Seminarian Ryan Mails receives the Freeman Award for Merit

Posted Oct 5, 2015

[Sewanee: The University of the South press release] The School of Theology awarded the 2015 Freeman Award for Merit to Ryan Fredrick Mails, T’16, a M.Div. student from the Diocese of North Carolina. The award was announced and presented by the dean, the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, during the School’s annual DuBose Lectures and Alumni Gathering banquet on Sept. 23.

The School’s faculty chooses the recipient of the Freeman Award. When asked about this year’s selection Alexander noted, “Ryan Mails is an exemplary student academically and an outstanding citizen of both the School of Theology and the wider community. Ryan’s clarity of vocation is inspiring and we are confident that he will be a priest of uncommon ability and commitment.”

Reed Freeman, T’96, T’05, and his wife, Nancy, established the Freeman Award for Merit in 1998 by to honor and reward a rising middler student from the School of Theology that has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and promise. Freeman was a recipient of the Woods Leadership Award while he was attending seminary at the School of Theology.

Mails was surprised by the evening’s announcement that he had been chosen to receive award and later shared, “I feel honored to have received this award. I am grateful for the Freemans’ generosity, for the faculty of the School of Theology, and for the remarkable community of seminarians of which I’m proud to be a part.”

The DuBose Lectures and Alumni Gathering is the School of Theology’s annual homecoming event that includes lectures by notable theologians. This year’s guest lecturer was Sarah Coakley, the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University. The DuBose Lectures, named after William Porcher DuBose, professor and dean emeritus of the School of Theology, are made possible with support from the DuBose Lectures Fund.