St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Board of Trustees, under the leadership His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America [OCA] and Board Chairman, met on the seminary campus November 5-7, 2009 for their 61st annual meeting. A highlight of the trustees’ decisions included appointments and elections to the board in accordance with the Seminary’s vision for cooperative effort and exchange among Orthodox Christian jurisdictions and churches globally. The board concluded its meeting looking optimistically toward the future.
Metropolitan Philip reappointed as trustee
Exemplifying the pan-Orthodox vision of its founders, the seminary Board of Trustees is comprised of episcopal appointments and elected trustees from the wide spectrum of students who historically have graced the classrooms at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah has re-appointed to the seminary’s Board of Trustees His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, whose presence on the board since 1967 continues fifty-one years of tradition of having the metropolitan archbishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese counted among the seminary’s trustees, beginning with the appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony [Bashir] in 1958. The longest serving trustee of the seminary, His Eminence was re-elected by the Board of Trustees to the office of Vice Chairman of the Board, an office His Eminence has held since 1981, and an expression of his commitment to the vision of pan-Orthodox unity for North America and the role of St. Vladimir’s Seminary in fostering cooperation among Orthodox Churches in North America and beyond.
Archbishop Hilarion and Thomas Zedlovich join board
New to the Board of Trustees is another episcopal appointee, His Eminence The Most Rev. Hilarion [Alfeyev], Archbishop of Volokolamsk and Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations. Archbishop Hilarion is the author of more than 300 publications, including numerous books in multiple languages, and is a renowned composer. St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press will release his latest title, Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective, this month. In addition to his doctoral degree from Oxford, he also holds a doctorate from St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris.
Archbishop Hilarion’s presence will complement the remarkable and diverse talents of the hierarchs currently serving as seminary trustees: His Grace The Rt. Rev. Maxim, bishop of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America; His Grace The Rt. Rev. Savas, bishop of Troas of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; and Metropolitan Mar Barnabas of the American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (represented by The Very Rev. Chor-Episcopos Dr. P. S. Samuel).
Also joining the board is Thomas S. Zedlovich, who formerly served as a trustee and whose family has more than a 50-year association with the Seminary. Mr. Zedlovich is graduate architect, and has served in various capacities at the Seminary over the years, including being a member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, acting as a Board Director of the St. Vladimir’s Theological Foundation, and serving as the Chairman at several Orthodox Education Day events.
Trustee Alexander Popoff, Jr. retires from board
The Seminary and the Board of Trustees presented an icon of St. Vladimir to retiring Trustee Alexander Popoff, Jr. (in absentia) for his eleven years of outstanding service to the board. Accepting the gift on Mr. Popoff’s behalf was James G. Bach, chair of the board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, who read an honorary message from the trustees: “By unanimous decision, the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is honored to bestow the title of Trustee Emeritus on Mr. Alexander Popoff, Jr., recognizing his many years of leadership as Chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and for his wisdom, counsel, generosity, and exceptional character.”
In an encouraging statement directed to the entire seminary community, Executive Chair of the Board Anne Glynn Mackoul expressed both thanks and hope. “As with many institutions today, St. Vladimir’s Seminary is facing financial challenges,” she noted. “However, with the strength of our administration, the devoted performance of our faculty and staff, and the commitment of the Board of Trustees, alumni, and a legion of supporters, with God’s help, St. Vladimir’s will continue to strive to be the premier center of Orthodox theological education in the world.”