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Gail Goldsmith, Marist '12

Gail majored in Communication/Journalism with a minor in Public Praxis; today she is the rector (priest/pastor) of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Photo of Gail and her wife Kathleen Davis standing on the steps in front of a red brick building with a green door and shutters. Gail is wearing her clerical collar and a black dress. Kathleen is wearing a blue patterned shirt, blue sportcoat, and khakis.

Gail Goldsmith, Marist '12 (on left) with her wife Kathleen Davis.


What has your career path been to this point?

After graduating Marist, I earned a Master of Divinity (MDiv) at The University of Chicago. I served as curate and priest for college ministry at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, AL and before my ordination in 2018, served as a pediatric hospital chaplain in Wilmington, NC. Now, I am the rector (priest/pastor) of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Can you share an experience/memory from your time at HRVI that stands out as meaningful?

I think about this piece of Chris advice often: “assume people want to read what you have written: the journal is in their hands, they are on your website. You don’t have to convince them to read, they’ve already started: you do have the responsibility to inform and fascinate them.” Also, the work environment was just plain fun: there was always time to talk about whatever historical fact caught your attention, and Andy set a great example in how to be a good colleague. HRVI was the first office I ever worked in and none since has EVER featured the kind of music Jason Schaaf listened to, especially Caninus, a metal band with the dog as a lead singer, but that aside, I was dealing with a significant health problem in the latter half of college, and the whole HRVI crew was graciously understanding and supportive and I remain so thankful for them.

How has your experience at HRVI helped you advance your education and/or professional pursuits since graduating from Marist?

Learning how to write a journal article and outline research to represent the past was a tremendous skill that I improved at HRVI; I remain grateful for Chris’s mentorship in writing, editing, and presenting digital history online. While I was a journalism major, writing two articles for The Hudson River Valley Review helped me experiment with another style/purpose of writing, and proved to be invaluable experience in writing during my graduate studies. Trinity, the church I serve now, was established in 1824 and we’re planning a bicentennial celebration so HRVI and Col. Johnson’s enthusiasm for public history have been a great example to reflect on!

Do you have any advice for future HRVI interns based on your time at HRVI and your experience in your professional field?

Enjoy it! Enjoy the time to focus on research, and don’t be so anxious to prove yourself that you miss out on learning well, and miss out on learning from people who created this experience to support your scholarship.