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The Rev. Kelly N. Sprinkle named interim dean of Syracuse University's Hendricks Chapel

June 27, 2008

Kelly Homan Rodoski
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Kelly Homan Rodoski

The Rev. Kelly Norman Sprinkle has been named the interim dean of Syracuse University's Hendricks Chapel.

Sprinkle, the University's Protestant chaplain, succeeds Dr. Thomas V. Wolfe, who was appointed the University's interim senior vice president of student affairs on June 3.

"Hendricks Chapel is central to our campus community, and the role of the dean extends beyond its steps to touch all areas of campus life. During this time of transition, it is critical for us to have an interim dean who understands the unique nature of the role and who will ensure the values and mission of the chapel are upheld and the outreach continues," says Eleanor Ware, SU senior vice president for human services and government relations, to whom the dean of the chapel reports. "Kelly's background, his SU experience, his enthusiasm and his strong desire to serve will contribute to a smooth transition and confident leadership for the chapel. I am delighted that he has accepted the challenge."

"I am very pleased that Rev. Kelly Sprinkle has agreed to serve as the interim dean of Hendricks Chapel," says Wolfe. "His commitment to diversity and his years of presence and openness on campus will serve the University well as he assumes this role."

Sprinkle says: "Tom Wolfe exemplified the values of Hendricks Chapel. He embraced hospitality, interfaith cooperation and openness to the University and larger community. Hendricks Chapel will continue to embody these values by stretching ourselves to embrace the religious diversity that is before us.

"No matter if we identify with a spiritual path or not, we all have one thing in common: we are members of the human race," says Sprinkle. "Hendricks Chapel will continue be a place that is open to all humanity. Our doors will always be open."

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Sprinkle has been the University's Protestant chaplain since August 2004. In that position, he has represented the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church and the American Baptist Churches in providing pastoral care to students, leading the weekly Protestant Service of Worship, and developing and implementing interfaith programs and mission, service and learning opportunities.

In May, Sprinkle led a group of seven SU students on an international educational and service learning trip to Botswana to help renovate a school that serves children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. He also served as a facilitator and co-leader of "Three Faiths, One Humanity," a 2007 interfaith study and travel experience sponsored by Hendricks Chapel to explore Christian, Jewish and Muslim dialogue and cohabitation. Sprinkle has led groups of SU students on trips to New Orleans over the past three winter breaks to help in the hurricane recovery efforts. Each of the three New Orleans service trips was recognized with the Chancellor's Award for Civic Engagement.

"Hendricks Chapel is a place about holistic integration. Through the chapel, we invite every person to see the world, whether it is a short-term service trip abroad, a Spring Break trip to New Orleans or working with refugee children right here in the chapel," says Sprinkle. "Our world is our community. And when we see the world as our community, we can begin to see that our campus home here at Syracuse University is in a city that has the same concerns. We here at Hendricks Chapel encourage integrating our spiritual selves with our intellectual capabilities. It is when we put our hearts and minds together that we bring about the best in humanity."

Prior to coming to SU, Sprinkle served as an associate pastor for campus ministry at Michigan State University from 2000-04 and an on-call chaplain for the Sparrow Health System in Lansing, Mich. He served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Chicago from 1995-99.

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