Alumnus Discovers Second Career- and Inspiration - After Retirement
As he neared the completion of a successful 20-year career in publishing, Kenneth Share, Ph.D., GSAS ’02, was searching for an opportunity to do something different.
“For the first time in a long time, I finally had some flexibility,” said Share, who left his position as executive vice president of Fairchild Publications in 1990. “I wasn’t sure what exactly, but I knew I wanted to do something new.”
While thinking about his next steps, he started mentoring a confirmation candidate at his wife’s church, in Scarsdale, N.Y. He quickly realized he was in over his head. “Some of [the candidate’s] questions were quite specific and pretty intensive,” he said. “I realized that there was a whole world in the Bible beyond what I knew.” Share decided to fill in the gaps in his understanding of Scripture by enrolling in Yale Divinity School’s Master of Divinity Program.
During the three-year program, he concentrated in Scripture and spent one summer as a chaplain ministering at a psychiatric hospital in White Plains, N.Y., where he helped patients apply the Bible to their own lives.
“The texts could really be tremendous resources for people in pain, especially the Psalms,” he said.
After earning his master of divinity degree summa cum laude, he entered Fordham’s doctoral program in theology on the advice of two of his professors at Yale. He soon found inspiration in Fordham’s commitment to social justice, specifically the University’s attention to instilling in its students an action-based knowledge that they can apply to the world at large.
“The Jesuits do take seriously the question of ‘what are you going to do with your education,’” said Share, who earned his doctoral degree in theology, with a specialization in Scripture, in 2002 and is currently an adjunct professor in Fordham’s Department of Theology.
Share says his classes are a way to introduce his students to what he hopes is a lifelong relationship with the Bible. “I want to stimulate their interest in these texts and not just read them from a dusty book perspective but read them as a kind of living reference or resource book.”
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Share is a member of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ advisory board, a diverse group of professionals from various backgrounds and fields working in concert to bolster the academic reputation of GSAS.
As part of the board, Share is interested in figuring out how to implement his experiences in personal reinvention into a postgraduate program for retired professionals interested in becoming agents for social change.
“There is significant potential to develop something that would provide retired professionals a basic Jesuit idea of helping others,” said Share, who earned his M.B.A. in marketing from Harvard, and was inspired by the recently launched Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative, which is designed to prepare experienced leaders to transition from their primary income-earning years to community and public service, and provide them with the tools to tackle various social problems. “It would give people like me a professional approach to entering a new phase of their career.”