The Laramie Project
The student group SFTS Welcome
presented a staged reading of
Laramie Project
in October. One of
the most performed plays in America
The Laramie Project
serves as a
memorial for Matthew Shepard, who
was murdered in Laramie, Wyo., 14
years ago. In October 1998, Shepard
was kidnapped, severely beaten and
left to die, tied to a fence on the out-
skirts of Laramie. His murder, caused
by actions arising from homopho-
bia, was later painted as a “drug deal
gone bad.” Five weeks later, Moisés
Kaufman and fellow members of the
Tectonic Theater Project went to Lara-
mie, and over the course of the next
year, conducted more than 200 inter-
views with people of the town. From
these interviews
they wrote the play
The Laramie Proj-
, a chronicle of
the life of the town
of Laramie in the
year after the murder.
SFTS students who participated in the
local production included Laura Nel-
son, Susan Pierson, Bentley Stewart,
Stephanie Ryder, Denia Segrest, Dori
Kay Hjalmarson, Tad Hopp, Min-
Hee Kim, Terra Pennington, Chris
Schilling and Barbara West. Among
the guests in attendance was Rev. Dr.
Janie Spahr (M.Div. ’70, D.Min. ’87),
a proponent for same-gender mar-
riage and the ordination of lesbians,
gays, bisexual and transgender people.
SFTS Welcome is a community group
at the seminary that supports the in-
clusion of LGBT in the church. Other
activities of SFTS Welcome have in-
cluded drafting and proposing a cam-
pus inclusivity policy that went into
effect in 2011.
General Assembly
Several SFTS students got their
first taste of the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) General Assembly last sum-
mer in Pittsburgh, where the seminary
was well represented with alumni, ad-
ministrators and President Jim Mc-
Among the students who attended
were Jeff Ferguson, Cameron High-
smith, Tad Hopp and Jamieson Pre-
voznak. Highsmith, who was a Theo-
logical Student Advisory Delegate,
wrote about his GA experiences in a
Highsmith, who is “Presbyterian
through and through,” was perplexed
that Southern California presbyter-
ies offered an overture about leaving
the denomination and taking church
Master of Divinity student Dori Kay Hjalmarson participates in a staged reading
of The Laramie Project at SFTS.
Jeff Ferguson and Cameron Highsmith
were Theological Student Advisory
Delegates at GA.
Campus Life & Beyond
SFTS CHIMES | Fall 2012
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