Rabbi Daveen Litwin has been named the inaugural dean and chaplain of the William Jewett Tucker Center for Spiritual Life, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Inge-Lise Ameer announced today.
Litwin, who currently serves as chaplain for the Claremont University Consortium in California, will be the center’s first leader since the 2014 board of trustees decision to divide the mission of the then-Tucker Foundation, creating the Tucker Center, focused on religion and spirituality, and the Dartmouth Center for Service, which connects students to volunteer and service-learning opportunities.
“I am delighted that Rabbi Litwin will be joining the Dartmouth community,” says Ameer. “Her profound engagement in promoting interfaith dialogue, extraordinary pastoral counseling skills, and deep understanding of how to work closely with students and community members from a wide range of faith and philosophical perspectives are a wonderful match for the College.”
Litwin will work closely with the more than 20 recognized student faith organizations on campus, the United Campus ministers, and all members of the community interested in religious, spiritual, and ethical issues.
“I am excited to be part of this new chapter of the Tucker Center’s development and am eager to learn about what is most important to the campus community in the months ahead,” says Litwin, who describes herself as “passionate about working with students, faculty, and staff.”
“I am committed to creating portals of entry to engage in spiritual exploration, reflection, and celebration in a caring, inclusive environment that promotes dignity and mutual respect for differing perspectives,” she says. “I look forward to learning from and collaborating with the wide diversity of religious, spiritual, and secular leaders of the community to explore the intersections of the academic experience and the questions of life’s purpose and meaning.”
A member of the executive board of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, Litwin has served as an external review team member assessing chaplaincy structures at peer institutions. In 2013, she received a staff leadership recognition award from Claremont’s Queer Resource Center for her work in helping to create safe spaces for diverse students, faculty, and staff.
Before joining the chaplaincy at Claremont, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and her master’s of arts in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, and served as rabbi at Grinnell College and as executive director of Hillel at the University of Kansas. In addition to her 16 years of experience in higher education, she has served community congregations in Toronto, Ontario, and Northampton, Mass.
“I think Daveen is going to make a terrific colleague,” says Ellis. “We have already discussed ways for the Dartmouth Center for Service and the Tucker Center to collaborate, and I look forward to exploring these ideas further when she arrives in Hanover.”
While the search was underway, the Rev. Nancy Vogele ’85, director of religious spiritual life, has served as the Tucker Center’s interim leader.
“On behalf of the whole community, I want to thank Nancy for her leadership during this transition,” says Ameer. “She and the Tucker Center staff have provided invaluable support for students, faculty, and staff during times of celebration and times of grief, and we are profoundly grateful for her service.”
Litwin will begin her new role in August.