Professor Joseph D. Driskill's Retirement Celebration

December 15, 2011

Pacific School of Religion’s Badè Museum was the scene of an appreciative celebration on Saturday afternoon, December 10. Fifty guests joined Joseph D. Driskill and his wife, Leslie Bryant, in celebrating his career with PSR and DSF, and marking Joe’s retirement, which officially occurs on December 31. Joe currently serves as Professor of Spirituality; Ronald D. Soucey Lecturer; and Dean of the Disciples Seminary Foundation, Berkeley.

Pedro Ramos Goycolea (current PSR student and member of the DSF board) and Daniel Kyung-Min Lee (PSR graduate and NAPAD minister for the Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada) told of their appreciation for Joe and his influence on them as students. SandhyaJha (pastor of First Christian Church of Oakland) spoke about Joe’s work with the Reconciliation Commission of the church. Mary Donovan Turner, PSR’s Carl Patton Professor of Preaching and Joe’s successor as DSF’s Dean at the Berkeley campus, expressed appreciation for Joe’s gifts of teaching and pastoral presence, and noted the questionable wisdom of following someone in office who was as effective and well loved as Joe. David Downing, Interim Regional Minister for the Pacific Southwest Region, presented a certificate of appreciation from the region. Christina Hutchins, DSF Administrator for the Berkeley campus, read a poem specially written for the occasion, giving humorous insight into their work together. Kathi McShane, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at PSR, brought greetings and appreciation on behalf of Riess Potterveld, PSR President. Ben Bohren, Regional Minister for the Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada, pronounced a blessing for Joe and Leslie as they start their new chapter of life, asking those in attendance to speak a word that reflects Joe’s ministry and presence in their lives.

Don Sarton, Board Chair for DSF, presided over the event. Jon Berquist, DSF President, noted that he accepted Joe’s resignation with great reluctance. Jon presented Joe with the Honored Minister’s Pin, provided for presentation by the Pension Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He also presented Joe with a clock as a gift from DSF. As he started to open the gift, Joe quipped, “At least it’s not ticking,” only to discover a moment later that it was! Speaking of Joe’s distinguished service to PSR and DSF since the early 90’s, Jon said, “As Joe leaves behind this focused ministry with DSF and PSR, Joe begins a new time of ministry, in which his considerable gifts will enrich others throughout North America just as he has nourished us for so many years.  He serves with uncompelled kindness; he has always done everything his duty required, but he has seen such effort as only the beginning point for his true ministry.  He has made DSF and PSR a home for many.  Now, we pledge to follow Joe’s example, and we wish all of our best on Joe and Leslie.”

Joseph Driskill has been appointed as Dean Emeritus of Disciples Seminary Foundation, Berkeley, and Professor Emeritus of Spirituality, Pacific School of Religion.  Joe and Leslie will divide their time in retirement between the Bay Area and Ontario, Canada.