Tribute to Dr. Edwin Ang
- UTS Communications
Dr. Edwin Ang’s National Seonghwa Ceremony took place on January 25, 2021. Dr. Ang was remembered by the Unification Theological Seminary on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, recognizing the key roles that he played at UTS where he worked with Founding President David S.C. Kim from 1977 until 1994. Dr. Ang rose to serve as Executive Vice President of Unification Theological Seminary during that period. He and his wife Marie Ang number among the earliest followers of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in the United States.
The UTS Tribute to Dr. Ang was led by UTS President Thomas Ward and it featured a presentation by UTS Vice President and Professor of History Dr. Michael Mickler entitled “Edwin Ang: Model Confucian Gentleman, UTS Administrator and Higher Order Visionary.” The program also included reflections by several UTS Alumni including Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, International Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation, and UTS Adjunct Professor Lynn Walsh, as well as UTS Trustee Dan Fefferman who performed an original song written in honor of Dr. Ang.
Over one hundred faculty, administration, students, alumni, and friends joined this event to pay tribute to an outstanding leader who played a key role in building the UTS legacy and served as architect of the process leading to UTS attaining its Absolute Charter from the New York State Office of Higher Education and its accreditation by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education.
UTS would like to thank all who attended the tribute to Dr. Edwin Ang. We send the Ang family our deepest condolences and hope that through this tribute, we may offer our UTS community a glimpse into the remarkable life of Dr. Ang.
We invite you to read a brief bio of Dr. Ang’s life in our previously published article, as well as a collection of written testimonies below:
Dr. Edwin Ang, a pillar of God's providence, left a profound impression on me. I first came to know of Dr. Ang because his wife Marie was a legend as one of the first Unification pioneers to Canada in 1968. As a UTS student in the early 1990s and also after graduation, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Ang on numerous occasions. He always greeted me with a warm smile and a genuine interest in what I was doing. I have fond memories of the early morning walks around the Barrytown grounds and also of the many insights he shared on a wide range of topics. May Heaven continue to guide Dr. Ang in the eternal world and may his beautiful family be enveloped in the love and grace of our Heavenly Parent and True Parents.
I began working with Edwin in Berkeley in late 1967 when he was still a Ph.D student there. Starting with only the two of us, helped by the arrival six months later of Betsy O'Neill (later my wife) and then Helen Ireland, we grew to over twenty-five live-in members within two years. There is no doubt who anchored that remarkable growth: Edwin.
But it seems to me it was not so much the Edwin we saw day to day who anchored that growth; it was rather God's presence in Edwin, God's stable, grounded love, expressing itself through this devoted son. It was that quiet love that both nurtured the buzzing activity of the Berkeley center and at the same time held it together.
I think what happened in Berkeley was the prototype, repeated in Edwin's many missions in diverse locations in the years to come. Wherever he went he brought that same presence, that quiet stability, that deep love.
Edwin remained a faithful friend ever since Berkeley. He was an elder brother who constantly looked out for Betsy and me, and continued to care for our family. We were/are blessed by him.
Thank you Edwin, great and beloved friend!
Edwin is my dear elder brother who I first met in Berkeley, California in 1968. I had been in the church for six months and Miss Young Oon Kim asked me to go to Berkeley to help Edwin and Farley. Edwin was a gentle presence in the center. He would make rice and sauces and was always willing to share whatever he made. He was very solid in his faith in the Divine Principle and spoke and prayed with conviction.
I had a job at Herrick Hospital as a nurse and had to leave before seven am to walk there. He insisted on walking with me each time to protect me at that time in the morning . He said "Satan cannot invade if we don't make any bases." Besides accompanying me he locked the doors and windows in the Center regularly.
The three of us prayed together. We were a team. Farley and I would witness on the Berkeley campus. When people started coming Edwin and Farley taught the Principle; I would share with the guests my testimony and the food I cooked. Edwin was our secret weapon. After those studying like Jeff and Roger spoke with Edwin and heard some deeper contents, they would come out smiling and asking about applications to join.
