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Stanford Report, September 11, 2002

Sense of community has deepened, dean for religious life believes

Days like Sept. 11, 2001, are at the heart of why his office exists, says William "Scotty" McLennan, dean for religious life. By noon that day his staff had organized a gathering on the Main Quad bringing 1,000 people together. Three days later, thousands more returned for a multifaith service "where people of all faith -- and none -- could come together," McLennan said at the time.

"That's very much a part of our work, to provide a sense of meaning and a long view," says McLennan, whose staff includes a rabbi and a Protestant minister. Although attendance at campus religious services has fallen off -- after doubling and tripling last fall -- McLennan says he sees a permanently deepened sense of community at all levels of the university. Today, at a service to be held at noon in the Main Quad, McLennan will help mark a rite of passage common to many religious traditions: the end of a year of mourning. "I plan to talk about growth and renewal and re-entering life."

--Barbara Palmer

Scotty McLennan

Scotty McLennan