On July 2, 2019, President Tony Monaco and the Reverend Greg McGonigle sent the following messages to the Tufts University Chaplaincy community.
A Message from President Monaco
Dear Students, Colleagues, and Friends of the University Chaplaincy,
I write to share the news that the Reverend Greg McGonigle, who has served with great distinction as our University Chaplain since July 2013, will be leaving Tufts effective July 15, 2019, to assume a new position as University Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life at Emory University. While we are truly sorry to see Greg leave Tufts, I hope you will join me in congratulating him on this exciting appointment. You can read Emory’s announcement of his appointment here.
During his time at Tufts, Greg has extended the Chaplaincy’s reach across all four of our campuses and to an increased number of faith traditions and spiritual and philosophical communities. Under his leadership, our Chaplaincy has become nationally recognized for substantive interfaith engagement, while significantly deepening its connections with our initiatives in diversity and inclusion and active citizenship.
As University Chaplain, Greg has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to our students, building new opportunities for them to develop and practice spiritual and ethical leadership and supporting them when they have experienced personal or community challenges. At the same time, he has been a valued colleague to administrative leaders across Tufts and has brought his insights to student affairs issues and to our university-wide efforts to support student mental health. He has also made it a priority to recruit and mentor an outstanding team of colleagues in the Chaplaincy.
Among the signal achievements of Greg’s time at Tufts have been the re-launch of the CAFÉ Pre-Orientation program, the expansion of the membership and role of the Interfaith Student Council, new Chaplain positions in Humanism and Buddhism, new prayer spaces to support our Muslim communities, and plans to enhance support for our Hindu community. The CAFÉ program has received national recognition from NASPA, the leading organization for student affairs professionals, and been featured in the recent book, Educating About Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement.
Looking ahead, we are committed to maintaining the momentum in the Chaplaincy and building on all that has been accomplished under Greg’s leadership. Plans for interim leadership and a national search for our next University Chaplain are now in development and will be shared as details are confirmed. In the meantime, I hope that many of you can join us for a celebration of Greg’s contributions on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 12:00 noon in Goddard Chapel. It will be a privilege to recognize Greg for his many contributions to Tufts.
A Message from The Reverend McGonigle
It has been a blessing and a profound honor to serve as the University Chaplain of Tufts University for the past six years.
Drawn by our superb chaplaincy team, our beautiful sacred spaces, our campus partners in diversity, wellness, student affairs, internationalism, civic life, Religion, and many other areas, and working broadly with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends university-wide, with strong support from Tufts’ leadership, we have built, I believe, one of the finest university spiritual life programs in the country. Much more important than recognition, however, has been the spirit of our collective work, which has sought to put openness, kindness, justice, and love at its heart.
Our spiritual interest surveys and e-newsletter, the revived and redesigned CAFÉ Pre-Orientation Program, the Interfaith Student Council, our Student Staff Program, the MLK Day of Service, our signature concerts and lectures, and new support we have been able to secure for the Humanist, Buddhist, and Hindu communities—all of these developments have been important aspects of the lives of students and many of us. Through the devoted efforts of our chaplaincy team and student communities, we have collectively renewed spiritual and philosophical life as an integral part of the Tufts experience. In times of struggle and sadness, we have cried together, and in times of joy, we have laughed.
This summer, after much careful thought, I have decided to take on a new ministry as university chaplain and dean of spiritual and religious life at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. This opportunity arose unexpectedly, but it will offer me an exciting opportunity to engage more deeply with my longstanding passions for human and civil rights and peace, while helping Emory to build the kind of global, multifaith spiritual life program we have been developing at Tufts. On a personal level, this is also an opportunity for me to experience a different part of the country that I have been interested in getting to know better.
Because I love Tufts, this was a difficult decision, and I will miss the students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, friends, and neighbors whom I have been blessed to become close with over these past six years. I am meditating on all of these blessings deeply. As a Universalist, though, I firmly believe in the interdependent web of life of which we are a part, and so I pray that the great relationships that have formed over these past six years will continue into the future.
President Monaco is deeply committed to continuing strong leadership and support for the University Chaplaincy in this new chapter, and I know that Tufts’ vibrant spiritual life will draw an exceptional new university chaplain. Those interested in the interim period and search process may contact the Senior Advisor to the University Chaplaincy and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Michael Baenen. I would like express my deep gratitude to Michael for being an outstanding visionary, supporter, and friend of the University Chaplaincy for many years.
We are planning an open house with lunch in hopes that people might come by so that I can thank them and say farewell on Wednesday, July 10 from noon to 2 p.m. in Goddard Chapel. I hope that you can join us then, but if not, please feel free to reach out through the chapel.
I am so grateful for the privilege to have spent these years with you at Tufts and to have served here. I will be thinking of you often, and I am so excited for the blessings that await you ahead.