Andover Newton Spirit of the Hill Award Honors The Rev. Bill Cunitz
The seventh annual Spirit of the Hill award will be presented this year to Rev. Bill Cunitz, M.Div. 1974, on May 17 in Newton Centre, MA. Andover Newton’s Alumni/ae Association Board recognizes that Bill’s life and ministry, since he graduated cum laude from Andover Newton in 1974, has demonstrated:
• Devotion to the renewing of church and society;
• Faith and courage of liberating visions;
• Ability to respectfully cross borders, thus being repairers of the breach;
• Promoting fellowship among ANTS Alumni/ae and demonstrates commitment to the mission of the school.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Rev. Cunitz served the administration of Andover Newton Theological School and five presidents as Director of the 1982-85 Capital Campaign, Director of Church and Alumni/ae Relations, Director of Development and Vice President for Institutional Advancement. As a member of the school’s adjunct faculty from 1991 to 1998, he taught a course in the administration and theology of stewardship. In 1997, he helped to launch the school’s distance education program, and was among the first to teach a course at Andover Newton using the Internet.
In her nomination letter, the Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree (M.Div. 1972) wrote, “Throughout his years in ministry, Bill has led with a focused sense of purpose, a deep sense of the importance of relationships, and a wide vision of the mission and ministry of the Christian Church.” Looking specifically at his years on the ANTS leadership team, she added, “His devotion to the School and his sense of integrity carried the day through numerous difficult days in the School’s life in those years. Whether a student, an alum, or a faculty or staff member, when you were in Bill’s presence, you knew that he cared for you personally. That quality of personal concern has infused his leadership throughout his ministerial career.”
Bill has served as the President/CEO of Pilgrim Place in Claremont, CA, since 1998. An internationally known Continuing Care Retirement Community with a focus on social justice, environmental sustainability and innovative healthcare, Pilgrim Place has more than 360 residents who have served the church and humanitarian non-profit organizations. He recently directed a $26.5 million multi-phase redevelopment of the campus that now features 3 LEED certified buildings, more than any other free-standing retirement community in the United States.
He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the UCC Council for Health and Human Services Ministries, the Strategic Planning Committee of Aging Services of CA, Moderator of the Claremont United Church of Christ, Co-chair of the CUCC Senior Pastor Search Committee, the Claremont Chamber of Commerce, Community Senior Services, Inland Valley Hope Partners.
“Bill Cunitz embodies the excellence in ministry which Andover Newton strives to inculcate in each and every student,” the Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree wrote. “As an alumnus, Bill has proudly maintained his ANTS connection and ‘carried the flag’ to the west coast and across the United Church of Christ.”
For more information about the 2012 Convocation at Andover Newton Theological School, please call the Rev. Ruth Edens, Annual Fund director, at (617) 831-2409; e-mail her at REdens@ants.edu; or go online to http://www.ants.edu/reunions/
Founded in 1807, Andover Newton is the nation’s oldest theological school and its first graduate institution of any kind. From the start, it created the model for theological education followed by virtually all graduate seminaries ever since. Andover Newton has always been an innovator in response to a diverse and rapidly changing world. Today, the school serves as a dynamic laboratory for religious education and the church of the future. www.ants.edu