In Memoriam: Gail R. O’Day (1954-2018)

Gail R. O’Day, former dean of the School of Divinity and professor of the New Testament at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, passed away on September 22, 2018 at the age of 63.

Dr. O’Day served as dean from 2010 to June 30, 2018. During her tenure, the school revised its curriculum to reflect a more interdisciplinary approach, strengthened its professional and vocational programs, and put an emphasis on critical historical and public issues such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion and how they relate to each individual student’s identity.

Professor O’Day’s teaching career began in 1982 at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, as an instructor in the religion department. She later went on to serve at Eden Theological Seminary and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology before joining the faculty at Wake Forest. She was known for her research about the New Testament, particularly the Gospel of John.

Before her retirement as dean, Professor O’Day was honored with the establishment of the Gail R. O’Day Beloved Community Fund. The endowed fund was created as a tribute to her leadership and will provide financial support for activities that build the communal spirit of the School of Divinity.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Dr. O’Day earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a master of theological studies from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Emory University.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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