2006 Distinguished Alumni/ae
Daniel Aprá (STM 1968) has devoted his remarkable life of 90 years to ministry and service to others. Aprá graduated from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in 1940 and was ordained in the Baptist church that same year. He has served churches in California, Illinois, and Wisconsin. One of his longest pastorates, nearly 15 years, was at Arlington Community Church in Kensington, CA. He also served more than 13 years as minister of visitation at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, during which time he became the first chaplain of the Alta Bates Hospice. As a voice for social justice, he supported the grape strike led by Cesar Chavez, took a strong stand against the war in Vietnam, and was an early voice in the open and affirming movement. In addition, he helped create the Greater Richmond Interfaith Project (GRIP) and establish the AIDS ministry for the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC).
Wallace Fukunaga (DMin 1966) connects his faith to matters of justice, tolerance, and peace. A Hawaii native, he earned a BA from Harvard University and an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. In the 1960s, he participated in the civil rights movement, went to Vietnam with the World Council of Churches at the height of the war, and served as president of the Hawaii Chapter of the ACLU. More recently, he served as a PSR trustee, as president of the Oahu Association of the UCC, and on the boards of the Mental Health Association of Hawaii, the Waikiki Health Center, and the Japanese Cultural Center. Currently, he is on the board of the Japanese Citizen's League in Hawaii. Fukunaga's career has included serving as a campus minister at the University of Hawaii and as a pastor on the islands of Kauai and Oahu. Currently, he is interim pastor of Moanalua Community Church.
David Sammons (DMin 1978), a scholar and social justice activist, graduated from Dartmouth in 1960 and then earned an MDiv degree from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1965. Sammons served churches in New York, Ohio, and Illinois before coming to the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, CA, from which he will retire in June. Among his many published writings are the books The Marriage Option and A Fresh Look at Marriage. He is currently a PSR trustee; chair of Clergy for Responsible Choices and the Spiritual Care Advisory Board of Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek; president of FaithWorks, a labor/religious coalition; and co-chair of the Contra Costa County Housing Trust Fund. Sammons has served in many denominational positions and is currently visiting professor of Unitarian Universalist heritage and ministry at Starr King.
"It is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that the least of us are taken care of," says Wendy Taylor (MDiv 1986), whose career exemplifies her statement. She was born and educated in Washington, graduating from Whitworth College in 1966, and taught high school for 16 years in the Pacific Northwest. She was a VISTA volunteer in Puerto Rico; traveled to Peru as a lay missionary; served as a UCC delegate to the International Conference of the Mothers of the Disappeared in El Salvador; and coordinated Witness for Peace volunteers in Nicaragua. Taylor was called to serve the Congregational Church of Belmont, CA, in 1988. A decade later, she moved to a bilingual community on the California coast, Pescadero. There, she has directed the Puente Ministry since she founded it in 1998; Puente's mission is to build bridges between English- and Spanish-speaking people in Pescadero. In 2004, Puente Ministry became the nonprofit Puente de la Costa Sur.