Last December, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary concluded a 12-year fundraising campaign, which raised more than $59 million for the Seminary’s annual fund, campus improvements, and endowment. Since 1992, the efforts of this campaign have resulted in five endowed professorships; renovation of the campus community building, the Winn Center; construction of the nationally used Laws Lodge, and scholarship assistance for more than 300 students, among many more significant achievements.
On April 23, employees, donors, students, and members of the Board of Trustees gathered to celebrate this accomplishment. A portion of the evening’s program included the presentation of Louisville Seminary’s 2004 Faithful Steward Award.
The Faithful Stewardship Award was established in 2003, during the celebration of Louisville Seminary’s 150th anniversary, to complement the institution’s Distinguished Alum and Devoted Services Awards. It was designed to be consistent with the Stewards Recognition Program, which aims to honor and thank alums and friends who have entered into partnership with Louisville Seminary in preparing men and women for the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ through generous, long term support.
The Faithful Steward Award is presented periodically to one who has been an example of generosity and dedication to the mission of Louisville Seminary through the faithfulness of their support and advocacy.
This year’s recipient is Emily W. Hundley of Lebanon, Ky. For Louisville Seminary she embodies “faithful action” – a steward who has shared generously of her time and gifts when there are important things to accomplish.
Emily Hundley resides in a 1860s antebellum home where four generations of Hundleys have grown and thrived in Lebanon, Ky. For a brief time, Hundley left her central Kentucky home to attend Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, where she graduated in 1947 with a degree in French and a minor in Bible and philosophy. Following her studies, she worked in insurance and real estate and taught high school French. After another brief period in Atlanta, Ga., Hundley returned to her family home and served with the Boards of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church (US) and the Presbyterian Church of the USA that had united long before Reunion of the two assemblies. She also developed strong ties with Centre College in Danville, Ky., and helped to edit the college’s publications.
In her childhood church, Lebanon Presbyterian, Hundley worked with Charles “Charlie” M. Hanna, an alum of Louisville Seminary who is credited with pioneering the field education experience for theological students particularly in rural areas. During this time, the Lebanon church sponsored three mission congregations that were staffed by Louisville Seminary students. For many years, Lebanon Presbyterian Church’s pastors came from Louisville Seminary and the church, in turn, maintained a partnership with the Seminary, offering a field education opportunity.
In 1987, Louisville Seminary purchased Gardencourt and commenced a monumental project to renovate and restore the neglected 1906 Beaux Arts home, a project that intersected with Hundley’s love of antiquity and restoration. She became one of the major supporters of the project, helping to create Hundley Hall in memory of her parents for whom she had unselfishly cared many years before they died in 1985 and 1986.
In 1998, Hundley became a charter member of the Seminary’s Caldwell Society, which recognizes individuals who have supported the mission of Louisville Seminary with a planned gift or bequest as part of their estate plans.
The church is important to Hundley because of its ability to influence people’s lives. “The church connects with people,” she says, and quality leadership in the church makes this possible. So when the need for a new facility devoted to continuing education of ministers and lay leaders was presented, she wanted to help make it happen, leading the way with her own shovel-full of broken earth at the groundbreaking ceremony in 1999. By establishing the Hundley House in the William R. and Ellen Laws Lodge, Hundley has helped to enable graduate students, church groups, governing bodies, and ecumenical organizations, among countless others, to strengthen their skills for ministry. Since its construction in 2001, Laws Lodge has become a recognized place of hospitality and welcome to men and women nationwide.
Emily Hundley calls herself a “girl of two cities,” as she divides her time between Lebanon and Louisville. Yet, no matter where she resides, her presence is felt ever so deeply on the campus of Louisville Seminary, where one can physically touch the brick and mortar of her foundational faith in action.
Correction: Charles M. "Charlie" Hanna, was misidentified as his father, Charles Morton Hanna, an LPTS alum (BD 1924; ThM 1939) who was an intstructor-supervisor of Rural Church 1941-1949, Prof. of Rural Church 1949-1962, Prof. of Pastoral Leadership 1950-1962, Prof. Emeritus of Pastoral Leadership and Rural Church 1961-1964, and credited with initiating the field education program particularly in rural churches. Charles M. Hanna Jr., an LPTS alum (BD 1951; ThM 1960) is a retired Presbyterian Minister and Executive Presbyter Emeritus of the Presbytery of Transylvania, where he dedicated much of his ministry and professional career.