It was a heavenly time for me to be with these two brothers. The unity between Edwin and Farley really touched me and that unity was extended to me.
Years later when Farley and I were blessed and Farley was asked to be the President no one supported Farley more than Edwin. Farley was twenty seven and some older, capable brothers may have thought they should have been chosen. With Edwin there was only love and support for Farley. He and Marie were so supportive towards us during that time. It is indescribable but it touches me to tears when I remember his words to us which continued for the next fifty years." I am praying for you daily. You are like my family." The reality of those words surrounded us during our whole course and even on our seventieth birthday party, he, Marie and their whole family came to support us. For me no matter what accusations came to me or us I felt they melted in the presence of someone who loved and trusted us.
After Farley graduated from the Seminary he was asked to take a mission in England. During that whole time I lived at the Gatehouse at Barrytown pregnant and with three other children. Edwin was not just an administrator at the Seminary but he and Marie visited me there many times to see if I needed anything and make sure that those needs were met. I cannot forget his sincerity and attention to even the smallest detail.
I met Edwin and Marie in several states when I was an IW. Whether it was Boston or Chicago the members were happy to have this beautiful East-West couple as their leader and parent figures. They truly loved each other, God and True Parents. If I ever spoke to Edwin about his marriage to Marie he smiled warmly and simply said "it worked!" His final days were spent with Marie caring fully for his needs surrounded by Dohi and Joni and their families, as well as Jennifer and her family joining virtually from China. We feel the loss of his life yet know he joins his beloved son David in the spiritual world. Edwin is an example of a filial son who never wavered in his faith and helped so many including Farley and me in our spiritual growth. I am forever in his debt!
Dr. Susan D. Schroeder
In 1987 I was supposed to graduate and go out on whatever mission Father had for me. During the 3rd Trimester President. Kim asked me to forego my graduation and work with him as his Assistant. I was to replace Carol Pobanz and she was expecting their 2nd child. One of the projects President Kim assigned to me was to help Dr. Ang with the Charter.
So I was divided between President Kim and Dr. Ang. Ute's office across from his office was a beehive of activity as we typed and retyped and retyped until it met his approval. Of course, whenever President Kim beeped me (we carried beepers in those days) I had to go. I felt like I was entering an E5 hurricane when I opened the door to his office. He would have his wife, a Japanese student and myself all sitting there and he would rapidly speak to Mrs. Kim in Korean, the rapid Japanese to the student and then rapid English to me without a break-in his stride.
After I finished what President Kim wanted, I would go back to Ute's office and continue typing. Even though it was so hectic in that office it was organized. Every one knew what to do, what they were doing and were also aware of what everyone else was doing. I could just sit there and type peacefully.
Then my beeper would go off and it was back to the hurricane. I felt like I was standing still as the hurricane went over me: frantic when I was with President Kim and peaceful when I was with Dr. Ang. It was as if Dr. Ang's office area was the eye of the hurricane: a place where I could catch my breath and put myself back together. I am very proud to be one of the people who has a copy of the Absolute Charter. It has traveled around the world with me and is one of my most precious possessions.
I remember Dr Ang from my time at UTS when I was a student there from Fall of 1979 until Spring of 1981. As I remembered , he and his wife eventually hosted every student for dinner at least once during our time at the Seminary. Perhaps, there were two students at a time. He asked us about our background and how we met the movement. I remember being impress that his children were around but behaved outstandingly among us at the dinner gathering. I always wanted to ask him how he was able to have such friendly and peaceful children but never asked him at the dinner event.
Many times Dr. Ang gave morning service. To me he was like a Buddha figure always giving out kindness and pearls of wisdom. He usually led the reading of the Pledge at 5:00 am service every Sunday. His wife also was so kind in every setting I would see her in around the Seminary. In that way, she reminded me of True Mother. Dr. Kim reminded me of something my mother told me about my Dad’s father (my grandfather who passed when I was too young to have known him). She said of my grandfather that she had never met a kinder man. Dr Ang was just like that for me. He was a gentle giant full of genuine love for others and always seeking to see each person’s better nature.
