At the annual Founders’ Day Honors Convocation, Saint Vincent College president Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., awarded honorary doctorates of humane letters to Roman Verostko, C’55, S’59, and Abbot Wolfgang Hagl, O.S.B.
Abbot Wolfgang has served as the abbot of the Benedictine abbey of St. Michael in Metten, Bavaria, since 1989. St. Michael’s is also the mother abbey of Saint Vincent and from where Saint Vincent founder Boniface Wimmer came to establish the first Benedictine monastery in North America.
“As we conclude the celebration of our 175th year – the demi-semi-sept-centennial – it is most appropriate that Abbot Wolfgang is present here with us today to receive this honor,” said Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., College president. “Abbot Wolfgang’s presence represents the strength of our connection not only to our founder, but to the 1500-year-old Benedictine tradition that has sustained this community and so many others around the world.”
Abbot Wolfgang had made many contributions to the cultural life of the abbey in Metten. In 2012, for his efforts, he received the Federal Cross of Merit Award for his preservation of Metten Abbey and his cultural commitment to it, which included the establishment of concerts, lecture series on current affairs and other enriching experiences in the Metten Monastery. Most recently, he was presented with the Ehrensburger Award, which made him an honorary citizen of the town of Metten. The town’s highest award, Abbot Wolfgang is only the 13th person to receive this award and the first since 1999.
Also the speaker for this year’s Founders’ Day Honors Convocation, Abbot Wolfgang expressed his appreciation for receiving the degree during his address.
“My heart rejoices with gratitude,” Abbot Wolfgang said, after being presented with the degree. “For me, this is an overwhelming moment, and I’d truly like to express…a sincere gratitude for this honor and distinction.”
Abbot Wolfgang has been the longest-serving abbot of the Bavarian Benedictine congregation and continues to lead the Abbey in Metten.
Verostko is a Saint Vincent College and Seminary graduate and internationally recognized artist, educator and humanist. He studied illustration at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh before pursuing a monastic life, and later studied art history and studio practice at NYU and Columbia University. In 1961 he earned a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute.
Verostko has served as an editor for the Art and Architecture sections of the New Catholic Encyclopedia and in 1968 left the monastery to serve as a faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, now a Professor Emeritus. It was in 1970 that he experienced and began to understand programming language and algorithms. Within a decade, he developed a “pen plotter” machine, becoming a transformative figure in the world of digital art. This machine was originally used for engineering and architecture but redeveloped, it became a standard in Verostko’s algorithmic art.
Of Verostko’s impact, Father Paul offered; “Roman’s work pushes us to see the world, in its immense complexity, as worthy of our attention, investigation and reverence. Roman represents the best of what a liberal arts education offers. We recognize these outstanding accomplishments and the lasting impact of [Roman’s] contributions to art, humanity and Saint Vincent.”
Additionally, Verostko has appeared in more than 100 exhibitions, has published 22 articles encompassing various art topics and was most recently inducted into the inaugural class of the SIGGRAPH Academy in 2018. The Verostko Center for the Arts (VCA), officially dedicated on Nov. 17 and named after Verostko, houses the largest collection of his work.
Photo 1: Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., Roman Verostko, Abbot Wolfgang Hagl, O.S.B., Archabbot Martin de Porres Bartel, O.S.B., and Father Philip Kanfush, O.S.B.
Photo 2: Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., Abbot Wolfgang Hagl, O.S.B., and Father Philip Kanfush, O.S.B.
Photo 3: Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., Roman Verostko, and Father Philip Kanfush, O.S.B.