Dean’s Cross Awarded to Three Recipients


Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: 703-461-1782
Email: cprather@vts.edu

Alexandria, VA –
During a special service of Advent Lessons and Carols on December 9, 2012, the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, and Sissy Poland, vice chair of the Board of Trustees at Virginia Theological Seminary, conferred the Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership in Church and Society Award to the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., the Ven. Charles B. Tachau, and Ms. Delois Burney Ward.
The Dean’s Cross award, established in 2008, recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” Selected annually by the Seminary Dean in consultation with the Chair of the Board, the Honorees receive a handmade silver cross, modeled after the Seminary Chapel cross, and a certificate.

"The three recipients are exceptional leaders," said Markham. “The purpose of the Dean's Cross for Servant Leadership in Church and Society is to recognize the well-formed life."

The Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. is the fourth rector of St. Martin’s Church in Houston, Texas. Under his leadership St. Martin’s has experienced considerable growth. Dr. Levenson is a featured speaker and retreat leader and author of numerous articles and two books, Provoking Thought and Preparing Room. His ministry springs from a firm commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and he continues St. Marti’s commitment to an Anglican expression of evangelical, orthodox, and Biblical Christian faith.
The Ven. Charles B. Tachau followed his call to ordained ministry after practicing law for 12 years and following active Army service during World War II. Early in his ordained ministry, he was asked to take charge of a small inner-city mission. His experience at this nearly all black congregation led him to assume a leadership role in a series of civil rights activities, leading to clashes with local authorities and spending time in jail during this turbulent time. He later became the administrative officer of the diocese with the title of Archdeacon. Though retired, he occasionally takes Sunday services throughout the Diocese of Kentucky.
Ms. Delois Burney Ward has a distinguished career in the field of infant mental health, including serving as Coordinator of the Linking Infant Needs with Community Services Program, which began as a demonstration project funded under the Child Abuse Act of 1975. She later served as adjunct professor teaching in the field of child development. She currently works with pre-school-aged autistic toddlers in the Wake County Public School system. She has also faithfully served the Church in a variety of ways including serving on the board of Kanuga Conferences, Inc. and on the Diocesan Commission of Ministry in the Diocese of North Carolina
Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 42 different dioceses and 5 different countries, for service in the Church.