Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College of California has received a $1 million gift for student scholarships in the fields of communications and science from the estate of Robert W. Summers. While Mr. Summers was not an alumnus of the College, he held the schoolâ€™s Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions in great regard.
Brother President Ronald Gallagher said the bequest reflects the high esteem Mr. Summers had for Saint Maryâ€™s College.â€œ He was impressed not only with the great education students receive here, but also the spiritual and social development they derive from our faculty and staff,â€ said Gallagher.
â€œHelping deserving students at Saint Maryâ€™s College continue their education was extremely important to him,â€ said Linda Fitzpatrick, a longtime friend and trustee for Mr. Summersâ€™ estate. â€œHe was very generous. The endowment is in keeping with his concern for young people,â€ said Fitzpatrick.
The $1 million gift will provide scholarship support for students pursuing careers in public relations, journalism and health sciences through an endowment named in honor of Mr. Summers and his sister, Beverly Summers.
School of Science Dean Brian Jersky said the endowment provides talented science students with opportunities to continue their education and pursue medical research. â€œWe have a wonderful science program here and this gift can open doors for exceptional but financially challenged students,â€ said Jersky.
School of Liberal Arts Dean Steve Woolpert said the generous gift is greatly appreciated, especially in these tough economic times. â€œIt will allow talented students with limited resources to gain the knowledge, values, and skills they need to enter the 21st century world of multimedia journalism and public relations,â€ said Woolpert.
The College celebrated the establishment of the Robert W. Summers and Beverly Summers Endowment Fund with a reception and ceremony on Friday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. in the lobby of the science building, Brousseau Hall. Student scholarships from the new endowment fund will be available starting in Spring 2010.
Robert W. Summers was a resident of Blackhawk, Calif. In addition to his role as Corporate Director of Public Affairs of the East Bay for Chevron, Mr. Summers was a former director of protocol for the City of Oakland, a member of the Board of Regents of Holy Names University and a Mount Diablo Hospital Foundation board member. He was a supporter of the Arts of the East Bay, the American Heart Association and the Heart-Lung Institute of the East Bay.
Saint Maryâ€™s College of California was founded in 1863 and is based in Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. The college currently enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. For more than 140 years the College has been guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Churchâ€™s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching.