May 11, 2023


Three extraordinary individuals will receive honorary doctorates on May 20 at the Commencement exercises of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. Their very different but equally impressive accomplishments are deserving of this special recognition and the gratitude not only of the institution but of all Greek Orthodox Christians in America.


For the very first time, HCHC is presenting a joint honorary degree to two people, Charles and Constance (Connie) Cotros, who have been partners in life for more than sixty years and partners in philanthropy for almost as long. Throughout his career as an immensely successful executive in the food industry, Charles never put work ahead of family and faith. It is those priorities that have guided the Cotroses’ giving at every level, from the parish in Memphis where they met as children to the entire Archdiocese. They have demonstrated their steadfast commitment to the success and financial strength of this institution with major gifts through multiple channels, including Leadership 100, of which Charles has served as Chairman. Thanks in large part to the Cotroses’ unstinting generosity, HCHC is on a more secure footing than at any time in its history. 


Over the course of his long, distinguished career, Dr. Patsavos, Professor of Canon Law emeritus at Holy Cross, has been recognized internationally as a leading authority on canon law. He currently serves as Vice President of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches, a position first held by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Dr. Patsavos has disseminated his profound knowledge in numerous published works and speaking engagements, and in the classroom, teaching several generations of Holy Cross students with his inimitable combination of keen erudition and personal warmth. In 2021 he was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, a high and rare honor, on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Institute’s Faculty of Canon Law.