Serene Jones of Yale University has been selected to be the first woman president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She will assume the presidency of the 172-year-old nondenominational seminary on July 1, succeeding Joseph Hough, who is retiring after serving since 1999. Jones, 48, who holds an endowed chair in theology at Yale Divinity School, chairs the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Yale. She has also held faculty appointments at Yale Law School and in the departments of African-American studies and religious studies. Union recently emerged from financial crises, and Hough is credited with helping boost Union’s endowment to close to $100 million. “The dark clouds have passed; the place is lean but ready to go,” Jones said. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.