|As seen in The Collegian | Volume 1, Issue 9 -- September 25 2001|
B.C. ROGERS -- As the spring 2001 semester came to a close in May, the retirement of seven year Choctaw president Howell Todd was well publicized around the campus and fresh on everyone’s minds. But when a press release from the college’s public relations “department” stated that Todd’s presence in Clinton, MS would be non-existent come the beginning of July, confusion abounded. After all, the now ex-president had vowed to stay on board for another year, or at least until a successor could be chosen to fill his rather large shoes.
Well, search no more! Allow the Whittington Weekly to present our choice for the next president of [the largest college in the Clinton area]: His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri! Now surely, this revelation did not come to us overnight, but after hearing our account, we believe in confidence that you will be a believer as well.
In early June, the Whittington Weekly staff received a cryptic invitation from the Orthodox Church of America requesting our presence at special banquet scheduled for the evening of June 21 in the Grand Hall, also known as the "casino room" on the second floor of B.C. Rogers. Speculation ensued as to why the Orthodox Church would hold any type of event on a Baptist campus, or for that matter, why would they invite us?
Upon arriving at the gathering, the realization hit us that this "banquet" was actually a rally of sorts, a campaign rally. Enter Lazarus Muska, campaign manager for the Archbishop. Lazarus was very accommodating, answering all of our questions and even arranging for an exclusive photo opportunity with His Eminence.
According to Muska, the Orthodox Greeks have always been a part of Mississippi College, quietly operating in the background. Established in 1977, the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church was relocated to its present location (which adjoins our campus) in 1980. As a result, several students have found their way over to the church, and now attend faithfully.
As it turns out, His Eminence has a history of uniting people together "for the greater good."
Originally a Baptist growing up, Dmitri converted to the Orthodox faith at the tender age of nineteen.
One of his greatest political accomplishments over his seventy year life-span was playing a large role in breaking the Japanese Orthodox church away from Russian rule many years ago.
"We have observed much over the last two decades," explained Muska. "Archbishop Dmitri simply seeks to return this great institution to its roots, free from the controversy that has mired its legacy in recent years."