Union Theological Seminary President Rev. Dr. Serene Jones and Chair of the Board of Trustees William Candelaria, presented the seminary’s highest honor, the Union Medal, to Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock, M.Div. ’94, Ph.D. ’06, during commencement exercises on May 21.
The Union medal was instituted in 1981 as a means of honoring persons whose lives reflect the mission of the seminary in the world. This year, the board unanimously voted to bestow the award to Sen. Warnock for his commitment to lead with his faith in the church and the world, and his inspirational endeavor to enter public service, becoming the first Black Senator from the state of Georgia.
During the ceremony, Board Chair Candelaria shared these words from the citation:
“You have been a Baptist minister, scholar and theologian, civil rights activist, public advocate and voice for those denied justice — but most importantly, you have assumed the mantle once worn by Martin Luther King, Jr., and speak as a prophet for social transformation in our time.”
As an honoree, Sen. Warnock will receive the medal along with the framed citation. Previous Union Medal honorees include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, labor activist Delores Huerta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Vice President Al Gore.