May 2013

New Scholarship Honoring Bishop Emeritus Cummins Established at Jesuit School of Theology

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 16, 2013  — A longtime benefactor and board member of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University has helped launch a $230,000 endowed scholarship fund for the Berkeley-based school,  in honor of Oakland Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins.
The initial donor is Thomas E. Bertelsen, Jr., chairman of the board of JST, and also an alumnus of the school, which he attended after retiring from a successful career as an investment banker. Other board members and friends JST have also contributed to the fund.
The donations have created the John S. Cummins Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will be invested to provide scholarships for students from Asian countries – especially Mongolia, East Timor and Nepal — to attend JST. The first scholarship is expected to be awarded in the fall of 2014. 
“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 Michael Engh, S.J., 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  Thomas Massaro, S.J., dean of JST.  “This generous gift honors and advances that dedication.”
Bishop Cummins 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 ten years, and will step down in June.
“Bishop Cummins has been a longtime supporter of JST and other schools in the Graduate Theological Union,” said Bertelsen. “I am happy that this fund will support worthy students from around the world who share his values.”
The purpose of The Bishop John S. Cummins Endowed Scholarship Fund is to provide financial aid to students at the Jesuit School of Theology.  In allocating funds for these scholarships, preference will be given to qualified students from Asia, including Mongolia, East Timor and Nepal. The students who will be selected must exemplify the ideals and best tradition of Santa Clara.
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
About the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
The Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, located in Berkeley, California, is a preeminent international center for the culturally contextualized study of theology. Its mission is to inspire and prepare men and women to become leaders in the Church, academy, and society, serving others through a faith that does justice. Rooted in Ignatian spirituality, JST educates and trains Jesuits, religious, ordained, and lay students from across the United States and from 40 other countries for lives dedicated to ministry and scholarship.
Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121
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