation into the Dunn Chair came four months after the death of Dunn's widow, Gerry, who was beloved for her gracious hospitality to countless MTSO students. Fortunately, Rundell said, Gerry Dunn was aware of the upcoming installation and the early success of the effort to make the chair permanent.
In his faculty lecture, Kampen said, "I am being installed in a chair named for the person who had perhaps the most influence in determining the character of the institution we presently know.... It is a distinct honor to continue my work at MTSO hopefully honoring the name of Van Bogard Dunn, made possible by the support of so many alumni, faculty emeriti and others who share a passionate belief in the academic mission and work of this school."
Danny Russell, director of communication