posted October 5, 2008

Professor Boyd Wilson Honored by Students

Dr. Boyd Wilson of the Hope College religion faculty has received the 13th annual "Favorite Faculty/Staff Member" award presented by the student body.

Wilson received the award on Saturday, Oct. 4, during halftime of the college's Homecoming football game at Holland Municipal Stadium.

Recipients of the "Favorite Faculty/Staff Member" award are chosen through a vote open to the entire student body and conducted at the same time as elections for the Homecoming court and king and queen. The students are not provided with a list of candidates for the award, but rather are asked to write in the name of the person that they feel should be honored. The award was first presented in 1996.

Wilson is a professor of religion at Hope, where he has taught since 1982.  He was presented the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award by the graduating seniors in 1987 and was chosen to deliver the college's Commencement address in 1990 by that year's graduating class.

His research and teaching specialties are religions of India, Indian philosophy and theology.  In addition to his academic-year teaching, he has led a popular May Term travel seminar in India since the early 1990s.

Wilson has made numerous presentations concerning world religions and Indian culture to academic audiences and the general public, including a presentation concerning Indian women's folk art during the college's "Winter Happening" event in January 1994.  His most recent scholarly presentation was in September 2007 at the International Congress on Vedanta, where he delivered a paper titled "The Authority of Reason and the Reason of Authority:  Sankara's Use of Tarka in His Brahma Sutra Bhashya."  External support of his research through the years has included a Fulbright Scholar Award and a National Council for U.S.-Arab Relations grant.

He joined the Hope faculty as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 1987 and full professor in 1996.  He has held visiting professorships at institutions including Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in Madurai, India; Western Theological Seminary in Holland; and Grand Rapids Baptist College (now Cornerstone University).

Wilson holds his bachelor's degree from Trinity College, and received his M.A. from Wheaton College and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.  Prior to coming to Hope he served churches in Miami, Fla., and Windham, Iowa, from 1973 to 1982.