Reception brings together conference alumni, friends and supporters to benefit Youth & Vocations programs
NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The first annual “Evening Under the Stars” reception turned into an impressive mix of generations coming together to celebrate St. Nersess Armenian Seminary’s successful past and bright future. On September 13, nearly 100 people gathered on the grounds of the Seminary at 150 Stratton Road in New Rochelle, NY, for this unprecedented benefit event.
College students and young professionals assisted throughout the night greeting and serving guests delicious hors d’oeuvres catered by Hokees Mediterranean Gourmet of New Jersey. Attendees also sipped cocktails while they viewed photos, reminisced of conferences past, and learned more about the progress being made at the Seminary. Also on hand were the 10 full-time students of St. Nersess all studying to be priests in the Armenian Church here in the United States.
One of the speakers during the evening, Fr. Karekin Kasparian who served as past dean of St. Nersess and also a former director of the ever-popular summer youth conferences, shared that these 10 seminarians are indeed the shining stars of the night. “We pray that St. Nersess Armenian Seminary will continue to illuminate and enlighten more stars in our future.”
With nearly 50 years of existence here in the United States, St. Nersess, which serves as the only Armenian Seminary in the Western Hemisphere, has produced dozens of today’s active clergy currently serving parishes in America. Many of these clergy and even numerous lay leaders of the Armenian Church, were first introduced to St. Nersess through the summer youth conferences.
Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, who serves as the full-time Youth & Vocations Director for the Seminary, said that St. Nersess, after all these years, still excites all generations of Armenians with faith and friendship. “The same experience that one had at St. Nersess forty years ago is still being felt with today's young people.”
This fundraising reception was graciously underwritten by ten hosts namely Glenn & Margaret Ajamian, Berj & Suzanne Akian, Haig & Nadine Ariyan, Anthony & Nancy Barsamian, Steve & Diane Dadekian, Gregory & Alysia Ekizian, Edward & Rita Jerejian, Gregory & Ani Manuelian, Steve & Lilly Mekenian, Mark & Susan Pogharian. All proceeds from the event will go directly towards the Seminary’s Youth & Vocations department.
"I was honored to be asked to chair this benefit event for a place that provided so much to me as a teenager," shared Suzanne Demirjian Akian, a 1980s conference alumni who organized the reception and served as one of the hosts. "I'm looking forward to my own daughters attending these summer conferences in the years to come, but for now it is my obligation and privilege to support St. Nersess Armenian Seminary to ensure that it continues to thrive for the sake of our children."