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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 principal founders. Because of his love and support of Bethlehem University, his commitment to Catholic Education, his service to the Universal Church, and his dedication to peace in the Middle East, “The Pio Cardinal Laghi Founders Award or Outstanding Support to Bethlehem University" was created by resolution of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation in 2016. Recipients of this award are recognized for carrying on his 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 2019 the Northwestern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem for its support of the Foundation, especially to the Sir John McGuckin Mentoring and Internship Program, which annually brings students from Bethlehem University to the United States to intern during the summer.
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

On 24 May 1969 Pope Saint 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 tenure as Apostolic Delegate from 1969 until 1974, Archbishop Laghi was instrumental in the creation and formation of Bethlehem University. He is recognized as on the principle founders of Bethlehem University and served as the University’s first Chancellor from 1973 to 1974.

After serving as Apostolic Nuncio to Argentina from 1974 to 1980, Archbishop Laghi was appointed Apostolic Delegate to the United States in December of 1980. In March 1984 he was appointed the first Pro-Nuncio to the United States.

In April 1990, Pope Saint John Paul II appointed Archbishop Laghi Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and in the Consistory of 28 June 1991 created him Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria Auxiliatrice in Via Tuscolana. Cardinal Laghi was Prefect for the Congregation for Catholic Education from 1991 until his retirement on 15 November 1999.

Cardinal Laghi was the Patron of the Order of Malta from 1993 until his death in 2009.

In 2001 and again in 2003, Cardinal Laghi was called to serve as special Papal envoy to deliver personal messages of peace from Pope Saint John Paul II to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the President of the United States. 

His Eminence 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." Described as “a great pastor of the Church and a great missionary of the Gospel," Archbishop Pietro Sambi believed in patient work, the value of dialogue, and that charitable love and mutual respect were paramount to resolve differences. For his tireless work and commitment, “The Archbishop Pietro Sambi ‘Star of Bethlehem’ Award for Services to the Bethlehem University Foundation was created by resolution of the Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation in 2016. 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 2019 the Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas in recognition of his support of Bethlehem University and his support for the endowed scholarship in his name.
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

Pietro Sambi was ordained to the priesthood on 14 March 1964 and began work in the diplomatic service of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State in 1969. He was appointed to the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem on 19 July 1971. In 1985, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi and was consecrated an Archbishop on 9 September 1985. In 1991 he was appointed Nuncio to Indonesia. Archbishop Pietro Sambi was named Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and Apostolic Delegrate to Jerusalem and Palestine in 1998. In 2005, he was named the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. 

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 at Midnight for Christmas in the Chapel of the Divine Child at Bethlehem University. Archbishop Sambi lovingly referred to Bethlehem University as “the real Star of Bethlehem."

A tireless advocate for peace, Archbishop Sambi worked to preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land, to improve access to holy sites, and to facilitate better relations between Palestine and Israel. Archbishop Sambi was an outspoken critic against the building of the wall that separates Bethlehem from East Jerusalem, calling it, “a shame to humanity," further stating, “This region requires bridges, not walls." 

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Pietro Sambi died as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in Baltimore, Maryland on 27 July 2011 at the age of 73.

The Bethlehem Association Scholarship Fund is presented with the Pio Cardinal Laghi Founders Award for Outstanding Support to Bethlehem University in 2018

Mr. John Steger is presented with The Archbishop Pietro Sambi 'Star of Bethlehem' Award for Services to the Bethlehem University Foundation in 2018

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 in 2017

Mr. William Doty is presented with The Archbishop Pietro Sambi 'Star of Bethlehem' Award for Services to the Bethlehem University Foundation in 2017