Mary Evelyn Tucker Named Commencement Speaker

Posted: April 16, 2014


This year's commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient is Mary Evelyn Tucker.

A graduate of a Holy Child high school, Mary Evelyn Tucker is a senior lecturer and research scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches in the joint MA program in religion and ecology and directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim.

Her special area of study is Asian religions. She received her PhD from Columbia University in Japanese Confucianism. Since 1997 she has been a research associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard university. Her Confucian publications include: Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). With Tu Weiming she edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2003, 2004).

Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998) . After the conference series she and Grim founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology at a culminating conference at the United Nations in 1998. They now direct the Forum at Yale where they also teach religion and ecology.

Mary Evelyn has also worked closely with evolutionary philosopher, Brian Swimme, for some twenty-five years. Together they have created a multi-media project called Journey of the Universe which includes an Emmy award winning film, which was broadcast on PBS and is now on Netflix. The companion book which Swimme and Tucker authored is published by Yale University Press (2011). There is also a DVD series of twenty interviews that Tucker did with leading scientists, educative, and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations. She is also a co-editor of another volume bringing science and religion together, When Worlds Converge (Open Court, 2002).

Mary Evelyn has been involved with the Earth Charter since its inception. She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and is a member of the Earth Charter International Council. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of Orion Magazine, the Garrison Institute, and Climate Central.

As a College community, we are proud to welcome Mary Evelyn to Rosemont and look forward to sharing the College's 91st Commencement with her on May 10.

More information on Commencement, including the schedule of events and locations, can be found at

Last Updated: April 28, 2014