The Sixty-Fourth Annual Commencement of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary
Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary held its Sixty-Fourth Annual Commencement on Sunday, May 27, 2011. The ceremonies began at two o’clock in the afternoon with a Thanksgiving Moleben served by Archimandrite Luke and the Monastery clergy in the Holy Trinity Cathedral. A commemorative photograph was taken, and then the clergy, faculty, and students walked in procession to the Seminary Hall for the commencement exercises.
The ceremony began with the pre-revolutionary Russian and United States national anthems, sung by the Holy Trinity Seminary Choir under the direction of third-year student Nicholas Kotar.
Archimandrite Luke, the Rector and Acting Dean, gave an opening address in Russian encouraging the graduating students to continue their progress in learning: “Never forget your books. Continue always to find the time to further your knowledge…Quench not the Spirit!” The commencement address was given by Archimandrite Meletios (Webber). Fr. Meletios is the abbot of St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Monastery (OCA) in Manton, California. Fr. Meletios gave an engrossing talk on asceticism and its absolute necessity in spiritual life, for future pastors and all Orthodox Christians. He called upon the audience to look upon asceticism in a positive sense, as “training the body for glory.”
Following the commencement address, Fr. Luke awarded diplomas to graduating students. Six students received the Bachelor of Theology: Dmitry Anopochkin (Cum Laude), Ivan Denisenko, German Gatytskyy, Evgeniy Poznyak, Sergey Tuygin (Cum Laude), and Vyacheslav Vovkovskiy. Reader Matthew Long and Daria Uklein received certificates for successfully completing the Certificate of Theological Studies program (by correspondence).
Awards were then issued for high academic performance: Aleksander Brooks in first year; John Martin in second year; Nicholas Kotar in third year; Monk Seraphim in fourth year; and Dmitry Anopochkin and Sergey Tuygin in fifth year. For academic excellence first-year students Aleksander Brooks and Stanislav Matveev received stipends of $700 and $300 respectively, courtesy of Michael Andreev of the Jordanville Monument Company.
Sergey Tuygin then made a valedictory speech expressing his heartfelt gratitude for his experiences at Holy Trinity Seminary. Following his words, Fr. Luke closed the ceremony with prayer. After Commencement, all gathered on the lawn for a celebratory meal.