Farewell to Elly Hahn

Date: January 27, 2023

Today is the last working day at VTS for Elly Hahn. She came on board early in 2021 and has directly supported so much at VTS while bringing her own brand of hard work, thoughtful assessment, and great sense of fun.

In the support of students she led the planning process for their onboarding in the summer before they arrive and also spearheaded the complicated commencement event to celebrate their graduation. Last year she also overhauled the student handbook so that it reflects best practices and internal consistency.

In the support of faculty she has coordinated searches and the onboarding process, project managed reviews and faculty meetings, and tweaked the renovated classrooms in Addison so that the spaces better supported teaching and learning. She also authored an analysis of the last 20 years of the MDiv curriculum and shape of the faculty.

In the support of the Board of Trustees, she has organized the complicated process for awarding honorary degrees from collecting letters of support through to gown measurement, and taken minutes for the Academic Affairs Committee.

When the affiliation with GTS became a growing reality, she also worked hard and creatively behind the scenes to think through some of the implications and put plans in place to move the project ahead. She worked on a course of studies, and authored reports on philanthropy and recruitment.

I know that one project she particularly relished was the converting of Licentiates into the M.Div. degree. This was a complicated proposal that involved acquiring the names of graduates and degree program descriptions from over 50 years of data, drafting a proposal to ATS, getting the required votes through the faculty and Board committees, and designing a communication strategy.

In the midst of all of these projects she also worked on her second Masters Degree, took up rock climbing, and got engaged.

My own personal highlight is her inspired leadership with regards to AASL’s entry in the most recent Christmas Door Decoration contest. Working with a theme of “Commencement Christmas!” she put together a wreath featuring parking passes, miniature mortar boards, and even an honorary degree for Santa recognizing his accomplishments in gift delivery.

After more than three years of service, Elly Hahn leaves VTS a better place. As she takes on her new position as Program Improvement and Accreditation Manager in the School of Public Health at Dartmouth we send her off with our love and appreciation. Thank you Elly!

Melody D. Knowles, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary

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