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A $1 million legacy gift by the late Rev. Joseph Kokjohn—a priest who called St. Ambrose University "home" for more than 60 years—will impact student learning for generations to come.
The Rev. Joseph E. Kokjohn Endowment for Catholic Peace and Justice has been established to further the education of St. Ambrose students in the Catholic tradition of peace and social justice. Uses for the endowment's earnings will include teaching, research and activity in such areas as the early church, ecumenical councils, and 20th Century figures and movements in non-violence. As the endowment grows, other appropriate uses could include funding for student research and internships, lectures, seminars, retreats, community workshops and convocations. Eventually, the endowment will support the establishment of the Kokjohn Chair of Catholic Peace and Justice, a faculty position in theology, philosophy or a related discipline.
"Father Kokjohn's generous and thoughtful legacy gift to the university is truly a gift to all future generations of students who will come to St. Ambrose," says Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose. "The University, as a Catholic institution, holds peace and social justice as core values; so too did Father Kokjohn. His endowment enables us to realize these values and our mission more fully."
Born in Fort Madison, Iowa, Kokjohn graduated from St. Ambrose (College) in 1950 and was ordained in 1954. He taught at the St. Ambrose Academy from 1954-1957 and served as registrar for two years. In 1957 Kokjohn joined the faculty of St. Ambrose (College) as a professor of English, eventually appointed vice president in 1964. During his time at St. Ambrose Kokjohn also served as interim president and member of the long range planning committee. In 1975 Kokjohn was assigned to St. Patrick parish, Clinton, Iowa, but returned to St. Ambrose in 1982, where he remained a professor of English until his retirement in 1990. Kokjohn was a longstanding member of the St. Ambrose University President's Club and the Bakrow Heritage Roll of Honor.
For more information on legacy gifts, contact Sally Crino in the Advancement Office at 563/333-6080.