Campus learns of passing of Rev. Dave Steffenson

UWGB has learned that Rev. Dave Steffenson, Ph. D. of Madison, Wis. passed away on April 15, 2016 following a long illness. One of the two original ministers to serve at the Ecumenical Center (now Mauthe Center) near UW-Green Bay, he spent 17 years working with students to deepen their spiritual quest while also teaching environmental ethics, religion and social change.  See the obituary.

Many of Rev. Steffenson’s peers responded regarding their admiration and appreciation for his time at UWGB. Log editors thought it appropriate to include those comments anonymously, here:

“I, too, have special memories of Dave Steffenson.  I had a number of conversations with him about his interests in social and environmental justice.  The last such conversation, I believe, occurred a few years ago when the Mauthe Center brought him back to campus for an evening presentation. I learned from Dave and admired his passion for social and environmental justice.”

“Very sad news. I remember Dave very well. He was a committed liberal and activist on social justice and environmental issues. In addition to his work with the Ecumenical Center, Dave also taught the occasional course for the Modernization Processes interdisciplinary program (later SCD and now DJS) and, if memory serves, the Liberal Education Seminars.”

“Dave was a very special person and an asset to this campus.  It is too bad that he was not able to remain here in his ecumenical role. I miss him greatly.”

“Dave was a very caring and defining person in helping to structure the ethos of the university.  I first met Dave as we prepared to teach our Freshman LES courses in those brave, risk taking, early years.  I was saddened when he suddenly left but my joy of seeing him again was rekindled about a year ago, when he spoke at the Mauthe Center. I, and many, will always treasure his openness, acceptance of others, and spiritual nature.”

“Dave worked closely with Outreach over the years helping to plan conferences and workshops on topics important to him. He always said “yes” when asked to help. I deeply appreciated talking with and learning from him. One of his insights, based on his personal experiences in the South, was particularly life changing for me.  He said it is impossible to be born and raised in our profoundly racist society without being a racist; the best any of us can do is recognize this and be ever vigilant throughout our lives to thwart it when it appears. Dave was a feminist in times when equal rights for women were not taken for granted. He was special.”

“It is very sad to hear of Dave’s death.  His commitment and kindness were inspirational.  He got me involved with the ACLU, something that still continues.  I remember he wore an ACLU pin on one lapel and a Christian symbol on the other, called it separation of church and state.  He was dedicated in every way.  I’ve missed him since he moved, and now regret that the loss is permanent.”

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