Fifty-Seventh Annual Commencement
Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary held its Fifty-Seventh Annual Commencement Exercises on Sunday, June 5, 2005. The day's events began with a procession of clergy, honored guests, faculty, and students from the refectory to the cathedral, where His Eminence, Metropolitan Laurus, celebrated a Thanksgiving Service. Following the completion of the Thanksgiving Service and a group photograph, the assembled processed to the Seminary auditorium. The opening exercises were begun with the singing of the American and traditional Russian National Anthems, after which Metropolitan Laurus gave a short address, congratulating the graduating seminarians and expressing the hope that they would set upon the path of pastoral ministry.
His Eminence then introduced this year's commencement speaker, Dr. Nickolas Lupinin, Senior Lecturer in History at Franklin Pierce College (Concord, NH) and President of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (ASEC). In his warmly-received address, Professor Lupinin noted the concurrent growing scholarly interest in Orthodoxy and societal hostility and condescension toward religion, urging the graduates, in his words, "to strive for a life of conviction, of religious education, of compassion for our fellow human beings, of prayer which must lead to moral improvement - a life wherein you are an example, a witness."
Awards were then given to the top student in each class: Novice Vitaly (Fedchenko) in first year; Novice Sergei (Tkatch) in second year; Constantine Novogitsyn in third year; Alexis Pjawka in fourth year; and Deacon Daniel Marshall in the fifth year. Awards for special excellence were also given to Monk Seraphim (Baltic), Nathan Williams, and Nikolaj Kostur.
The degree of Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) was then awarded to the following students: Deacon Daniel Marshall (Magna cum Laude), Monk Theophan (Jensen), Nikolaj Kostur, Daniil Millwood, Radomir Plavic, Nathan Williams, and Dmitri Filatov. Fr. Daniel Marshall and Nikolaj Kostur offered formal words of appreciation and gratitude on behalf of the graduating class.
Holy Trinity Seminary wishes to express its gratitude to the following honored guests for their participation in this year's Commencement Exercises: His Grace, Bishop Peter of Cleveland; Mr. Sergey V. Garmonin, Consul General of the Russian Federation; Dr. George Pahomov, Professor of Russian, Bryn Mawr College; and members of the Board of Advisors. We likewise thank all the alumni, family members, and friends and supporters who made this year's Commencement such a remarkable success.