Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Honoring Excellence: Hernan Alejandro Olano García Appointed as Fellow of the Pontifical Society

By M. Derosiers 

BOGATA 3 July 2024 (NRom)

In honor of a man of remarkable achievements and contributions, HRH Dr. Hernan Alejandro Olano García has been named a Fellow of the Pontifical Society. Prof. Olano's selection as a Fellow follows an early honorary appointment as honorary professor at the Pontifical Georgian College. Additionally, he holds distinguished positions within the academic community, serving as a member of the Superior Council and the Council of the Faculty of the University of La Sabana, as well as being a member of the Academic Council at the University La Gran Colombia.

The Pontifical Society, founded in 1999, is an academic and scientific institution that recognizes and fosters individual achievements across a diverse array of disciplines. Candidates for Fellowship must be nominated by at least two existing Fellows and then undergo an approval process by the Board of Governors. The Society's roster boasts an impressive array of individuals, including royalty, American presidents, international clergy, Olympic athletes, and luminaries from the arts, entertainment, and sciences.

Prof. Olano's appointment as a Fellow of the Pontifical Society is a testament to his exceptional accomplishments and the impact he has had on the world around him. His diverse range of expertise, from academia to civil service, has earned him the respect and admiration of his peers, and this latest recognition solidifies his standing as a true leader and visionary in his chosen pursuits. This appointment not only honors the professor's achievements but also serves as a catalyst for his future endeavors, as he continues to push the boundaries of what is possible and inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

Remembrances of Dr. Chev. John Edgar Endicott, President of Woosong University, Air Force Colonel, and Knight Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle

Personal article by H.H. Bishop Rutherford I of Rome-Ruthenia

3 July 2024


Dr. John Endicott (1936-2024), an old friend and mentor of more than 20 years, died a week and a half ago. And so I will share some personal remembrances of him.

It was a funny way that he and I met. He was Director of the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) at Georgia Tech while I was in graduate school at the Georgia Tech School of Economics. I was walking down the hall of the main liberal arts building when I passed him. He was wearing a three-piece suit with pocket watch -- and it was like I was looking in the mirror. I said "I have one of those," and he smiled and replied "Good!" We kept walking. The next time I was in the building for class, I also was in a three-piece suit with pocket watch. We soon became friends, with common interests ranging from military as brother officers to international culture. You could easily spot either of us around the Georgia Tech campus - suit, tie, and fedora. (I also discovered later that he spoke Russian, which was definitely a point in his favor.)

Col. John Endicott (left) and Bishop Rutherford I (right)
in the president's office at Woosong University

Meanwhile, around the time I was finishing my PhD at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, Endicott had become President of Woosong University and Vice Chancellor of the SolBridge International School of Business in Daejeon, South Korea. He invited me to become a member of the original faculty. He said "You are the first person the new team has decided to hire. So, you will be representing us all and we know you will do absolutely great," so how could I turn it down when he put it like that? I accepted the offer and moved to the Land of the Morning Calm.  

Living in South Korea was a very enjoyable time, and some of my favorite memories include morning coffee regularly in the president's office, he and his wife, Mitsuyo (known to their friends as Mitchie) making pancakes for me at their apartment to go with the maple syrup I brought back as a gift for them from Maine, and going out for miso soup. Endicott and I were also fencing partners. He was rather good with a foil (my preferred blade), and it certainly helped to keep us in shape. He and his wife were also regular participants with the ballroom dance class that I started for faculty, staff, and students on campus (which was part of the recollections he kindly included about me in his memoirs he published several years ago). And, when we founded the St Jude University Chapel, he was one of the regular congregants. In fact, he was often "pressed into service" as the Lector at the liturgy.

Col. Endicott reading the lesson at a liturgy at
the Solbridge International School of Business, with
Bishop Rutherford (then Bishop of the Southwest) to the left.

