IAS Annual Dinner

The 2011 International Association of Sufism’s Annual Dinner

In honor of

Dr. Harlan Stelmach

Professor of Humanities, Former Chair, Department of Humanities

Dominican University of California

Harlan Stelmach, Ph.D. is a Professor of Humanities at Dominican University of California, and has recently stepped down from the position of Chair of the Humanities Department, a post he held for 10 years.  He has taught at Dominican since 1999.

He holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Religion and Society from the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley. His post-doctoral work at the GTU and San Francisco Theological Seminary focused on business ethics and philosophy of systems management.

Dr. Stelmach has worked in cooperation with the International Association of Sufism to develop the “Building Bridges of Understanding” series for the community, now in its eleventh year, along with numerous other special programs.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

7:00 p.m.  Creekside Room, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA

Music by members of Taneen Sufi Music  Ensemble


 Honorary Committee

(partial listing)

Martin Anderson, Ph.D.

Judith Berling, Ph.D.

The Rev. Paul Chaffee and Jan Chaffee

Seido Lee De Barros

James Donahue, Ph.D.

The Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs

The Rev. Jan Hegland

Sheikh Kabir Helminski and

Sheikha Camille Helminski

Assemblymember Jared Huffman

Denise Lucy, Ph.D.

Mary Marcy, Ph.D.

The Rev. Betty Pagett

Thomas Peters, Ph.D.

The Rev. Carol Saysette and Robert L. Reynolds

Bahman A. K. Shirazi, Ph.D.

Swami Vedananda

IAS Annual Dinner History


The Annual Dinner on October 22 honored Dr. Harlan Stelmach, Professor of Humanities and former Chair of the Humanities Department at Dominican University of California in San Rafael. Dr. Stelmach collaborated with IAS in producing the Building Bridges of Understanding series for the past 11 years, as well as many other programs. Distinguished guest speakers at the dinner included Dr. Mary Marcy, President of Dominican University, and Dr. James Donahue, President of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.


The Annual Dinner on November 19 at Embassy Suites Hotel in San Rafael honored the Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs, Executive Director of United Religions Initiative. URI works in 77 countries to develop peace through interfaith understanding. Dr. Angha had a leadership role in developing the URI charter and the URI Women’s Council.


Nafisa Haji, author of the best-selling novel The Writing on My Forehead, and Sufi student of IAS Co-Directors Dr. Kianfar and Dr. Angha, was the guest speaker in the Annual Dinner on October 10 at Dominican University. She was introduced by Beth Ashley from the Marin Independent Journal newspaper.


A dinner on November 3 co-sponsored by Dominican University celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the International Association of Sufism. Guests enjoyed a retrospective of 25 years in pictures and prose with tributes by both Sufi and interfaith representatives.


A celebration of 18 years of publication of the journal Sufism: An Inquiry was the focus of the annual dinner held in a private home in San Rafael on June 3. There were tributes to Dr. Angha and Dr. Kianfar, founders and editors of the journal, and certificates were given to honor authors who had contributed articles to the journal.


The first IAS celebratory dinner honored distinguished professor and author Huston Smith on October 15 at Embassy Suites Hotel. Tributes were offered by leaders from the Bay Area academic and religious communities.

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