My testimony is my gratitude for all Dr. Ang contributed for the greater good. It is my prayer and intent that we can stand on the shoulders of his whole-heartedly investment and expand that foundation with our best effort to be parents who can exemplify The Love of God to all.
Tribute to Edwin Ang
I joined the “Unified Family” movement in DC in 1965 with Col. Bo Hi Pak’s group using his DP translation, but I did not get to meet Edwin until four years later.
In the summer of 1965, Rev. Moon sent some strongest members to be overseas missionaries while Barbara Mikesell (ten Wolde) and Diane Giffin (Fernsler) became exchange youth members in Japan. Upon the troubled autumn of 1965, almost all members of Col. Pak’s American group left.
At the time of the 13-couple first Western blessing on Feb. 28, 1969, I was impressed with Edwin’s deep, unshaken faith –and in Edwin’s quiet, calm reasoned demeanor. I have continued to be impressed with Edwin and Marie’s deep faith and inspiration. I am sure Edwin has high honors in the eternal world.
In recent years, Edwin often discussed with me about using the philosophical insights from the Divine Principles even to aid/clarify the quest of theoretical physicists to complete “The Theory of Everything” (physical reality). I hope to see some completion in the earthly realm of Edwin’s insights and writings that included in part a focus on these questions.
I met my spiritual mother who taught me the Principle in Burlington VT in January 1973. Two IOWC teams arrived in Burlington on February 2. One of the teams was led by Dr. Ang. It was seeing and experiencing the vitality of these two teams on that day that became my final deciding factor to become a member.
I had many questions for my spiritual mother concerning specifics of the Principle even though I was convinced of its truth. She quickly deferred my questions to Edwin, as he was known to us then. Coming from a Waldorf education, one of my questions was why reincarnation was not a viable opportunity to complete spiritual growth beyond one lifetime. With more study of the Principle later, Returning Resurrection, of course, explained the solution, but when I put the question to Dr. Ang, he looked at me and asked, “Why do you want an old spirit in a new baby?” He needed to say no more. The incongruency of the image of an old spirit in a new little person left me with no doubt.
At the time I was in my junior year at the University of Vermont. Several members of the two IOWC teams worked hard to persuade me to drop everything and join full time. I did not feel sure about this. Dr. Ang alone encouraged me to stay in school. That summer my spiritual mother posed the question to David S.C. Kim who also encouraged me to stay in school. The following February, the 32 City Tour brought True Parents to Burlington, and we members had the opportunity to have dinner with them and ask Father questions. The center leader at the time mentioned to Father that many members who joined in Burlington were university and college students and the question always came up whether or not to finish school or to leave to join full time. Father answered that the students should stay in school and start CARP chapters. So I did.
In 1980, being a college graduate, I was asked to attend UTS. And who were there to greet me? Dr. Edwin Ang, Dr. David S.C. Kim and True Father.
My experiences with Dr. Ang at the seminary are all that have been described through the many testimonies; the meticulous, no stone left unturned, patient consideration of every person and issue – of which there were many – that came his way, the wisdom of his final decisions. He carried on seemingly unruffled by the more impatient and sometimes critical clamor of a younger student body that also often came his way. If it pained him, which I am sure it must have sometimes, he never showed any unmannerliness to others. Through all things, what I remember are both his indecipherable face of deep thought and his gentle, guileless smile.
I am among the many to have received the benefits and blessings to have had Dr. Ang in my life.
How can I even begin to write about beloved Edwin Ang? I met Edwin when I was just 16 years old in Berkeley, California in 1968. My brother John, had introduced my sister Susan and me to the then Unified Family. John had heard about it from an ad that Edwin put in the Berkeley Barb, an underground newspaper mostly circulating around UC Berkeley campus.
My family had been going through an extremely tumultuous time when my sister and I joined the church. After moving into the church center, I would sometimes go to Edwin crying and tell him how very badly I felt. Just being in his calming, healing presence, made it so I could go on. The thing I noticed about Edwin then is that he did not fill me with religious dogma, or tell me various types of conditions I should do, or give me some prepared answer as if from a script, that could solve my problem. Instead he would just let me talk and look at me philosophically and with compassion. And there was more than that, there was the absolute conviction within himself that problems could be solved and people could move beyond them to a whole different place. Absolutely and with no reservations he believed this for each situation, each person. This is the thing which would give one such immense hope in the midsts of darkness.
