The alumni discussed the mission, work, and purpose of SNAA. All members by a vote of confidence affirmed the leadership of Arpi Nakashian as Chairlady, Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian as Treasurer, and Dn. Daron Bolat as Secretary.
Arpi welcomed everyone and in the name of our gathering congratulated our newly elected Primate. She shared with us a recap of the St. Nersess Alumni Great Lenten retreat that took place in March and was graciously hosted by Father Vasken Kouzouian in Cambridge Massachusetts.
A discussion took place regarding fundraising efforts by Alumni themselves to help the seminary directly with their own donations to the newly established Leadership Giving Circle' for St. Nersess, personal donations, seeking out people with a passion for the mission of the seminary, inviting them to consider donating, and directing honorary donations remembering or celebrating departed and living individuals to the seminary.
The alumni also took the initiative to re-establishing of the adopt a seminarian initiative; thus making a more personal contact with the present body of students and mentoring them to become good shepherds of the Armenian Church.
Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean of the seminary, noted that this year is the 50th anniversary of the relationship established between St. Nersess and St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary for the Master's of Divinity degree program for St. Nersess students. He noted as well that it has been 52 years at St. Vladimir's that the joint education of our students has been in place. Since 1966 there have been some 39 graduates and/or students who have attended classes including our newly elected Primate of the Eastern Diocese, the Very Reverend Father Daniel Findikyan.
The luncheon meeting of ideas, good works, brotherly and sisterly fellowship concluded with a sweet surprise to our new Primate Fr. Daniel on the occasion of his election a with a cake as the alumni sang unanimously Ուրախ լեր Սուրբ Եկեղեցի (rejoice Holy Church). After words of joy and prayers, V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan gave his first blessing to us as Primate.
Thank you to the staff of our beloved Alma Mater for opening the doors to us and always keeping them open to visit, refresh our spirits and renew our ties to a small school that has produced an abundant harvest of leadership.
Father Garabed Kochakian