Gael Gratitude: A New Scholarship for Underserved Students

B.J. and Bebe Cassin

Saint Mary’s College has benefited from volunteer leaders over its 155-year history. Now, two former chairs of the Board of Trustees have partnered to establish the Cristo Rey San Jose Annual Scholarship. B.J. Cassin, honorary alumnus, and his wife Bebe, and Nick ’63 and JoAnne Moore have committed a combined $800,000 to support graduates of Cristo Rey San Jose High School who attend Saint Mary’s.

Educating the underserved was at the heart of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s vision in the 17th Century. We have followed the teachings of the Christian Brothers since our founding in 1863. The mission of Cristo Rey San Jose High School and Saint Mary’s are ideally aligned. Cristo Rey is a Catholic high school dedicated to underserved communities who value a lifelong pursuit of learning, faith, and justice.

Up to ten scholarships will be available for each of the next four years. The Cristo Rey San Jose Annual Scholarship will provide approximately $20,000 per student for each of their four years at Saint Mary’s to cover their tuition, housing, and expenses not covered by their Saint Mary’s financial aid package. This will greatly reduce the students’ financial concerns and enable them to take advantage of the numerous activities, internships, and community-building opportunities offered on campus. 

B.J. Cassin and Nick Moore both currently serve on the Cristo Rey San Jose School’s Board of Directors and as members of the College’s Brother Jerome West Leadership Council.

B.J. is a Trustee Emeritus, having served on the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2003 and as chair from 1995 to 1999. Prior to that he served on the Board of Regents for four years. Two of the Cassins’ five children are Saint Mary’s alumni. B.J. has been a venture capitalist for nearly 30 years and serves on several boards supporting Catholic activities.

He and his family have been involved in the replication of the Cristo Rey High School and San Miguel/Nativity Middle School models. These schools serve only economically disadvantaged students. Today, there are 32 Cristo Rey high schools and 60 Nativity/Miguel middle schools nationally serving more than 20,000 students. The Cristo Rey high schools provide a corporate work-study program with real world experience in addition to rigorous academic and spiritual preparation. The Christian Brothers are sponsoring three Cristo Rey schools in Portland, Tucson, and Oakland.

Nick and JoAnne MooreNick Moore is also a Saint Mary’s Trustee Emeritus, having served on the Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2006 and as chair from 2003 to 2005. Prior to that, he served on the Board of Regents and School of Economics and Business Administration Advisory Board. One of the Moores’ four children attended Saint Mary’s, as did his brother and many uncles and cousins. Nick is the retired global chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers and serves on several corporate boards. San Francisco Business Times named him a Lifetime Achievement honoree at the Outstanding Director Awards in 2015.

President James Donahue says, “We are so thankful to the Cassin and Moore families for their generosity and vision in extending our remarkable education to Cristo Rey San Jose High School graduates. We look forward to steering the students through college life and launching them into the world as entrepreneurs, volunteers, and leaders. We are grateful for B.J. and Nick’s shared appreciation of Saint Mary’s College.”