Admirer Bequeaths $1 Million for Scholarships

By Mike McAlpin

Robert W. Summers

Students considering careers in the health science and journalism fields who need help paying for college have a new scholarship fund to apply to for assistance. On Nov. 6, the College celebrated a $1 million scholarship endowment from the estate of Robert W. Summers.

At the ceremony in Brousseau Hall, Brother President Ronald Gallagher said the bequest reflects the high esteem Mr. Summers had for Saint Mary’s.

"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,” he said.

Mr. Summers, who died in 2007, was not an alumnus, nor Catholic; but he learned about SMC from his close friend Jerry Fitzpatrick ’41, who died in 2008, and admired its traditions and values.

"Helping deserving students at Saint Mary’s College continue their education was extremely important to him,” said Linda Fitzpatrick, trustee for Mr. Summers’ estate and the daughter-in-law of Jerry Fitzpatrick. "He was very generous. The endowment is in keeping with his concern for young people.”

A former corporate director of public affairs for Chevron, Mr. Summers appreciated students pursuing careers in journalism and public relations. Fitzpatrick said that he also thought highly of those pursuing health science and medicine careers because of the care his late sister, Beverly Summers, received in various hospitals. In honor of Mr. Summers and his sister, the scholarship fund is named the Robert W. Summers and Beverly Jean Summers Endowment Fund.

"Planned giving donors like Mr. Summers play a vital role in helping the College inspire thoughtful, educated leaders,” said Keith Brant, vice president for development.

A portrait of Mr. Summers, which was unveiled at the ceremony, hangs in the Brousseau Hall lobby.

To learn more about supporting the College through your estate, please contact Trina Planchon, planned giving officer, at (925) 631-4218.