Breaking News! LTSP and Diakon receive more than $14 million bequest
Bequest will be split evenly between organizations
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) today, March 11, 2015, jointly announced the receipt of a more than $14.5 million bequest that will be split evenly between the two organizations.
The bequests of over $7.2 million to each organization were made by the late Helen Nicholson Palmer of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, who passed away in December 2012. Her husband, Frank R. Palmer, who died in 1992, was the former president and CEO of Carpenter Technology Corp., also of Wyomissing.
“Mrs. Palmer’s concern that our congregational leaders receive the best training possible is inspiring,” said the Rev. Dr. David J. Lose, president of the seminary. “Her gift will make an incredible difference to men and women preparing for ministry and to the congregations they will serve.”
“We are deeply grateful for this bequest and for the forethought Mrs. Palmer exhibited in making such a generous contribution to our services,” said Mark T. Pile, Diakon president/CEO. “She had a lifelong commitment to The Lutheran Home at Topton, evident in her unwavering attendance at Topton board meetings.”
The gift to LTSP will be dedicated to completing several improvement projects that had been deferred because of finances and to providing support to the academic and scholarship programs of the school. “Seminaries across the country have been struggling to cope with massive changes in the church and culture,” said Lose. “Mrs. Palmer’s gift will allow LTSP the opportunity to reorganize and re-energize itself to prepare leaders for Christ’s church in a way that is both culturally relevant and financially sustainable.”
Some of the funds received by Diakon will be used to support the delivery of a wide range of services for children and families. “This use will certainly be in keeping with the interests of Mrs. Palmer,” Pile said.
A portion of the gift to Diakon may also be dedicated as seed money for eventual refurbishment of the Old Main building on The Lutheran Home at Topton campus for use as a “permanency center” related to adoption and foster care, Pile added. “Again, this use would correspond extremely well with Helen Palmer’s interests in both children and The Lutheran Home.”
A graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts and member of Atonement Lutheran Church in Wyomissing, Mrs. Palmer was a volunteer with the United Way of Berks County and Reading Hospital, as well as an active member of the Reading Hospital Auxiliary Board. She also was a former president of the Junior League of Reading and the board of managers of the former Home for Widows and Single Women. She founded the Wellesley College Club of Reading in 1961.
More about the Palmer bequest and LTSP will be in the April PS Portions.