From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Re: United Methodist Daily News note 3400

From (United Methodist News list)
Date 23 Sep 1997 15:09:50

Reply-to: (United Methodist News list)
"UNITED METHODIST DAILY NEWS 97" by SUSAN PEEK on April 15, 1997 at 14:24

Note 343 by UMNS on Sept. 23, 1997 at 16:20 Eastern (4211 characters).

TEXT: F. Thomas Trotter Honored

CONTACT: Thomas S. McAnally			531(10-22-71B){343}
         Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470	Sept. 22, 1997

NOTE:  Photo available with this story.

Thomas Trotter honored for half century
service to church, higher education

by Stephani Graham*

	CLAREMONT, Calif. (UMNS)  The Rev. F. Thomas Trotter was honored here Sept.
20 for 50 years of service to the United Methodist Church and Christian higher
The tribute dinner was sponsored by the United Methodist Foundation for
Christian Higher Education with proceeds going toward a scholarship
established in Trotters name at Claremont School of Theology(CST).  Trotter
served as dean of the United Methodist-related school from 1962 to 1973.
	The Rev. Donald Locher, a former seminary roommate and a longtime friend,
organized the event.
	Trotter was joined at the dinner by his wife of 44 years, Gania, and their
three daughters, Ruth and Mary Trotter and Tanya Basson. 
Dignitaries from around the world attending the event included Bishop
Wellington Sanga and his wife Patience from the Methodist Church of Kenya;
United Methodist Bishops Melvin Wheatley, Earl G. Hunt Jr. and Roy Clark;
Samuel Dubois Cook, recently retired president of Dillard University in New
Orleans who recognized Trotter's contributions to the historically black
colleges related to the United Methodist Church; the Rev. Richard W. Cain,
former president of CST; and the Rev. Robert Edgar, current president of CST.
While president at CST, Trotter developed the school's international
reputation and created the first doctor of ministry program.
Edgar presented Trotter with four trees to be planted on the CST campus in
honor of Gania Trotter and each of the Trotter daughters.
Among people paying tribute to Trotter were his brother, the Rev. Mark
Trotter, pastor of First United Methodist Church, San Diego; David Ochoa, vice
president of academic services at Imperial Valley College; and the Rev. Roger
Ireson, general secretary of the churchwide Board of Higher Education and
Ministry headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.  
Ireson noted that during Trotters 14-year tenure as executive of the Board of
Higher Education and Ministry he provided the vision that launched the United
Methodist Africa University in Zimbabwe. He also praised Trotter for
revitalizing academic standards of the University Senate, the higher education
accrediting body of the church.
During his presidency at Alaska Pacific University from 1987 to 1995, the
school experienced significant growth in private support and innovative
programs, it was noted.
During its formative stage, the United Methodist Foundation for Christian
Higher Education benefited from his leadership. As chairman of the foundation,
he assisted in making it a significant factor in funding higher education
scholarships nationwide.
"I do not know of any other leader in our time who has both proposed and
comprehended a more exciting or defensible rationale for the existence of the
Christian college and university," said Hunt, himself a former college
"Somewhere Tom used a lovely sentence from the
writings of Joseph Conrad," Hunt continued.  "Conrad described the role of the
artist in civilizations as that of providing for tired, distracted, bemused
people 'that glimpse of truth for which they have forgotten
to ask.' This seems to summarize much of what Tom Trotter has been doing in
the classroom, the administrative office, the pulpit and the world."
Trotter thanked his many supporters and friends and quipped that his funeral
would be "anticlimactic."
In each of his "four different careers", Trotter said he had learned valuable
"I've learned the importance of institutions," he said. "I also learned that
there is no such thing as a little problem."
Trotter retired in 1995. Currently he is serving as president of a new
Foundation for United Methodist Communications.
Contributions to the F. Thomas Trotter Scholarship can be made by contacting
the United Methodist Foundation for Higher Education at P.O. Box 871,
Nashville, TN; (615) 340-7385 or (800) 811-8110.

#  #  #
	* Graham is director of public relations at Claremont School of Theology.

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