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Bethlehem University Foundation Awards

The Pio Cardinal Laghi Founders Award for Outstanding Support to Bethlehem University

The Pio Cardinal Laghi Founders Award for Outstanding Support to Bethlehem University is presented to a charitable organization that has contributed greatly to the Bethlehem University Foundation in its work of supporting Bethlehem University.

Archbishop Laghi was instrumental in the creation and formation of Bethlehem University and is recognized by the University as one of the primary founders. Recipients of this award are recognized for carrying on this legacy of outstanding support to Bethlehem University.

The award is presented annually by resolution of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation. Its recipients thus far are:

In 2018 the Bethlehem Association Scholarship Fund for its continued generosity in scholarship gifts to the Bethlehem University Foundation.
In 2017 the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem for the 1.5 million dollar gift to underwrite the new John Patrick Cardinal Foley Hall to house the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences at Bethlehem University.

Learn More about His Eminence Pio Cardinal Laghi

Pio Cardinal Laghi was born in Castiglione di Forli, Romagna, Italy, on 21 May 1922. He was ordained to the priesthood on 20 April 1946 and obtained doctorates in theology (1947) and canon law (1950) from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

On 24 May 1969, Blessed Pope Paul VI appointed Monsignor Pio Laghi to serve as Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine. Monsignor Laghi was consecrated an Archbishop on 22 June of the year.

During his five years in Jerusalem, Archbishop Laghi was instrumental in the creation and formation of Bethlehem University and is recognized by the University as one of its primary founders. Archbishop Laghi served as the University’s first Chancellor from 1973-1974. 

From Jerusalem, Archbishop Laghi was named Nuncio to Argentina on 27 April 1974.

Pope Saint John Paul II appointed Archbishop Laghi Apostolic Delegate to the United States on 10 December 1980, and on 26 March 1984, he was appointed the first Pro-Nuncio to the United States.

On 6 April 1990, Pope Saint John Paul II appointed Archbishop Laghi Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and created him Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria Auxiliatrice in via Tuscolana in the consistory of 28 June 1991. On 1 July 1991, Cardinal Laghi was promoted to Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Cardinal Laghi headed the Congregation for Catholic Education until his resignation on 15 November 1999, and from 1999 to 2001 was the Cardinal Protodeacon. On his 80th birthday, 21 May 2002, he became ineligible to vote in a papal conclave but continued to undertake special missions for his friend Pope Saint John Paul II.

In 2000, Cardinal Laghi was awarded the F. Sadlier Dinger Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the ministry of religious education in the United States of America.

Pio Cardinal Laghi died in Rome on 11 January 2009, at the age of 86.

The Archbishop Pietro Sambi “Star of Bethlehem" Award for Services to the Bethlehem University Foundation

The Archbishop Pietro Sambi “Star of Bethlehem" Award for Services to the Bethlehem University Foundation is presented to an individual who, by giving generously of their time and/or talent, has been of particular service to the Bethlehem University Foundation in its ministry of supporting Bethlehem University.

During his tenure as Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine, Archbishop Sambi served as Chancellor of Bethlehem University. Archbishop Sambi always referred to Bethlehem University as “The real Star of Bethlehem." Recipients of this award carry on his legacy by assisting the Bethlehem University Foundation in its sole mission of supporting and promoting Bethlehem University.

The award is presented annually by resolution of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation. Its recipients thus far are:

In 2018 Mr. John Steger for creating the Brother Vincent Malham Faculty Recognition Award Endowment and for nine years of service as a member and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation. 
In 2017 Mr. William Doty for outstanding service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation.

Learn More about the Most Reverend Pietro Sambi

The Most Reverend Pietro Sambi was born in Sogliano al Rubicone (Forli-Cesena), Italy, on 27 June 1938.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro on 14 March 1964, and began work in the diplomatic service of the Secretariat of State in 1969. He was transferred to the Apostolic Nunciature in Jerusalem on 19 July 1971.

On 10 October 1985, Monsignor Sambi was named the Pro-Nuncio to Burundi by Pope Saint John Paul II, and was consecrated titular Archbishop of Bellicastrum on 9 November 1985. In 1991 he was named the Pro-Nuncio to Indonesia, and in 1998 was named Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine.

During his tenure as Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine, Archbishop Sambi served as Chancellor of Bethlehem University. He was a frequent visitor to campus and would celebrate the Mass of Midnight for Christmas at the University’s Chapel of the Divine Child. Archbishop Sambi always referred to Bethlehem University as “The real Star of Bethlehem."

A tireless advocate for peace, Archbishop Sambi worked to improve a number of issues including access to holy sites, Christian-Jewish-Muslim dialogue, the Israeli-Palestinian talks, and the ability of Arab Israeli Catholic priests to serve with more ease in Israel. Archbishop Sambi was an outspoken critic of the building of the wall that separates Israel from Palestine, calling it, “a shame to humanity," further stating “This region requires bridges, not walls."

Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Sambi as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States on December 17, 2005. During Pope Benedict’s April 2008 visit to the United States, Archbishop Sambi accompanied the Pope and hosted him at the Apostolic Nunciature.

In 2007, Archbishop Sambi spoke at a convention of the National Catholic Educational Association, praising teachers in Catholic schools. During the 10th anniversary observance in 2009 of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, the Archbishop told the Washington audience that charitable love and mutual respect were paramount, just as it was during the founding of the Church and in other earlier times, for any hope of progress in ecumenical relations and to remain faithful to Christ’s expectations of his disciples regarding their treatment of one another.

Archbishop Sambi died as Nuncio to the United States, in Baltimore on 27 July 2011.

Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is presented with the Pio Cardinal Laghi Founders Award for Outstanding Support to Bethlehem University

Mr. William Doty is presented with The Archbishop Pietro Sambi 'Star of Bethlehem' Award for Services to the Bethlehem University Foundation