2 September 2011 • Office of Institutional Advancement
A $50,000 endowed scholarship fund was recently established at St. Vladimir's Seminary in honor of Peter A. Herbut, M.D., and Margaret Fetsko Herbut, R.N., by their daughter, Paula Herbut. The fund is intended to assist students at St. Vladimir's who are studying to be priests in the Orthodox Church in the United States or Canada and have financial need. Additional criteria for the scholarships are intellectual curiosity, academic achievement, and compassion for others.
Dr. Herbut (+ 1976) was an internationally recognized pathologist who was appointed president of Jefferson Medical College and Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1966, and then obtained university status three years later and expanded the institution to create Thomas Jefferson University. Prior to his presidency, he wrote four pathology textbooks that were widely used in the United States and translated for use in other countries, and published more than 100 scientific articles, a number of these based on his cancer research. He chaired Jefferson's pathology department and directed its clinical laboratories for many years, and taught Jefferson medical students for more than two and a half decades. During his tenure as the university's first president until his death in office, he led the university and hospital to unprecedented growth in buildings, programs, and degrees.
He was appointed a trustee of St. Vladimir's in 1974, and planned to use his organizational skills for the church after his retirement. In a telegram to Mrs. Herbut following his death, Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann (Dean of St. Vladimir's from 1962 to 1983) wrote: "He inspired all of us with the seriousness of his concern for theological education, his commitment to the church, the depth of his vision...His death is a great loss for the whole church, and for our school."
Mrs. Herbut (+ 2003) was a leader in volunteer fund raising for Jefferson Hospital and for medical and nursing scholarships for many years until her death, and was known for her common sense and kindness to people. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, she met her future husband when she was a nurse at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital after earning her R.N. from its School of Nursing and he was an intern at the hospital after earning his M.D. from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
A native of Canada, Dr. Herbut was born on a pioneer farm in Edson, Alberta, to parents of Russian descent and language who immigrated first to Pennsylvania and then to Alberta from Galicia (now Poland); his father, Andrew Herbut, was instrumental in establishing four Orthodox churches in Pennsylvania and Alberta. Dr. Herbut's presidential papers are housed at Jefferson; throughout are themes of optimism, compassion, and hard work.
View a complete listing of all SVOTS scholarships here.