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Scholarship honors Bishop Cummins

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placeholder June 24, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
Scholarship honors Bishop Cummins

Beginning in fall 2014, students from Asian countries — especially Mongolia, East Timor and Nepal — will be able to attend the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University as recipients of scholarships from the John S. Cummins Endowed Scholarship Fund.

A longtime benefactor and board member of the Berkeley-based school has helped launch a $230,000 endowed scholarship fund for the Berkeley-based school, in honor of the bishop emeritus of Oakland.

Thomas E. Bertelsen Jr., who serves as chairman of the board, is an alumnus of the school, which he attended after retiring from a successful career as an investment banker. Other board members and friends of the school have also contributed to the fund, which will be invested to provide scholarships.

"We are grateful to Tom Bertelsen and the other donors for helping open wider the doors of JST to theology scholars around the world," said the Rev. Michael Engh, SJ, president of Santa Clara University. "This is true to the Jesuit Catholic spirit of advancing the mission of the Church, wherever the need is greatest."

Bishop Cummins devoted 25 years of his life to helping the Catholic Church in some of the least advantaged parts of Asia, where he served as a "fraternal delegate" to the General Assemblies of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences.

"Bishop Cummins has seen the need for top Asian theologians and pastoral ministers to receive advanced theological teaching despite economic obstacles," said the Rev. Thomas Massaro, SJ, dean of JST. "This generous gift honors and advances that dedication."

The bishop emeritus began his relationship with the Jesuit School of Theology in 1962, when he became chancellor of the Diocese of Oakland and was made liaison to the three Catholic theological schools that were part of the Graduate Theological Union. He served on the board of directors of JST for 10 years, and will step down this month.

"Bishop Cummins has been a longtime supporter of JST and other schools in the Graduate Theological Union," Bertelsen said. "I am happy that this fund will support worthy students from around the world who share his values."

Those wishing to learn more about the scholarship or wanting to make a gift to the endowment in honor of Bishop Cummins can contact Kristin Aswell at the Jesuit School of Theology at 510-549-5041 or at kaswell@jstb.edu.

 
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