VATICAN INSIDER VISITS BETHLEHEM UNIVERSITY

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS BETHLEHEM UNIVERSITY

For the interview segment on this week’s “Vatican Insider,” I feature Part II of my conversation with John Schlageter, executive director of the Bethlehem University Foundation. Hopefully we will bring you on a short visit to the Holy Land, to Palestine and Bethlehem University, one of my favorite places in the Holy Land.

As I wrote last week, John and I have been friends for years, starting when he was a lawyer for the Military Ordinariate of the United States specializing in First Amendment rights. We saw each other recently when I was in Washington, and I asked John to speak of his new position as executive director of the Foundation.

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We talk about Bethlehem University, the Foundation, John’s work and the situation in the Holy Land,oly among many fascinating topics. Part I aired last weekend. If anything can help bring peace to this part of the world, it will be the contribution of Bethlehem University and its amazing students – John and I talk about them throughout our conversation.

Here are some quick facts about BU (from website: https://www.bethlehem.edu/), interspersed with photos from my first visit to the campus. It was at vacation time and there were no students to feature – I’ll just have to go back when classes are in session! My second visit was when I spent the night in May 2014 in a guest apartment at the university before Pope Francis arrived the following morning from Amman, Jordan, to celebrate Mass in Bethlehem.

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Bethlehem University – Founded in October 1973 with 112 students

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Fall 2016 enrollment of 3,290 students:

214 Graduate students (Masters & Higher & Professional Diplomas)

3,076 Undergraduate students (Baccalaureate & Diploma)

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719 Graduates (Acad. year 2015/2016)

Total 16,480 Degrees conferred as of August 2016

Total Number of Graduates: 15,282

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Courses offered in Bethlehem, Qbeibeh near Ramallah and Online

A Jewish settlement seen from the university: I was told that what used to be a thriving olive tree grove serving Palestinians was razed to the ground to create this settlement:

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Bethlehem University Foundation; www.bufusa.org

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