Pagan Pride at Syracuse U

, Bethany Stotts, Leave a comment

This month Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel installed its first pagan chaplain, Mary  Hudson, “in line with its goal of being more inclusive of all religions on campus,” reports The Daily Orange on Feb. 14.

“Syracuse University may be only the second university in the nation to have a pagan chaplain, Hudson said. The only other one she was aware of is at the University of Southern Maine,” writes Rebecca Kheel for The Daily Orange. She continues,

This is the first new chaplain since the appointments of the Buddhist and the historically black church chaplains and the 11th chaplain at Hendricks. As a chaplain, Hudson will work at Hendricks two days a week, sponsor community outreaches and be apart of the Chaplains Council.

Syracuse University may be only the second university in the nation to have a pagan chaplain, Hudson said. The only other one she was aware of is at the University of Southern Maine.

That would be Rev. Cynthia Jane Collins, a “graduate of Christian Theological Seminary ordained Wiccan Elder, member of Silver Cauldron Coven, sponsored by Maine Pagan Clergy Association,” according to the USM website.

Kheel reports:

Hudson said she hopes her appointment will help the SU community become more aware and understanding of the pagan community. Although she said there is more awareness and respect than the past, she hopes the chaplaincy will help stigmas and stereotypes disappear. …

Hudson helped found Student Pagan Information Relations and Learning, or SPIRAL, at SU nine years ago and has continued advising the group since then. Hudson left her job as an IT director at the College of Human Ecology in December, but she wanted to find a way to continue working with the students in SPIRAL. She said she spoke with Tom Wolfe, the senior vice president and dean of student affairs, and realized she was qualified to be a chaplain at Hendricks because she was already ordained by a church.

There is only a small minority of pagans on SU’s campus, with 11 reported in Hendricks statistics in fall 2009. Hudson said she believes her chaplaincy will help a larger portion of the student body than just those who identify as pagans. She said there are many pagans that may not declare as pagan to the university because they do not know what resources are available. …

Hudson was ordained by the Church of the Greenwood, writes Kheel. The pagan church, the Central New York Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CNY CUUPS) and SPIRAL held their “Central New York Pagan Pride Project” on Feb. 13 entitled “Dessert and Divination,” a fundraiser on behalf of Haiti.

“Admission entitles you to a 15 minute reading* as well as your choice of dessert (home-baked!) & beverage. (Beer and wine may also be purchased for an additional fee). Come and ask your deepest questions with some of the area’s finest readers!” states the Central New York Pagan Pride Project website.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Hudson is the owner of The Fey Dragon, which sells “witchcraft supplies.”

For more reading:

Wiccans, pagans gain stone circle spot at Air Force Academy via @ the Associated Press

Air Force Academy Corrupted?

 

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