Even though Edwin and I parted ways and only saw each other intermittently, I carried with me that gift that he gave me in those early years, which is always so hard to describe, but I will try:
Calmness with caring,
a golden light emitting,
endurance with strength,
and a faith unrelenting.
Hugh and Nora Spurgin
It is our honor to write a tribute to this faithful and wise pillar of our Unification Church and Unification Theological Seminary, Dr. Edwin Ang. We first met Dr. Ang in February 1969 when he came to Washington, D.C. to be part of the Blessing of thirteen American couples. He returned to California with our friend, the lovely teacher Marie Lechrone as his wife. We have fond memories of our experiences with Edwin and Marie, who are our elders and close friends. They left a profound impression on us.
In February 1971 we were sent to assist the Angs in the growing and thriving church center in Berkeley California. For seven months we experienced the quiet, unwavering love and strength with which Edwin led and embraced our church members. Then we took that experience with us when we assumed our own leadership role in Philadelphia. We learned much from Edwin’s gentle, wise leadership style.
In December 1972 True Father formed seven One World Crusade teams for America. Edwin and I (Hugh) were chosen as the leaders of two of those evangelical teams. From then until March 1975, we participated in many leaders meetings with the Rev. Moon, whom we call Father Moon. We worked with the Angs while Hugh was a student at the seminary and while Hugh was a graduate student at Columbia University. Our family lived on the Barrytown property and our children were friends with the Ang family. When we started Bridgeport International Academy, a college preparatory high school, for twelve years Edwin and Marie were active, supportive members of the Board of Trustees of BIA.
For us for five decades, Dr. Ang has been a man who embodied the love of God, an absolute confidence in the Divine Principle, and faith in the providential leadership of Father and Mother Moon. A man of deep love and faith, Edwin was an intellectual, thinker and philosopher who always sought to teach about the Divine forces that operate in the universe -- in all of God’s creation. Edwin was a font of wisdom and compassion for everyone he met. Dr. Ang had a Big Mind and Big Heart, and we thank him for sharing those virtues with all iof us. As we grow older, our appreciate for this dear friend and great man of faith deepens. He has made us and many others better people.
I met Edwin Ang when I was sent to the Berkeley Center to replace Betsy (now Jones), who had to return to school after a short mission there. This was in September 1968, so I had been in the Unified Family only a little over a year.
There are lots of little things, like his ever present, cold cup of coffee, or his miso soup. But I think one of the things I learned most from him was the reality of Spirit World. Every time someone would join our little 'family', he would take them to a public session with a spiritualist, or clairvoyant. There was a well-known one in San Francisco, who had large public meetings, and when we entered, we could put a question in an urn, and it would usually be answered. Oftentimes she would point out who our spirit guides were, or our ancestors. It was always an interesting experience for our new members, or guests.
And Edwin lived every day with the knowledge that Spirit World was close. One time, around the time True Parents came to America in 1969, he was pushed down the stairs by a spirit, and broke his arm (or perhaps his wrist).
The other big thing is that he treated everyone with so much love, trust, and patience, and with a kind heart. We were very young members, so we needed guidance, yet it never seemed like he was forcing us to do anything, or leading us too strongly. He always listened to us gently, but with the Divine Principle and True Parents as his reference and role model.
I have never met Dr. Ang personally, but I have seen him participate in national level events. Having graduated from UTS in '15 I am so grateful for his work and devotion to UTS. It is from his works that I was able to receive a degree and be where I am today. I truly wish to honor Dr. Ang by learning from his style of leadership and work ethics. By participating in this program "Tribute to Dr. Ang" and learning about Dr. Ang and his life I feel more inspired and determined to do my best for God and True Parents' providence. Thank you Dr. Ang and Ang family. May Heavenly Parent and True Parents continue bless you, your families, and all you do.