The Australian Catholic University this week conferred an Honorary Doctorate on Coptic Orthodox Bishop Suriel, the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne announced.
Bishop Suriel, the Chancellor and Dean of Melbourne's St Athanasius College, was selected to receive the Honorary Doctorate Award at the ACU 2017 Spring Graduation Ceremony, given his ongoing and outstanding service to the community.
The graduation was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday where Bishop Suriel was publicly recognised for his many and significant educational and pastoral contributions to society. This has been particularly demonstrated by way of his influential leadership in the education of Christian Orthodox communities, in growing a Christian church within Australia and by building strong relationships of support with the Catholic Church and its communities.
Bishop Suriel said he was humbled to receive the award from the ACU community and he delivered an address to the ACU graduates present, espousing the importance of inquiring minds, ongoing learning, and self development.
“Education is never ending, it is a continuum from birth to grave. I really hope that for many of you graduating today, that this is only the beginning of a fascinating journey of your life. I also hope that it is an educational journey where you will continue to grow, not (holding) knowledge for the sake of it, but in order to enrich your lives and, most importantly, that of others and to be an inspiration to them.”
In the public address, Bishop Suriel also referenced a modern Coptic saint, Habib Girgis, who dedicated his life to creating, progressing and imparting quality religious education and theological programs in the Coptic Church of Egypt. The Coptic bishop encouraged all to emulate the courage and tenacity of Habib in living a legacy of love.
“I urge you not to take the easy path and give up, but let this story of Habib Girgis be an inspiration for you today. Will you have this passion and resilience in what you do in the future? This is what makes great women and men, people of stature, people of significance, people that will impact society and the world."
Australian Coptic Leader Receives an Honorary Doctorate from Australian Catholic University (Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne)
ACU awards three outstanding citizens with honorary doctorates (Melbourne Catholic)