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Friendship and Remembering

We just had our annual national conference and much could and should be said about how wonderful it was.  We were at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.  I cannot say enough about how welcome we all were there and what a delightful and stimulating time.  Hopefully we will return soon to write a post about the conference.  For now, I want to say a few words about friendship and remembering.

Clyde Duder’s conference badges, preserved at our national office.

In May, we lost a friend of the LFP – Clyburn “Clyde” Duder.  I did not know him long, nor well.  He had been the faculty representative from his institution, Concordia University Texas and attended all of our national conferences, starting with the first in 1991. I first met Clyde in 2010 at the national conference in October.  This was my first conference as I had started working with the LFP a month earlier.  Clyde presented us with an envelope stuffed full of his various conference badges – not just the national conferences, but also regional and research conferences.  It was an envelope that revealed his dedication to the LFP and the gift further showed his fondness for the friendships he had developed over the years throughout the Network of schools.  As a historian, I immediately was charmed by his desire to save the history of the LFP through this material culture.

When word spread through the network of Clyde’s death and when it was mentioned at the national conference, we observed how much he was loved and how he would be missed.  It also brought to mind that while we are a network of institutions, the friendships that have developed over time through this truly ecumenical conversation about church-related higher education is something to be honored and remembered. It is something that continues to inspire.

Post by Mary Beth Fraser Connolly

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