New Yale Chaplain is First Catholic, Laywoman in Post

February 13, 2007

Author: Mary E. O'Leary

Source: New Haven Register

NEW HAVEN - For the first time in its history, Yale University has chosen a laywoman and a Catholic to serve as university chaplain.

Sharon Kugler, the chaplain at Johns Hopkins University since 1993, will take up the position at Yale when the Rev. Frederick Streets leaves this summer after 15 years on the job.

Yale President Richard C. Levin said Kugler was picked because of programs she has developed at Johns Hopkins in support of numerous faiths and for her ability to facilitate interfaith dialogue.

"Religious life at Yale is poised to become even richer than it traditionally has been, uniting many across boundaries that have often divided people of good will," Levin said of her appointment.

Kugler, 48, said she was impressed by Yale’s interaction with and commitment to New Haven. "That was something that was very important to both of us," she said of herself and her husband, Duane Isabella, who works in Baltimore City on child support cases.

She was recruited to come to Yale, and at each step during the process, Kugler said, she became more convinced that it was a challenge she ready to take on.