Exhibiting the Class Crosses

Date: May 7, 2024

“An Outward and Visible Sign: The Senior Class Crosses” exhibit at the Bishop Payne Library invites visitors on an informative exploration of this treasured Virginia Theological Seminary tradition. The exhibit delves into the historical context surrounding the creation of the tradition, and the collaborative process behind the design of the crosses is highlighted, emphasizing the importance of community engagement and shared vision. Each cross, meticulously crafted and imbued with symbolism, represents the collective experience of its graduating class.

The work of collecting the class crosses began with the Office of Institutional Advancement, and has been then the project of Shelagh Casey Brown and the Alumni Office for the past few years. These symbols of unity and faith will be on permanent display in Alumni Hall by Convocation in October. We are grateful to everyone who worked on collecting the crosses, and to the Alumni Office for allowing us to display them for the summer.

As visitors engage with the exhibit, they are encouraged to reflect on the ministry of each class and their shared legacy with the seminary. Through the lens of tradition, diversity, and collective identity, the exhibit offers a poignant exploration of spiritual formation and theological education spanning from 1964 through the current class of 2024.

We invite all students, faculty, and alumni/ae to visit the library to view the class crosses during commencement week and throughout the summer. Feel free to ask Shelagh Casey Brown or one of our archival staff to share more of the history with you.

Br. Joshua Waits, CFC
Seminary Archivist

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