Planned Giving Society


Members of the Planned Giving Society are those who have chosen to leave a lasting legacy at the seminary by supporting St. Nersess through their estate plans. These gifts will ensure that the mission of the seminary and the work of the Armenian Church continues well after we have departed this earth to receive our heavenly reward. 

Gift arrangements can be made in a variety of ways, including: wills, gift annuities, or life insurance policies. Members of the Society are listed each year in the seminary’s Annual Report.

Join the Planned Giving Society today by calling the seminary and sharing your intention to leave St. Nersess in your estate plans.

​For more information on the Planned Giving Society, call the seminary at (914) 273-0200 or email

Founder, Dr. Lucy Balian Rorke-Adams

For Dr. Lucy Balian Rorke-Adams, making a planned gift to St. Nersess Armenian Seminary is more than just a financial investment; it is an opportunity to thank the Lord for all her life blessings and ensure St. Nersess Armenian Seminary will continue to train men for service in the Armenian Church for years to come.

At 92 years young, Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams recognizes her own mortality. Her parents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide a hundred years ago. Her father, Aram Balian, a native of Kayseri, Turkey, worked on the Berlin-Baghdad railroad and was forewarned by a German engineer of Turkey’s plan to kill the Armenians. He took this information and moved with his siblings to America prior to 1915 and settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her mother, Karzouhy Ousdigian, who was born in Trebizond, was not as lucky. She survived the death march into Syria and was saved by a Turkish family because of her skills as a seamstress. After World War I, Karzouhy reunited with her two lost sisters and brother in Constantinople. Through her job at the Near East Relief, a friend put her in contact with her future husband, Aram, and she traveled to Ellis Island with her siblings where she married in 1921 and then settled in Minneapolis.

Since there was no Armenian Church in the Twin Cities area during her childhood, Dr. Rorke-Adams and her family attended a Baptist Church where she worshiped, sang in the choir, and attended Sunday School and bible classes. Her parents emphasized education, discipline, and service to the church and community, always placing a high importance on the gift of life and how it should count for something of value in society. These wise teachings led her to practice medicine for 58 years, recently retiring as a senior pediatric neuropathologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a clinical professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I have had a good life and want to repay God and give back to the Armenian Church,” commented Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams. “My parents were both devout Christians and attended the Armenian Church before the Armenian Genocide. I decided to donate to St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and establish a Chair in Theology in memory of and honor of my parents. I am doing this to perpetuate the training of Armenian men to become priests…and to continue the legacy of the church.”

To honor Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams and to show appreciation of her planned gift through her will, St. Nersess Seminary has established a Planned Giving Society in which she is named as its founder. Dr. Lucy encourages others to remember the seminary in their will. “I would like to leave a legacy that perpetuates progress. I hope my story will inspire others to do the same,” exclaims Rorke-Adams.

We are thankful for the following estates and trusts who have included St. Nersess Armenian Seminary as the beneficiary:

Dr. Lucy Balian Rorke-Adams (Founder)
Estate of Elizabeth Aktarian
Estate of Ramela Carman
Estate of Rose Eliazarian
Krikor Ermonian Revocable Trust
Estate of Araxi Gamgochian
Estate of Gerald Guregian
Celia Handigian Trust
Estate of Mary Juskalian
Estate of John C. Kacharian
Estate of Grace Moroukian
Elizabeth A. Oldham Trust
Estate of Frances Poloshian
Mary R. Tarakajian Trust
Estate of Berjoohie Zakarian

The following bequests are held at the Armenian Church Endowment Fund (ACEF), with St. Nersess as the beneficiary:

Michael Haratunian 
Kay Armen Manoogian and Claire Manoogian Endowment Fund
Arthur Dadian Memorial Fund
Hachadoorian-Sabonjian Memorial Fund
Kosrof G. Khoubeserian Memorial Fund
Beatrice Mamourian Memorial Fund
Esther K. Parseghian Memorial Fund
Vartan G. Telian Endowment Fund
Kora Zadigian Memorial Fund
Miss Araxie Zakian Endowment Fund