The Board of Trustees of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary here met on the school’s campus August 23-24, 2012.
This was the first board meeting with His Grace, Bishop Michael who, as Acting Rector, was welcomed into his new position.
His Eminence, Archbishop Tikhon remains on the board and was thanked for his many years of service to the seminary as professor and Rector. Board members will continue to look to His Eminence for his experience and knowledge of St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
Archpriest Dr. Alexander Atty, Dean, reported the details of the incoming class of 21 new Masters of Divinity students, who bring the total enrollment to 50. New students represent many Orthodox jurisdictions from Austria, Syria, Ethiopia, and Ukraine, as well as all over the United States. The Metropolitan Leonty Dormitory is at complete capacity.
Archpriest Dennis Swencki, serves as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Development, reported on the finances of the seminary and his full schedule of outreach over the next few months. This 75th Anniversary year offers an opportunity to take the history of the seminary and information on its mission out to parishes across the country in all Orthodox jurisdictions. Father Alexander also has an extensive visitation schedule throughout the months ahead, while the seminary choir is scheduled for visits with both Fathers Dennis and Alexander.
Board members were updated on the winterization of the newly acquired Western Wayne School Administration Building. Some efforts are needed to protect the empty building from damage during a potentially harsh winter. Plans are being investigated for the renovation of this building into married student housing. The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] continues to be a major supporter of the project, and several members of the board were present at the FOCA’s national convention in Myrtle Beach, NC over Labor Day weekend.
Initial plans are being discussed for a full schedule of commemorations and events for the 75th Anniversary of the seminary, which will be celebrated throughout 2013. Co-chairs for the Anniversary celebrations are board Secretary, Leda Dzwonczyk, and Matushka Nancy Gilbert.
The board received a full report on the recent ATS extension from ATS Liaison, Dr. Paul Witek. Due to the progress the seminary has made in matters of governance, strategic planning, the physical plant and assessments, the seminary has been granted a two year extension of its accreditation period from 2014 to 2016. This has given the seminary a full seven year ATS evaluation period. Procedures are in place to meet all ATS recommendations.
Reports were heard from a variety of active committees including Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Development and Public Affairs and Building and Grounds. Other business included a discussion of a satellite Diaconal program in Miami, FL and the fall lecture series.
The next board meeting will be held October 25-26, 2012 at Villanova University to coincide with the opening of an exhibition of icons and sacred items, including some of the seminary’s Guzey Collection, which is being presented at Villanova. Board members will participate in the opening ceremonies.