Converse College senior Heather Barclay has been accepted by the prestigious graduate program of Harvard Divinity School (HDS) in Cambridge, Mass. Admission to HDS is characterized by its competitiveness and selectivity. The Florence, S.C. native is majoring in religion and modern languages at Converse, and plans to study the history of Christianity at HDS.
“Heather clearly has a passion for her work and expresses herself so well,” said Seamus Malin, Director of Admissions at HDS. “With over 40 years of experience in admissions at Harvard, I am accustomed to dealing with students who are the cream of the crop, and from the moment I read Heather’s letter of application, I knew she would be a great addition to HDS.”
Heather most recently teamed with Dr. Corrie Norman, Assistant Professor of Religion at Converse, to explore the life of the late medieval saint Francesca Romana. The majority of the work was completed in Rome, Italy. “For six months,” says Heather, “I conducted primary text research in the Vatican, Marco Besso, Angelica, and Nationale libraries while exploring numerous churches and museums. My primary goal was to explore her changing image as a model of female religious devotion in the years from her death in 1440 to her canonization in the 17th century.”
“Heather is obviously a gifted and bright individual,” said Dr. Norman, “but it is her love of learning and her willingness to take risks which makes her stand apart from the crowd.”
Heather cited the opportunities available at Converse to work closely with professors as being key to her acceptance at HDS. “Dr. Norman has been a tremendous influence in my life,” said Heather. “She has strongly encouraged me to pursue my interests, and has helped me obtain research opportunities that I otherwise would not have.”
Heather is the daughter of Roberta Turner and Tom Barclay, and granddaughter of Pat and Jerry Barclay.