Middlers Miller and Woodfin share 2013 Freeman Award for Merit

Posted Nov 5, 2013

 [University of the South School of Theology press release] The School of Theology awarded the 2013 Freeman Award for Merit to two seminary students this year — Sarah Leanne Miller and Joseph Robert Woodfin. The award was announced during the school’s annual DuBose Lectures dinner on Oct. 31 and was presented by the vice-chancellor of the University of the South, Dr. John McCardell.

“Sewanee is blessed with many outstanding students and every year it has been difficult for the faculty to determine just one recipient,” explained the Rt. Rev. Neil Alexander, dean of The School of Theology. “This year the faculty decided to acknowledge two equally deserving seminarians for academic achievement of the highest order.”

The Freeman Award for Merit was established in 1998 by Reed Freeman and his wife, Nancy, to honor and reward a rising middler student of The School of Theology who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and promise. Freeman, T’ 96, T’05, was a recipient of the Woods Leadership Award while attending The School of Theology. Freeman and his wife made the trip to Sewanee this year for the DuBose Lectures and were in attendance at the evening’s dinner. “It was very special moment to be able to thank the Freemans in person,” stated Woodfin.

Miller, T’15, is a M.Div. student from the Diocese of Alabama. She is a 2010 graduate of the University of the South and has served with the Episcopal Service Corps in New Orleans, La. She was recently named by the presiding bishop as a delegate to the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, charged by the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to create a plan for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration.

“I feel honored to receive this award and to be able to share it with my friend and classmate, Joe Woodfin,” stated Miller. “I’m deeply grateful for The School of Theology’s wonderful faculty and supportive community, and for the generosity of Reed and Nancy Freeman.”

Woodfin, T’15, is a M.Div. student from the Diocese of Tennessee. He is a 2008 graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. He serves as a sacristan at the School’s Chapel of the Apostles and is the middler class representative. Woodfin is interested in ministry in an urban context and though he feels called to the parish first, is also interested in post-graduate studies. He and his wife, Carly, have two children, Luke and Maggie.

“I am honored to receive the Freeman award and am also honored to be able to share this with Sarah,” shared Woodfin. “I love academics and I am very grateful to The School of Theology for teaching me how to apply that love in service to the church.”

Sewanee: The University of the South comprises a nationally recognized College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a School of Letters, and a distinguished School of Theology serving the Episcopal Church. Located on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee enrolls 1,450 undergraduates and approximately 150 students in graduate and doctoral programs annually. Sewanee is owned by 28 Episcopal dioceses, the only university so directly related to the Episcopal Church.