Carl Magruder is the Spring 2023 Friend in Residence
The Quaker palliative care specialist and environmental activist will share his knowledge and experience with the Haverford community during a week-long virtual visit.
Each semester, Haverford’s Quaker Affairs Office invites a Quaker to campus to serve as the semester’s Friend in Residence. These Quakers, often experienced in activism and service, bring a real-world element to the holistic education offered at Haverford. For the spring 2023 semester, the college is honored to bring Carl Magruder, an Earth Quaker, climate change activist, and palliative care chaplain to campus to speak about environmental stewardship and healthcare.
Director of Quaker Affairs Walter Hjelt Sullivan met Magruder in Santa Cruz in the early 1990s, when they were members of the Pacific Yearly Meeting. Magruder had been pursuing a career in theater, though he later went on to earn an M.A. in Sociology (2003), and later a Master’s of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion (2011). He focuses on living a “Gospel of the Earth,” where he pays particularly close attention to the relationship between humans and the environment. In 2007, after concluding his master’s degree, Magruder worked for the Ecojustice Division of the National Council of Churches in Washington.
Magruder has worked for palliative care organization ResolutionCare, and now works at Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital. This hospital is a “safety net” hospital, meaning it provides care to all who need it, regardless of legal, insurance, or citizenship status.
Magruder planned to be on Haverford’s campus from April 10 to 16 sharing some of the lessons he’s learned through his hospice work and his love of the earth. Unfortunately, in mid-February he fell, breaking his ankle and injuring his back. In consultation with his doctors, he has decided to serve as the semester’s Friend in Residence virtually. He will be working with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), as well as the Haverford contingent of the Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program chaplain program. In addition, he will be visiting religion and education classes, as well as the First Year Writing Program.
Co-sponsored by the Haverford Committee for Environmental Responsibility (CER), Magruder will also give a public talk over Zoom on the intersection of palliative care, climate change activism, and how hope and faith have allowed him to deal with topics that can, at times, be challenging to grapple with. The talk will be repeated for members of the wider Haverford community as part of alumni weekend (May 26-28).
“College campuses aren’t my usual context for teaching, though I have been a high school educator a few times. However, I do believe colleges are a critical space to hold dialogue,” Magruder said about his upcoming visit. “Even between a Gen X’er like myself, and Millenials, there are big cultural and worldview changes. We need all perspectives in the space. Thus, I’m hopeful that events like mine can help to establish a more fluid intergenerational dialogue.”
Magruder continued to discuss some of the themes he hopes to cover during his visit to Haverford, including how we as a society grieve over modern tragedies.
“I’ve noticed that in Western culture, we tend to not be great at grieving,” he said. “I’m hopeful that I can discuss the importance of lamentation and its complement, hope, and how that impacts my work in activism and end-of-life healthcare.”
Said Sullivan, “I have heard Carl talk about the gifts he has received from working with those who are dying—[about] the truth speaking that is made possible through accepting what is real,—and the need for that same kind of truth speaking and accepting in the work with climate change.”
Carl Magruder will be on-campus at Haverford from April 10-16, 2023. The full schedule for his visit can be found here.