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ALLENTOWN, PENN (SZS) On Saturday, January 28, 2017, Bishop Wilma S. Kucharek represented the Slovak Zion Synod at the Annual Scholarship Luncheon at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. Bishop Kucharek was present for the winter meeting of the Muhlenberg College Board of Trustees which preceded the luncheon. Muhlenberg student Jacob Shelor was the 2016-2017 recipient of a Slovak Zion Synod scholarship. The scholarship luncheon is an annual opportunity for scholarship recipients and sponsors of scholarships at Muhlenberg College to meet each other; such financial aid makes higher education more attainable to students in an age of skyrocketing tuition costs. Muhlenberg College president John I. Williams, Jr. was among those addressing the gathering, raising up the significance of these scholarships and thanking all those who have made this possible, citing that this aid makes possible a higher education for those who will become the future leaders of our society.

Jacob is a 4th year (graduating class of 2017) student majoring in Anthropology and Computer Science at Muhlenberg and is deeply involved in religious life in the campus chapel. He has enjoyed his time at Muhlenberg and deeply appreciates the passion he sees in his classmates there, for both their studies and their community. Jacob has had fond experiences at Lutheran camp, and has ambitions of committing his time and his efforts to volunteer work in various communities throughout the United States and beyond, through organizations such as AmeriCorps and Peace Corps. He looks forward to doing his part in creating a community of peace and curiosity beyond these campus grounds. Ultimately, Jacob will attend Lutheran Seminary, still discerning between the ELCA schools of Theology in Gettysburg, Chicago, and South Carolina (LTSS).

With gratefulness for the financial assistance this grant has provided him, Jacob had the following words to share with our people: “Many students, including myself, would not have the means to enlarge our views of the world through higher education while also learning to look introspectively at ourselves…. This scholarship will enable me to work toward my life’s goal of [attending] Lutheran Seminary while fostering a community of peace and understanding around me. I thank you for the opportunity to pursue knowledge in all its forms and I appreciate your continued support.”

Muhlenberg College is an affiliated college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bishop Kucharek has served on the Board of Trustees at Muhlenberg College since her election as bishop in 2002; the Bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod, a sponsoring synod of Muhlenberg College, is a member of the board as per the college constitution.