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Su Ofe

Su Ofe

Huntingdon Remembers Dr. Frank Buckner

Huntingdon College

News Release

June 17, 2019
For more information, contact: Su Ofe, (334) 833-4515; news@hawks.huntingdon.edu

Huntingdon Remembers Dr. Frank Buckner

Montgomery, Ala.—Thirty years of Huntingdon College students remember the Rev. Dr. Frank W. Buckner Jr., professor emeritus of religion and philosophy, who joined the Huntingdon faculty in 1987 after serving as a United Methodist pastor in the Western North Carolina Conference, and remained on faculty until his retirement in 2017. Loved and admired equally for his teaching abilities and for his humble, gentle spirit, Dr. Buckner garnered many teaching awards offered by the College during his tenure and after retirement. Dr. Buckner died Saturday, June 15, 2019, in Montgomery at age 69.

Huntingdon President J. Cameron West said, “Frank Buckner was my friend before he became my colleague—we both were educated at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in our undergraduate years and at Duke University for our graduate degrees—and then reconnected when I came to Huntingdon as president in 2003. Frank had a reputation of encouraging students to think more widely, deeply, and fully. Students emerged from his classes having re-examined the faith-information they had inherited or learned from others, and having claimed a new level of faith and understanding that was all their own. He was a tremendous person, a gifted teacher, and a treasured colleague. The Huntingdon family will miss him dearly.”

Dr. Buckner earned his Ph.D. in theology at the Divinity School, Duke University. In addition to 30 years of service on the Huntingdon faculty, he served as College chaplain, associate provost, department chair, division chair, and shepherded many Huntingdon Plan travel-study trips abroad. He was fluent in seven languages, including Chinese, French, German, Greek, Biblical Hebrew, and Latin. He was awarded Huntingdon’s Julia Lightfoot Sellers Teaching award two times, as well as the Winn and Gordon Chappell Academic Enrichment Award and the United Methodist Church’s General Board for Higher Education and Ministry’s Exemplary Teacher Award. Upon his retirement, his faculty peers voted that he receive emeritus status. He was honored with the College’s Rhoda Coleman Ellison Distinguished Faculty Lifetime Service Award during 2017 Commencement Exercises.

“Frank dedicated his entire college teaching career to Huntingdon College, and our students and alumni are the better for it,” said West. “He loved teaching so much, he also taught for his church, First United Methodist Church-Montgomery. He made a tremendous impact on minds and lives.”

Visitation will be held in the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church-Montgomery at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, June 20, followed by a memorial service at 3:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary. The service will be streamed live on the church’s website at https://fumcmontgomery.org/worship-services/livestream/. The family has designated that memorial gifts may be made to Huntingdon College, Frank W. Buckner Scholarship Fund.

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Suellen (Su) Ofe
Vice President
for Marketing and Communications
Huntingdon College
1500 E. Fairview Ave., Montgomery, AL 36106
(334) 833-4515; Cell (334) 324-6591

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