Dr. Tink Tinker celebrated at Iliff School of Theology event

April 23, 2018

Submitted by Soon Beng Yeap
Director of Communications, Iliff School of Theology


At the celebration of the career of Dr. Tink Tinker (wazhazhe, Osage Nation) and his contributions to Iliff School of Theology and to the greater academy, Shattuck Hall was standing room only, filled with family members, long-time friends, former students, and the Iliff community.

The celebration also marked the launch of the Tinker Program Endowment that ensures that Dr. Tinker’s educational legacy carries forward, in perpetuity.

Watch the video recording of the celebration here.

Throughout the evening, the audience heard powerful and inspiring stories, words and memories about Dr. Tinker’s lasting impact on the lives of many. Lakota spiritual leader Robert Cross kicked off the celebration with a blessing ritual to the four directions, song and prayer.

Iliff Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Dr. David Worley, shared the wonderful news that more than 80 percent of the Tinker Program Endowment has been raised. In recognition of Dr. Tinker’s service to the institution, Iliff President Tom Wolfe presented Dr. Tinker with a painting by Native American artist Sam English.

A beautiful Morningstar quilt was also presented in Dr. Tinker’s honor to symbolize a new day with the launch of the Tinker Program Endowment. And several guest speakers recognized Dr. Tinker’s passion, influence, and teachings in his 32-year-long tenure at Iliff.

In speaking to the packed room, Dr. Tinker shared his many experiences, hopes and dreams. He reminded us that learning was a two-way street. “Every class I taught, I learned as much from you as you could from me. You have shaped Iliff.”

As the celebration concluded, we walk away with a final thought from Dr. Tinker: “I hope this effort fulfills its every promise – teach and feel the depth of Native American culture in the land we live on and at Iliff.”

Dr. Tinker was also recently featured in an interview with Colorado Public Radio (CPR). You can read the article here.

You can show your continued support for the Tinker Program Endowment by clicking here.

Pictured: Dr. Tinker during the celebration event
Photo courtesy of Iliff School of Theology