Welcome from Alumni/ae Council President Michael Bausch (MDiv '74)

Michael BauschWhen I came to PSR in the early 1970s, I joined a community of students engaged with a constellation of issues such as war, patriarchy, racism, homophobia, consumerism, pollution and poverty, while addressing biblical and theological themes that fed an alternative consciousness. We learned how we were being shaped by the mass media around us, and how to critically use the “new media” of (relatively) portable video technology to raise awareness of difficult issues and to promote action towards change.

I met my wife, Catherine Carlson, on campus at D’Autremont Hall, and she and I have reflected on how we were blessed with our association with you in those PSR years, and how the unique education and lifelong friendships offered at PSR and the Graduate Theological Union prepared us for many years of creative and innovative ministry and partnerships.

My long interest in film, music, and multi-media worship was informed and inspired by George Conklin’s guidance in media studies, his training me and others how to use video for social impact, and his arranging our active participation with Bay Area media outlets. PSR students produced religious radio and television broadcasts through KGO and KNBR, and video-taped PSR events like President Davie Napier’s inauguration and commencement. Members of our media collective traveled to Wounded Knee, South Dakota to tape some of the events of early 1973, including an interview with Black Elk’s grandson, and to Coachella Valley to film the United Farmworkers’ picket lines, where we recorded conversations with Cesar Chavez and representatives from the National Council of Churches. Shortly after this, Cesar Chavez came to PSR to speak, and students, including my wife-to-be, organized a fund-raiser for the United Farmworkers, handing him the cash they raised after he spoke!

It’s been important for me to volunteer some time on the PSR Alumni/ae Council to support PSR, as it continues to energize and equip new generations of students for contributive living in tumultuous times. Nostalgia is fine for those of us who spent formative years there, but only if it helps inspire those who are on today’s forefront of resistance to the struggles that continue to plague our country and the rest of the world.

This year, I look forward to working with the Alumni/ae Council and the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) to encourage regional gatherings and networking with other alums who look back on their PSR years with great affection, and who want to join in solidarity with the students, faculty, and administration who are a part of today’s progressive and bold Pacific School of Religion. If you would like to be a part of this in any way (hosting a gathering, reaching out to classmates, serving on the Alumni/ae Council), or simply want to learn more about upcoming events and gatherings, please email alumoffice@psr.edu.