Enormous Spirit, Courageous Voice: Remembering Rev. Brenda Tapia

Rev. Brenda Tapia

Rev. Brenda Tapia

When college administrators turned to Rev. Brenda Tapia, she graciously and enthusiastically accepted a new challenge.

The assistant chaplain and minority student counselor crafted and launched the Love of Learning education enrichment program for underrepresented high school students in 1987. The wholistic program, with its focus on strengthening body, mind and spirit, would touch the lives of countless youth, including Rafael Candelario ’94 and Nethea Rhinehardt ’93, who became the first Love of Learning alumni to attend Davidson College.

“Brenda’s service to Davidson College and the larger community was a blessing. She had the will and the skill to change lives, both as a chaplain on this campus and in neighborhoods beyond,” said Davidson College President Emeritus John Kuykendall ’59.

“In the very best sense, the Love of Learning Program became her lengthened shadow. She took the inkling of a dream and transformed it into an unforgettable experience of growth and discovery for hundreds of young people in Mecklenburg County.”

Tapia died in February 2020. Faculty, staff, alumni and community members packed the Davidson College Presbyterian Church sanctuary to honor her life and work.

Share your memories of Rev. Brenda Tapia by writing to davidsonjournal@davidson.edu.

This article was originally published in the Fall/Winter 2020 print issue of the Davidson Journal Magazine; for more, please see the Davidson Journal section of our website.


  • January 11, 2021