Community
    Father Columba Stewart Receives Honorary Degree Impact Banner

    Father Columba Stewart Receives Honorary Degree

    Father Columba Stewart, O.S.B., executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University, received an honorary degree from The University of Scranton at its Fall Lecture in the Humanities, which was held on campus Oct. 21. From left: Gretchen J. Van Dyke, Ph.D., associate professor of political science; Father Stewart; Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president; and Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.
    October 26, 2021

    Father Columba Stewart, O.S.B., executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at St. John’s University, received an honorary degree from The University of Scranton at its Fall Lecture in the Humanities held on campus on Oct. 21.

    “A Benedictine monk like no other, Father Columba Stewart has traveled to some of the world’s most dangerous places and used state-of-the-art digital technology to preserve early Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by destruction from weather, theft, unrest and wars,” read the honorary degree citation presented to Father Stewart. “Through efforts led by Father Stewart, the precious lessons contained in early religious texts are now preserved and can be widely shared for generations to come.”

    Father Stewart served as the principal speaker at the lecture at which he presented “Recovering the voices of our ancestors: preserving the world’s endangered manuscript heritage.”

    Father Stewart was named HMML’s sixth executive director in 2003. In that role, he travels extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and South Asia cultivating relationships with communities possessing manuscript collections from the early medieval to early modern periods. HMML has photographed tens of thousands of manuscripts in many of the world’s most dangerous and difficult-to-reach places and given priority to preserving the manuscript collections of persecuted or endangered minorities.

    Under his leadership, HMML was awarded the 2011 National Medal of Honor from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the highest award a library can receive in the United States. Father Stewart was named by the NEH as the 2019 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities, the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

    Participating in the Oct. 21 event were Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton; Christian Krokus, Ph.D., associate professor of theology and religious studies; Gretchen J. Van Dyke, Ph.D., associate professor of political science; Rev. Patrick Rogers, S.J., executive director of the University’s Jesuit Center; and Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Scranton.

    • alt placeholder
    • alt placeholder
    • alt placeholder
    • alt placeholder
    • alt placeholder
    Back to Top