Citation – Reverend Dr James Walker
Reverend Dr James Walker
Citation by Professor Ronald Piper
Vice-Principal (Governance & Planning)
Tuesday 21 June 2011
Vice-Chancellor, it is my privilege to present for the award of the University Medal the Reverend Dr James B Walker, University Chaplain.
Vice-Chancellor, in 1993 Jamie Walker was appointed University Chaplain for the normal term in those days of five years. The fact that Jamie is now due to retire from that post 18 years later gives an indication of the esteem with which he has been held and reason that we are honouring him today.
Jamie came to St Andrews already with considerable experience. Born in Malawi, educated in Philosophy and Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, awarded a DPhil from Oxford, ordained in the Church of Scotland and Principal of Queen’s College, Birmingham (an ecumenical centre of training for ministry), Jamie had acquired a broad perspective that spanned both the academy and the church.
Over the past 18 years, Jamie has employed those skills and gifts to the immense benefit of students and staff in St Andrews. As leader of the Chaplaincy team and Associate Director of Student Services, he has cared for this varied community and their families in countless ways—spiritually, intellectually, and practically. In his pastoral and counseling roles, he has walked alongside and offered sensitive and patient support to those of all religious positions and none. In this he has been especially appreciated for his gifts of openness, wisdom and quiet listening, while working long, often costly, hours in dedication to his calling.
But in addition to his impact upon the lives of so many, often at critical moments for them, Jamie has made many other contributions to the University. He has attracted a galaxy of leading preachers to the popular services in St Salvator’s Chapel. He has strongly supported student societies. With the help of his wife Sheila and their family, he has offered hospitality to many in his home. He has conducted countless weddings. And he has had a significant role in academic affairs, chiefly through his convenership of the University’s Teaching & Research Ethics Committee.
Vice-Chancellor, on the occasion of his retirement, and for his outstanding dedication and exceptional contribution to the well-being of the University over so many years, I have the honour to invite you to confer upon the Reverend Dr James B Walker the award by which the University recognizes such special service to our community, the University Medal.