Endicott and the faculty accomplished quite a lot at Solbridge. One of the most memorable accomplishments was hosting the Limited Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in Northeast Asia conference, which Endicott had founded some years ago. In my role as director of special projects, I helped to organise the event, which hosted government officials and academics from around the world. 

L-R: Col. Endicott, Bishop Rutherford I, and US Ambassador Kelly
at the Limited Nuclear Weapons Free Zone of Northeast Asia
conference held at Solbridge

For a while I was, in addition to my faculty role, effectively Endicott's personal assistant, which was very enjoyable and reminded me of our time back at Georgia Tech. Once I came in late to a meeting of the president's cabinet being held on a particularly hot day, and he was a bit annoyed at me -- until he saw that the reason I was late was that I had been all the way across town at an Italian gelateria that I had recently discovered and brought back gelato for everyone to help combat the oppressive heat. 

Col. Endicott was always proud of his Campbell ancestry,
so he wore his Campbell tartan kilt to culture events
at Solbridge. To keep him company at one of the
 events, I had my royal Stuart kilt shipped to me.

Since we both had long-standing connections to Georgia Tech, one thing I know we were both particularly proud of was establishing the 2+2 dual degree programme between Solbridge and Georgia Tech. He and I, among a number of others, put a lot of work into that effort. Once the programme was set, I ended up teaching mathematics and physics courses in order to help our students meet the requirements for Georgia Tech. That was definitely something I did not expect to be doing as an economics professor! 

Dr. Endicott (back row third from right) and Bishop Johnson (upper left),
along with other key faculty and administrators at the
signing ceremony for the Dual Degree programme
between Georgia Tech and Solbridge

When I left the University (and Korea), the last dinner in Daejeon included my wife and I with John and Michie, as well as the Korean vice-president who had "adopted" me as my "big brother." It was a very pleasant evening, and they presented me with a commendation letter thanking me for my years of service helping to build Solbridge into what it was. (Today Solbridge is a highly ranked international business school, and Woosong university is recognized as a top tier University in Korea.)

John Endicott remains one of the most interesting, distinguished, and memorable people I have ever had the privilege of calling a friend. Unfortunately other obligations prevented me from flying to Georgia for the funeral last week. However, the Divine Liturgy of the Dead will be celebrated here in his memory soon.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

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Celebrating Saints Peter and Paul in the United the Roman-Ruthenian Church

H.H. the Bishop during a solemn
liturgy for St. Paul the Apostle.
By M. Derosiers

ROME-RUTHENIA 30 June 2024 (NRom)

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is a time-honored tradition in the Christian world, commemorating the lives and legacies of two of the most influential apostles of Jesus Christ. For the faithful of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, these feast days hold a special significance, as they represent not only the veneration of these revered saints, but also the spiritual unity and sovereignty of the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia - today a nation without borders serving people of many civil states in the example of Christ. Saints Peter and Paul are the patron saints of His Holiness the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia as the sovereign of the Pontifical Imperial State. On June 29th and 30th, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church celebrated this special event around the globe.

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church is a unique and remarkable entity, blending rich and diverse heritage in a vibrant, dynamic, and ancient expression of Christianity. Through its liturgy, its governance, and its unwavering proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, the Roman-Ruthenian Church stands as a beacon of unity and stability in an often-turbulent world. Its teachings have provided solace, guidance, and inspiration to believers around the world, who have found in its sacraments and traditions a deep well of spiritual nourishment and community.

The Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia and United Roman-Ruthenian Church represent a unique and powerful voice in the world. As a sovereign entity, it carries the weight of centuries of tradition and the moral authority of the Christian Church. Its influence extends far beyond the borders of its own territories, as it serves as a beacon of hope, a champion of justice, and a tireless advocate for the rights and dignity of all people, in part through its special status with the United Nations.

It is this combination of spiritual depth and world significance that makes the celebrations of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in the United Roman-Ruthenian Church so profoundly meaningful. These are both religious observances and a testament to the enduring power of faith, the beauty of cultural exchange, and the transformative power of unity in Christ.