Saturday, January 25, 2014

*Yale Fathers and Sons: Former Yale Divinity Dean Rights Gay Wrongs

I am no fan of Dean Ogletree.  He was quite rude to me when I dropped in to his office in 1986 [perhaps 1996--see below]  to ask why the  Macintosh Fellowship at Yale Divinity School   had once again---for the 
second time in three decades --- fallen into disuse after I had managed to get it restored in 1980. "What's your concern? Who are you?" he demanded of this intruder who was not in his appointment book, alumnus or not.

When I told him Macintosh had been a family friend and my parents had named me after him, it was an irrelevant triviality to the brusque dean who seemed completely

uninterested in the fate of this former faculty member's memory and Fellowship. As long as I was not a blood relative who could sue for recovery of the improperly used fellowship funds (an accounting which the Macintosh estate's executor, Professor Julian Hartt, had said he would demand of  Yale only a few years before) Dean Ogletree could not to be bothered. Hrrrmph.

However, he seems suddenly much more human to me now in 2014, almost three [or perhaps two, see below] decades later, when he risks his frock and fame to stand by his gay son. (see recent New Haven Register article below).  

Perhaps if Macintosh had not died childless and had had a blood son, Mr. Ogletree would have risen to that occasion 28 years ago.

Kudos to him.

Paul Douglas Macintosh Keane

M. Div. '80

 My Term as Dean at YDS

Ogletree, Thomas 
1:37 AM (1 hour ago)

Dear Mr. Keane, 
Greg Sterling transmitted your e-mail to me.  I did not have time to read it until yesterday, but I discovered that you may be forgetting who was dean of the Divinity School when you came to YDS in the eighties.  Actually, Lee Keck was dean at that time.  I did not come to Yale and begin my service as dean of the Divinity School until the summer of 1990. After my term as dean, I continued to  teach at Yale until my retirement on the first of January in 2009.  So I am not accountable for the things you found troublesome when you visited YDS.  Just thought I would bring you up to date.  
Tom Ogletree


On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM, Paul Keane <>wrote:

Mr. Thomas Ogletree, Dean Emeritus
Yale Divinity School

Dear Dean Ogletree:

How the decades do congeal.
It is quite possible that it was 1996 not 1986.  I will change the date on my blog and post this clarification.

Actually. It was you---decidedly you.  I'm sure it was nothing you would remember. Yale Deans are so busy after all .

No, it was not Dean Keck. 
Dean Keck was a good and loyal  friend to me.

I  will never  forget  his consummate  thoughtfulness: when he took me privately into his office  in 1984 (in a highly  pressured moment five minutes before a convocation for some distinguished lecture in Marquand Chapel as a courtesy to my adopted grandfather, Roland H. Bainton)   to tell me that  Dr. Bainton had died the night before on campus.

That courtesy  prevented  my having to hear it cold from the pulpit as he notified the YDS community at whatever distinguished lecture was about to begin in Marquand . 

The lecture is long forgotten. The courtesy is not.  A good lesson.

Then there were a couple of interim acting deans, Aiden Kavanaugh and Harry Adams among them.

I recall Dean Kavanaugh taking me into his office and proudly showing me Jonathan Edwards' presidential furniture which he had rescued from a Yale warehouse.  I suppose it has been banished again since then  to the same fate as Macintosh's fellowship. 

And Dean Adams---bless his soul ---actually arranged  the Marquand ceremony and Common Room  reception for  the  unveiling of the vandalized  Macintosh portrait which I had arranged to have restored (at no expense to YDS)  in 1980 I believe, although it could have been 1979.

It may have been 1996 that I appeared unannounced at your office  although it probably was the early 90's.  I was visiting my father in Mt. Carmel from my home in Vermont.  
He had dispatched me to  YDS to inquire about Macintosh's Fellowship

While the decades may have faded, the rudeness and arrogance of your cavalier dismissal of my family's concern for Macintosh and his legacy did not fade.  

My mother and father were impoverished New Haven residents in Macintosh's youth group at a church on the wrong side of the tracks.  He and Hope Macintosh brought them into his Yale circle. 
Both of my parents were fatherless and Macintosh (who was childless) served a paternal role in their lives. 
Yale arrogance was not Dr. Macintosh's cup of tea.

No, it was not Dean Keck who brushed me off.
It was decidedly you, whose face and tone I recall quite well as you swept me from your august YDS presence, leaving me  to report my meeting to my then widowed, septuagenarian  father in Mt.Carmel. 

He was annoyed at the Yale  arrogance; I was used to it, frankly.

Sorry about the chronological confusion.  
While I regret our encounter, apparently in the 1990's not 80"s, I do admire your guts in championing your son's dignity  as  a human being in 2013 / 14

Christianity  has crucified gay people long enough.  
Time to end it.
Good for you.


Paul D. Keane
M.A., M.Div., M.Ed.

PS "Widowered" not "widowed" ?


Harry Adams, Dean Emeritus
Gregory Sterling, Dean
The Hon.Craig Henrici



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