TAPPAN, N.J. — On May 18, ore than 360 guests filled the grand ballroom of the Old Tappan Manor in New Jersey to honor two individuals who have supported St. Nersess Armenian Seminary: Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and Bishop Daniel Findikyan.
The Rev. Mardiros Chevian, dean, who served as the emcee for the evening, welcomed everyone and explained the meaning behind Hope and Gratitude. “Hope for the future as we begin a new chapter with Bishop Daniel as our primate of the Eastern Diocese and president of the St. Nersess board of directors; and gratitude for our accomplishments, in particular a debt of gratitude for Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, who as our former primate and president of the board of directors, had the confidence and the foresight to save our institution from possible closure,” Chevian exclaimed.
Khajag Srpazan, who now serves as the Representative of the Armenian Church to the Vatican and Pontifical Legate of Western Europe, then gave the invocation.
Chevian introduced Varuzhan Nersesyan, the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the US, who offered a few words. “Bishop Daniel, may you be blessed as a bishop and as you embark on your new journey… and with humility we thank you Khajag Srpazan for your years of service here and wish you well in your new role.” Also in attendance was Mher Margaryan, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Chevian recognized the main benefactor for the evening, Aso Tavitian, who graciously underwrote the cocktail hour and dinner for all the guests. Also present were the Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, president, and Dr. Alexandru Tudorie, academic dean, from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, and the Very Rev. Kurt Dunkle, president and dean, at the General Theological Seminary.
After dinner was served, the seminarians sang a selection of Armenian hymns and popular songs under the direction of the Very Rev. Mamigon Kiledjian, Diocesan Instructor of Sacred Music. Then a moving video entitled Hope and Gratitude was presented to the guests on multiple screens around the room. It detailed a day in the life of the seminarians and how the honorees have helped to make St. Nersess a success story.