The degree will be awarded at a public academic convocation at 6:00 p.m. in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building, during which His Beatitude will also give a presentation about the current circumstances of Christians in the Middle East. A public reception will follow.
“As Executive Chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir’s Seminary,” said Alex Machaskee, “I am extremely pleased that we are conferring an honorary doctorate on His Beatitude John X, patriarch of Antioch and All the East.”
Seminary Dean, the Very Reverend Dr. John Behr, added, “It is our joy to welcome Patriarch John to our campus, and it is our honor that he is willing to accept a Doctor of Divinity honoris causa from our school.” Father John also mentioned that His Beatitude is known to him through a personal connection: he is a fellow monk at the Monastery of St. Paul on Mount Athos (Agiou Pavlou), the same monastic community at which Fr. John’s brother, Fr. Evdokimos, resides.
The academic convocation will mark the second time within one year that His Beatitude has greeted the Dean and the seminary Chancellor/CEO, the Reverend Dr. Chad Hatfield. In December 2014, the seminary administrators jointly presented a gift of $8,000 to His Beatitude, to aid suffering Orthodox Christians in the Middle East. The gift represented a tithe (i.e., one-tenth) of the total $80,000 donated to the seminary during its highly successful #GivingTuesday campaign, also conducted in December.