This fall Eastern University welcomes not only the class of 2020, but also the students, faculty and staff of Palmer Theological Seminary. The move has been in the works since October 2015 when the Palmer Seminary Site Selection Committee recommended the seminary’s main campus be moved from King of Prussia to Eastern’s St. Davids campus. Despite the daunting task of physically assimilating the seminary’s expansive DeBois library collection to Warner Library and the logistics of relocating an entire faculty, the campus transition is going smoothly.
The combined literary and academic collections of DeBois Library and Warner Library now amount to an impressive 62,000 volumes, plus reference works. The transition of the books has been successfully completed, and the seminary faculty is following suit. The majority of Palmer faculty is currently in the process of setting up their offices on the second floor of McInnis Hall, where they will be immersed in Eastern’s academic life, adjacent to their new Palmer reception area. Palmer will also be represented across campus in the Eagle Learning Center, where several administrators, including Palmer Dean David Bronkema, will have their offices.
Seminary professors are currently waiting for certain logistical issues to be ironed out, such as desktop computers being reconfigured onto the EU server, as well as simply figuring out the geographical layout of the campus. Palmer New Testament professor Diane Chen describes the aforementioned difficulties of the move, but says she also feels very welcome due to “lovely gestures such as gift bags for faculty and kind nods and smiles.”
Many summer seminary courses have already been conducted on the St. Davids campus, and upcoming fall courses are to take place in McInnis Hall and the Harold Howard Center. There will be a Chapel service at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 to commemorate the arrival of the Palmer community to its new home on the St. Davids campus. All students, staff and faculty are invited to attend and celebrate this joyous occasion.
The Seminary brings both experience and diversity, and we look forward to seeing how its community grows and develops in this new setting, as well as how it enriches the St. Davids campus as a whole. We thank God for the addition of the Palmer Theological Seminary community to the St. Davids campus family, and we will continue to support, assist and pray for the new students, staff and faculty during this exciting transition period.
Sources: Cheryl Hargrave, Diane Chen, Joshua Carson, eastern.edu, palmerseminary.edu