ACSD Remembers Rodney Sisco
By Edee Schulze
It is with deep sadness we share the news of the passing of our beloved colleague and friend, Rodney Sisco, following a valiant 5-1/2 month battle with cancer. Rodney went home to be with Jesus in the morning hours of Sunday, December 30, 2018 surrounded by worship, prayers, family and extended family.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rodney graduated from Wheaton College in 1984, where he then served for over 30 years as the Director of the Wheaton College Office of Multicultural Development. Rodney’s leadership and passion for his calling has left a strong legacy of supporting students of color and encouraging our campus communities to work towards diversity in Christian unity.
Rodney also served the Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) in several capacities - on the Executive Committee as the Diversity Chair from 2016-2018, on the Diversity Task Force for many years and as a leader for the New Professionals Retreat. He also offered many presentations at ACSD events and at other annual conferences. In 2012 Rodney received the ACSD Jane Higa Multicultural Advancement Award in its second year of existence after the award was given to Jane herself in its first year. This award was established in 2011 to encourage as well as recognize significant contributions toward increased understanding and promotion of multiculturalism in ACSD and at one's home institution. So many of us gained wisdom from Rodney, were inspired by his vision for unity and were impacted by his approaches to diversity engagement and leadership development. We are deeply grateful for how he shaped the profession and the individuals who serve within student development.
In Rodney's own words, "Part of being the body of Christ is that we understand what grace is. Grace says that we are to be patient with each other. We spend time with each other. We're preparing young men and women to know...how to be people who are able to engage with difference and conflict in a way that still says we're doing it as men and women of God."
To honor and sustain Rodney's legacy, his wife, Hasana, has established "The Rodney Sisco Symposium for Transformational Leadership, Diversity and Equity Practices." In partnership with ACSD, each year the Symposium will support a national or internationally recognized "thought leader" in the area of diversity and equity practices to invest two impact-filled days on a Christian college or university campus.
This speaker will have campus wide exposure through:
a) chapel speaking,
b) classroom lectures and discussions,
c) direct engagement with Executive Leadership, Faculty and Staff.
Further, there will be a unique opportunity during each Symposium for the college or university to increase authentic dialogue and engagement with diverse communities in its surrounding area. By hosting an evening reception for church and local leaders prior to a dedicated speaking engagement, the pathway for new relationships and potential students from these diverse communities to the academy may become more accessible. The Executive Committee of ACSD is pleased to accept the privilege of serving as a partner in these endeavors and advancing the ideals and passion of the Christ-centered vision that fueled Rodney's life and ministry. In lieu of flowers or gifts and as an ongoing memorial, contributions may be to here.
Please join in praying for Rodney's wife, Hasana, and their two sons (Juwan and Jabari) in their great grief and loss, even as they hold fast to Jesus as their Cornerstone. Pray also for God's comfort for the many students, alumni, faculty, staff, colleagues and friends connected to Rodney and his family. Funeral services will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at College Church in Wheaton IL with viewing and visitation at 9-11 a.m.
Edee Schulze, PhD.
Vice President for Student Life, Westmont College
Santa Barbara CA.