Adapted from a Virginia Theological Seminary announcement
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham has given a Dean’s Cross Servant Leadership in Church and Society Award to essayist Wendell Berry.
Markham, dean and president of VTS, and the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, vice president for institutional advancement, presented the award while visiting Wendell and Tanya Berry at their farm in Port Royal, Kentucky, on August 21.
An author, poet, activist, farmer and environmental campaigner, Berry has written dozens of novels, short stories, poems, and essays. He was the 2012 Jefferson Lecturer and a 2013 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berry was named the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. He was also a recipient of the National Humanities Medal in 2012, when he was called “a 21st-century Henry David Thoreau.”
“Wendell Berry is a truly great poet, essayist, and environmental campaigner,” Markham said. “He graciously added the Dean’s Cross from Virginia Theological Seminary to his extensive list of honors and awards.”
Berry has taught at Stanford University, Georgetown College (Kentucky), New York University, the University of Cincinnati, and Bucknell University. He taught at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, in 1964-77 and 1987-93.
Established in 2008, the Dean’s Cross Award recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”
On December 7 Berry will be recognized alongside two other distinguished servant leaders during a service of Advent Lessons and Carols at the seminary.