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Fuller to head National Association of College and University Chaplains

This will be a second time University Chaplain Jan Fuller has headed the national group, which includes close to 200 members. 


Jan Fuller, university chaplain at Elon University, has been selected as vice president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and next year will take over as president of the group. 

Jan Fuller, university chaplain

‚ÄčThis paves the way for a second term as president for Fuller, who filled the role in the mid-1990s and is one of the longest-serving members of the group that brings together chaplains across faiths from around the country. During the coming year, NACUC will be headed by Adeel Zeb, co-university chaplain and the first Muslim chaplain at The Claremont Colleges. He is the first Muslim president of NACUC. 

The organization has more than doubled in size since Fuller first served in its leadership and she said within the past 10 years it has become much more of an interfaith organization. She's excited to offer support as vice president to Zeb, who is a relatively new member of the organization, during the next year before becoming president.

"It's a vote of confidence in my ability to work with Adeel and my experience in the field," Fuller said of her selection for another term in leadership. "As an organization, we're looking for wise leadership during a time when all chaplains are trying to figure out how to be a presence of peace and reconciliation in the world we live in and to take stands for justice."

Fuller joined Elon as university chaplain in 2011 after 24 years as chaplain at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, her alma mater. She said she saw many college and universities close their chaplaincies during the early 1990s, only to reopen them later. NACUC has seen its membership grow from about 90 in the mid-1990s to close to 200 today, she said. 

Fuller has been active during the past year in reviving the association's biannual journal and has president, will play a key role in organizing the association's annual conference. The conference is essential to the organization's membership, many of whom operate solo on their campuses and may ot have the immediate networks to tap into. 

"We need to be writing about our work because we are so crucial to our universities, and yet we're so busy that we're not reflecting on that work and putting ourselves forward like that," Fuller said of the drive to revive the journal. "There's also a resurging need to come together at our conference to think hard about the issues we're facing and tap into that collegial support. We really need to be together to hold each other up and think about why what we're doing matters."

Owen Covington,
3/1/2017 9:15 AM