W. Clark Gilpin, former Divinity School and DDH Dean, and David A. Vargas, President Emeritus of Division of Overseas Ministries, were selected by the Alumni/ae Council of Disciples Divinity House as special 125th anniversary recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award. Their awards were presented at the DDH Luncheon on July 23, 2019, at the General Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa. Garry Sparks introduced them.
Clark Gilpin began his teaching career at Kenyon College, Ohio, and then joined the Phillips Theological Seminary faculty before becoming DDH Dean in 1984. He is the Margaret E. Burton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the Divinity School where he served as dean from 1990 to 2000. From 2000 to 2004 he directed the Martin Marty Center. He studies the history of modern Christianity, and is the author of three books. He has served as a DDH trustee since 2011, and led the Disciples History and Thought seminar at DDH on a volunteer basis for more than a decade.
David Vargas's 28 years of service with the Division of Overseas Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) included ministry as the Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean, and culminated in his service, from 2003-11, as the President of DOM and Co-Executive of Global Ministries. He having helped to define Critical Presence as the priority in mission of Global Ministries, “the sacred project of meeting God’s people and creation at the point of deepest need.” Under his leadership, DOM launched a series of program initiatives toward “A Global Mission Church.” He has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1999.