Group photo

Dean’s Cross

“Our work here at Virginia Theological Seminary is formation,” says the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president, “and this award celebrates the well-formed life, which involves living out the values of the baptismal covenant and making a difference in society.”

Established in November 2008, the Dean’s Cross award 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.


December 12, 2021

  • The Rev. Katharine Babson, D.Min. ’92 from Brunswick, ME
  • Ms. Kerstin McDaniel from Biltmore, NC (posthumously)

December 6, 2020

  • The Class of 2020

December 8, 2019

  • Ms. Naomi Lewis Brooks from Alexandria, VA
  • The Rev. Elbert Ransom, Jr., D.Min. from Lake Ridge, VA

December 9, 2018

  • Mr. David Booth Beers, Esq. from Washington, D.C.
  • Ms. Susan Howatch from Surrey, England (in absentia – the Dean awarded her the Dean’s Cross in London at King’s College on Monday, April 30, 2018)
  • The Rev. Prof. Mark A. McIntosh from Evanston, IL (in absentia – the Dean awarded him the Dean’s Cross in Evanston, IL at St. Luke’s on Sunday, January 6, 2019)

December 3, 2017

  • Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., from Houston, TX
  • Mr. Lonnie Hamilton III from Charleston, SC

January 6, 2017

  • The Rev. Douglas Hiza from London, England
  • Mrs. Joan Hiza from London, England
  • Archbishop Paul Kwong from Hong Kong (in absentia – the Dean awarded him the Dean’s Cross in Hong Kong at St. John’s Cathedral on Sunday, November 13, 2016)
  • Ms. Heather Zdancewicz from Alexandria, VA

December 6, 2015

  • Mrs. Barbara Bush from Houston, TX
  • Mr. Robert E. Frye from Springfield, VA
  • Mr. Stanley B. Hubbard, Jr. from Hendersonville, NC

December 7, 2014

  • Ms. Madeleine Albright from Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Wendell Berry from Port Royal, KY
  • Fr. Jesus Antonio Rojas from Smithfield, NC

December 8, 2013

  • Dr. Eben Alexander III from Lynchburg, VA
  • The Rev. Dr. Canon Michele V. Hagans from Silver Spring, MD

December 9, 2012

  • The Rev. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., D.Min. ’92  from Houston, TX
  • The Ven. Charles B. Tachau from Louisville, KY
  • Ms. Delois Burney Ward from Raleigh, NC

December 11, 2011

  • Mr. Rowan LeCompte from Waynesboro, VA
  • The Rev. Dr. Joseph Walter Lund from Rancho Mirage, CA
  • Ms. Sissy Poland from Martinsburg, WV

December 5, 2010

  • Mr. Alfred Rives Berkeley III from Baltimore, MD
  • Mrs. Muriel Van Dusen Berkeley from Baltimore, MD
  • Mrs. Phoebe W. Griswold from Philadelphia, PA

December 6, 2009

  • The Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish ’83 from Salt Lake City, UT
  • Mr. David R. Pitts from Baton Rouge, LA

February 15, 2009

  • Mrs. Octavia “Tay” Wood Cooper from Ponte Verde, FL
  • The Rev. Canon Harold T. Lewis, Ph.D., D.D., D.C.L., from Pittsburgh, PA