The School of Theology bestowed upon the Rev. William A. Whisenhunt the 2012 DuBose Award for Service. Whisenhunt received his Master of Divinity degree from The School of Theology in 1985. The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, dean of The School of Theology at the University of the South, presented the award to Whisenhunt as part of the DuBose Lectures and Alumni/ae Gathering on Nov. 1, 2012.
"Neil Alexander's letter concerning the Dubose Award came as a complete surprise for me,” stated Whisenhunt. “It is a tremendous honor to be given this award and to be remembered by Sewanee.”
Whisenhunt has had a distinguished ministry in the Diocese of Western North Carolina and in the Episcopal Church since his ordination in 1985. He served at Epiphany in Newton, N.C., before being called to serve as the first canon missioner and canon to the ordinary of the diocese. During this time he spearheaded major reorganization of diocesan structures. He was also instrumental in updating and rewriting policies and procedures for the diocese and developing the first diocesan website for Western North Carolina. In the eight years that he served as canon to the ordinary, he became active in national deployment issues and was chair for two years of a deployment committee that worked closely with 35 other dioceses.
Whisenhunt formed a coalition of five diverse small parishes in Asheville to work together in worship, learning/formation, and outreach ministries. His vision and leadership were an inspiration for small church and rural ministries throughout the Carolinas and Virginia.
Following his outstanding work on the diocesan staff, Whisenhunt was called as rector of Trinity Church in Asheville, N.C. During his tenure at Trinity Church, he was applauded for his leadership skills and pastoral sensitivity. According to friend and colleague, the Rev. Timothy McRee, “Whisenhunt’s boundless energy and passion for healthy congregational life and the expansion of God’s reign has brought new energy to Trinity and to the forefront of God’s ministry.”
During his ministry, Whisenhunt served several terms as a trustee for the University of the South from the Diocese of Western North Carolina. He has been active in CREDO, having served as a faculty team leader for 10 years. In this capacity, he has helped numerous clergy in their quest for vocational and spiritual excellence.
The DuBose Award for Service recipient was selected by a committee of alumni/ae, staff, and faculty of The School of Theology to recognize exemplary service to the Church. The award honors an alumnus or alumna who has worked to further the Kingdom of God with devotion and diligence, with creativity and innovation, and with perseverance and commitment.