George D. Behrakis receives Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Archbishop Demetrios. Fr. Nicholas C. Triantafilou, right, President, and Thomas C. Lelon, left, Vice Chair, of Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology
Hellenic College - Holy Cross bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities upon George D. Behrakis, Chairman Emeritus of Leadership 100 and a philanthropist, successful entrepreneur and long time supporter of the School and of the Greek Orthodox Church, in recognition “for his outstanding professional achievements, his many humanitarian and philanthropic acts and his life-long and extraordinary commitment and service to his Hellenic Orthodox Christian heritage.” As Chairman of Leadership 100, Behrakis was instrumental in insuring support of the School. Leadership 100 has provided $14.4 million in scholarships over the years and is now in the process of fulfilling another $10 million commitment of $1million per year.
Behrakis delivered the Commencement Address at the 70th Commencement of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology on Saturday, May 19, 2012, and told the fifty nine young men and women who graduated at a ceremony held at the Pappas Auditorium in the School’s hill-top campus in Brookline, Massachusetts, to “be positive and always look to the future,” and, turning to the Holy Cross graduates, “We need you now more than ever. The parishes and our communities need your spiritual leadership especially those who will follow their calling for the priesthood.” He added that their calling and obligations “will not fit neatly into a 9 to 5 job,” because being a parish priest is much more than that. He also spoke of the important role of the Presvytera within the community setting and in assisting her husband in his ministry. “It is very important to get to know your parishioners and their families very well,” he said and spoke of the many challenges facing the family and our Church. Finally, he admonished them to be trustworthy and said that “faith, trust and respect” are the pillars of a successful ministry. “Dream big, the higher the better, do your homework and lead by example,” he concluded.
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology celebrated the 75th Anniversary of its founding in 1937. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, who is also Chairman of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Board of Trustees, in his pastoral and paternal exhortation, urged the graduates to be the people of “iron will and good deeds” as is the honoree, Mr. Behrakis, but also to always think of God’s presence as they plan and consider what they are going to do next, as they set goals and aspire to do good. He told them to say to themselves “I will do A, B and C,” but always add the phrase “God willing, and with the blessing, the synergy, the assistance and the grace of God.” In his conclusion, the Archbishop conveyed the greetings and blessings of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with whom he had spoken the previous day. Their Eminences Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, and Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, and His Grace Bishop John of Worcester, of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, also attended the Commencement.
Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, President of Hellenic College//Holy Cross School of Theology, offered a salutation and welcome at the beginning of the program and reflected on the productive and successful year and the 75th Anniversary of Holy Cross and the School’s vital role in the life of our Church. The valedictory addresses were delivered by Emily Couchell of Hellenic College and Rebecca Raney of Holy Cross. Of the 59 graduates in total who received their degrees, 21 graduated from Hellenic College, 37 from the School of Theology and one received a BTI certificate. From the 37 graduates of the Theological School, 28 received the degree of Master of Divinity, intended for those who wish to be ordained. Six graduates received the degree of Master of Theological Studies and three the degree of Master of Theology. Of all the graduates, nine are already ordained clergymen.
Based on reporting by Stavros H. Papagermanos, Press Office, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.