Friends and Scholars in Residence
Year after year, we are grateful for Friends who step away from their lives elsewhere to live with us in community as Friends in Residence (FiRs) for a term or longer. They serve in a variety of capacities, working on the grounds, helping with hospitality, and are generally welcoming presences providing ears for deep listening for sojourners, guests, and staff. We are so thankful for the grounding presence they provide for all of us in spirit-led service.
Current FiRs (FY2018-19)
John Baird has served in Friends education as a teacher, head of two Quaker Schools, clerk of two Friends meetings, and member of the Board of Directors of the Friends Council on Education. He has led schools in curriculum development, strategic planning, professional growth, and fundraising. Trained as a facilitator by the Center for Courage and Renewal, John has led retreats and seminars for schools, Friends meetings, conference centers, and churches. He has hired, mentored, and nurtured leaders, developed reflective practices, and guided and supported individuals and groups in discerning and responding to their sense of calling. He has an BA in Biology from Princeton University and a Masters in Religious Studies from Providence College. A member of the Durham (NC) Meeting, John is committed to building inclusive and creative communities that work in a spirit of continuing revelation to create a more just and peaceful world. John and his wife, Aminda Stern Baird, have three grown children. He enjoys birding, writing, music, painting, gardening, hiking, and sports.
Scholars in Residence
Doug Bennett (Cadbury Scholar) is an educator who teaches and writes about public policy matters, especially those that have a bearing on justice, freedom, and the requisites of good governance. He currently teaches at Midcoast Senior College in Maine. Doug has a B.A. from Haverford College, where he first encountered Friends, and a Ph.D. from Yale University.
While teaching at Temple University from 1973 to 1989, Doug realized he had a professional vocation for the care of organizations with vital purposes. He served as Provost at Reed College (1989-1993), Vice President of the American Council of Learned Societies (1994-1997), and President of Earlham College (1997-2011).
Doug is a member of Durham Friends Meeting in Maine, where he serves on the Committee on Ministry and Counsel. In the past, he has served on the governing boards or committees of Haverford College, Friends Seminary, Germantown Friends School, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO-NY), Friends Committee for National Legislation, and the American Friends Service Committee. His writings about Quaker matters can be found on his blog, riverviewfriend.wordpress.com.
Beyond the world of Friends, he has served on the governing boards of the Center for Research Libraries, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the National Survey of Student Engagement, and the Council for Aid to Education. Currently he serves on the board of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and various committees of the town of Topsham, Maine, where he resides.
Doug is married to Ellen Trout Bennett, and has two sons, Tommy and Robbie.
Short description of Doug’s project:
“I propose to write an organizational handbook for Friends. An organizational handbook that provides guidance for those who want the organizations they serve to be grounded, in the conduct of their work, in the best understandings and practices of Friends.”
George Conyne (Carroll Scholar) was born, raised, and attended the public schools of in Bucks County. He is still a member of Wrightstown Friends Meeting there. He took his undergraduate degree in History with English Literature and the History of Religion minors at Haverford in 1979 and his law degree at Tulane University in 1982. After a judicial clerkship, also in Bucks County, he went to England and took his Ph.D. at Cambridge in 1989. Since then, George taught American History, American Studies, and 20th c. British History in English universities, principally the University of Kent in Canterbury. During 2009-10 he held the post of Visiting Professor in History & Law at Mississippi College. After too much administration, he retired in 2018, and has been active in Canterbury Friends Meeting, serving as Assistant Clerk and Elder until coming to Pendle Hill. George has also served on the Committee that oversees the sister city ties that Canterbury has with Bloomington, Illinois and Vladimir, Russia. He comes to us from serving as the Friend in Washington as Friends Committee on Legislation during December. He has taken up the Carroll Fellowship to start research on a book studying Friends during the American Civil War and during the Reconstruction in the years following the conflict. He expects his focus will be on the conflict between those who adhered to pacifism and those who need to fight to end slavery. This was a subject that captured George’s interest when he was very young. His hobbies include the art of good conversation, umpiring cricket, understanding foreign and American politics, and travel.
Short description of George’s project:
George is writing a book on the topic of Quakers & the Civil War. “This book will examine a course of public events and the results when a group’s morality clashed with the contemporary public morality.” As a research project that informs Quaker history, this book will offer a clear picture of the many factors debated by the Religious Society of Friends during the period of the Civil War and the actions and reactions generated by these debates.
Anna Carolyn McCormally (Minnie Jane Scholar) sees writing and reading as spiritual processes that are essential parts of nurturing compassion and empathy. Her fiction on the themes of identity, relationships, and sexuality has been published in the literary journals Apt, The Lost Country, ROAR Magazine, and others.
Anna has worked as a creative writing teacher, a bookseller, and as assistant to the Executive Secretary at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. She will spend her time at Pendle Hill working on a memoir about weddings, based in her own experiences with Quaker wedding process and marrying her partner under the care of her meeting. The book will explore the evolution of wedding traditions, as well as how the fluidity of gender, sexuality, and relationship roles influence what getting married means for individuals and their partnerships. Anna looks forward to the chance to talk with Friends about meaningful partnerships in their lives, how they have recognized them, and how those celebrations and relationships have been transformative.
Anna lives with her husband Aaron in Washington, DC. She spends her time riding her bike in Rock Creek Park, sitting with friends on her front porch, and enjoying Aaron’s cooking. Anna has an MFA in Fiction from University of Maryland, College Park and a BA from Earlham College. She is a member of Herndon Friends Meeting in Herndon, VA.
Short description of Anna’s project:
Anna will be working on a book focused on Quaker weddings – and her twenty-first century, millennial Quaker wedding – titled “Loving and Faithful.” It will be a combination of memoir and classic nonfiction, informed by her personal experience as well as research and interviews with Friends.