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John Schlageter Concludes Service as Executive Director Of Bethlehem University Foundation


The Board of Directors of the Bethlehem University Foundation has announced that John Schlageter, Executive Director of the Foundation since 2016 has concluded his service to the Foundation. In announcing John’s departure, Board Chair Sister Irene O’Neill, CSJ, Ed.D thanked John and expressed the Board’s appreciation for his tenure. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, I want to express our gratitude to John Schlageter for his faithful service to the Foundation and for his efforts to enable Bethlehem University to carry out its mission of service in Palestine,” said O’Neill.

An attorney by trade, John Schlageter was nominated and confirmed to the Board of Directors of the Foundation in 2014. When nominated, he was serving as General Counsel of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and brought his expertise in nonprofit governance to the Board. Following a 4-month review of the operations of the Foundation which John spearheaded, in early 2016, the Board of Directors appointed John to a five-year term to serve as the Foundation’s first Executive Director. With the term about to come to an end, John has decided to step away as Executive Director, but will continue to work with the Board of Directors to ensure a smooth transition.  John plans to focus on his law and consulting practice.

Over the past five years, John revitalized the Foundation, transforming it into the well-recognized and self-governed institution that it is today. Under John’s leadership, fundraising income increased significantly.

To grow the assets of the Foundation’s investment portfolio, in late 2016 John created the Patrons of the Bethlehem University Foundation. The Patrons are an invested giving society committed to growing the investment portfolio of the Foundation by their contributions to the Patrons Endowed Fund.

Among his many achievements, John connected the work of the Foundation to the Vatican’s mission of supporting the people of Palestine. He was able to secure the hosting of the Foundation’s annual Patrons Reception at the Residence of the Holy See (Vatican Ambassador’s home) to the United Nations in New York and the Annual Awards Reception at the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Washington, D.C.

Throughout his tenure, Schlageter used his legal background to improve the corporate structure and governance of the Foundation. During that time, the Foundation doubled the number of elected members of the Board, reviewed and amended its Bylaws, and improved its financial reporting, as well as initiated and funded new endowments for the benefit of Bethlehem University and its students.

A Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, John viewed his time at the Foundation as fulfilling his oath as a Knight to support the community in the Holy Land. John united the work of the Order to the Foundation’s ministry of supporting Bethlehem University. During the past five years, John was a frequent speaker at Holy Sepulchre Investiture weekends around the country. As a result of John’s work, a number of the North American Lieutenancies of the Order have created named endowed funds at the Foundation. Each fund provides perpetual support to a program or project at Bethlehem University in the name of the Knights and Dames of the Order.

John is able to be reached at or by sending a note to the Foundation at PO Box 355, Beltsville, MD 20782.