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WINDS OF CHANGE ON THE HOLY HILL

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  • Fr. John-Brian
    WINDS OF CHANGE ON THE HOLY HILL Brookline, MA - For over half a century, the campus of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology has
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2004
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      WINDS OF CHANGE ON THE HOLY HILL

      Brookline, MA - For over half a century, the campus of Hellenic College and
      Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology has been called the "Holy
      Hill" in tribute to its elevated purpose and elevated site. The
      institution's purpose has been clear and unwavering from the beginning: to
      provide the best possible education for future priests and for those
      committed to lay careers informed by Orthodox Christian principles.
      Regrettably, that mission has not been widely known outside HCHC's own
      close-knit community. As for its magnificent 52-acre hilltop site just
      outside Boston, which commands spectacular skyline views, it has long been
      one of the city's best-kept secrets.

      All of that is now changing rapidly. A new leadership team is in place,
      bringing together seasoned professionals from the academic, religious and
      business spheres, whose disparate backgrounds nevertheless converge in a
      common vision: to put HCHC on the map--literally and figuratively. This
      leadership team, which includes the School's trustees and its president,
      Reverend Nicholas Triantafilou, as well as faculty and key staff members,
      has made it a priority to resolve issues of financial and academic
      accountability. It has also created a master plan for campus expansion,
      incorporating designs for a much-needed student center, new dormitories,
      expanded housing for married students and a maintenance facility. Already
      in place, thanks to a grant from the Lilly Foundation, are two new 'smart
      classrooms' equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It is hoped that all
      classrooms will eventually meet this standard.

      Not surprisingly, student application and enrollment figures are increasing
      along with the School's visibility and credibility. Over the last three
      years, enrollment has risen 71% overall, and a remarkable 91% for
      seminarians. GPA (Grade Point Average) scores for incoming students in both
      schools are also significantly higher than in past. Yet this gratifying
      upturn in quality and quantity comes at a price--the price of housing. Some
      appropriate candidates for admission are being turned away simply because
      there is not enough space for them at present on campus. And it is
      important to note that this housing crunch has ramifications well beyond
      the idyllic campus itself: if insufficient numbers of prospective priests
      cannot be accommodated at Holy Cross, there will soon not be enough new
      clergy to replace the growing number of retirees. Such a disparity could
      ultimately affect the entire Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

      In addition to planning new construction, the School's leaders must address
      the pressing issue of repairs to existing structures and maintenance of the
      extensive grounds. Resources to date have precluded any but emergency
      repairs and routine maintenance, yet anyone who has ever endured a Boston
      winter knows that old buildings and old plantings fare badly in this
      environment without constant attention. Thanks to the generosity of many
      donors, who in 2003 alone made contributions totaling a phenomenal
      $823,000, some important capital improvements are already complete. The
      Chapel, central element and symbol of the campus, has undergone a major
      facelift. Its aging roof and heating system have been replaced. Exterior
      masonry has been repaired. Cracked walkways have been replaced with
      handsome, durable brick. The interior is being repainted, the worn carpet
      replaced with granite flooring and the icons restored. Extensive
      restoration has also been completed in the Administration Building, the
      Archbishop Iakovos Library, the Pappas Gymnasium and three residential
      facilities. The National Philoptochos has earmarked substantial funds for
      both the Chapel and the cafeteria, while other donors have underwritten the
      cost of creating a park, picnic area and playground for students' children.
      All in all, the cost of capital improvements completed in 2003 was nearly
      $1,000,000.

      To stay on course, the School needs an additional $1,000,000 for the second
      phase of such improvements. Approximately $4-5,000,000 will be needed to
      construct a new student center, $15-20,000,000 for student housing. These
      are daunting figures, but there is a fervent hope on the Holy Hill these
      days that new stewards will come forward to meet the challenge--and with
      hope all things are possible.

      To learn more about Phase II of HCHC's master plan, please contact James
      Karloutsos, Chief Operating Officer, at 617-850-1290. For information about
      naming opportunities, please call Reverend James Katinas in the Office of
      Institutional Advancement at 617-850-1317.


      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
      8-10 East 79th St. New York, NY 10021
      Tel: (212) 570-3530 Fax: (212) 774-0215
      Web: http://www.goarch.org
      Email: communications@...


      For Immediate Release
      March 2, 2004

      Contact: James Karloutsos
      (617) 850-1290
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