On July 31, 2012, Rev. Cornelius M. Buckley, S.J., will mark the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. To celebrate his golden jubilee and to honor his life of service, Fr. Buckley’s family and friends are establishing a scholarship fund  in his name at Thomas Aquinas College, and on March 14, 2012, the College hosted a reception  in his home city of San Francisco(video).
Fr. Buckley has served with distinction at the College since 2004 as head chaplain and assistant to the dean for religious affairs. In recognition of his abiding love for young people and his care for them, contributions to the Fr. Buckley Scholarship Fund will be distributed annually to qualified students of Thomas Aquinas College in need of financial assistance. Benefactors to the fund will thereby be a source of great good for the young men and women to whom Fr. Buckley has so completely devoted himself.
“Fr. Buckley has touched so many lives and brought so many young people closer to Christ,” says Paul J. O’Reilly, vice president for development at Thomas Aquinas College. “His friends and family could think of no better way to celebrate his golden jubilee than to create a scholarship that will continue to bless the lives of young people for decades to come.”
The author of the book When Jesuits Were Giants, Fr. Buckley is himself a “giant” to those who have had the privilege of knowing him during his five decades of service to Christ and the Church. Since his ordination, he has spent most of his life with young Catholics as a teacher, administrator, chaplain, and friend. One can hear the echo of his footsteps in the halls of the University of Santa Clara, Gonzaga University, St. Ignatius High School, and the University of San Francisco.
Now, as a chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College, he is an integral part of the lives of the students, offering them the sacraments, spiritual direction, and always a lively wit. “I’ve been very happy here,” Fr. Buckley says. “It’s the crowning point of my career to be at Thomas Aquinas College.”
Fr. Buckley is widely published and holds advanced degrees in history and philosophy from Gonzaga University and the University of Paris, Sorbonne. He has served as director of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and as a trustee on the boards of the University of San Francisco, University of Santa Clara, and St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif.
“Fr. Buckley’s long and active life offers all who know him a remarkable example of the virtues of obedience, charity, fidelity, and humility, and is marked by that joy that is a sure sign of the true believer,” says Dr. O’Reilly. “We look forward to celebrating his 50 years of ministry at a number of events in the coming year.”
“If this helps raise money for needy students to attend the College, then let’s do it,” says Fr. Buckley of the scholarship in his name. “The important thing is that we find ways to make a quality, Catholic education available to those who seek it.”
To make a gift to the Fr. Buckley Scholarship Fund, please visit the online giving page  or send checks to Thomas Aquinas College, 10,000 Ojai Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060. For further information, please e-mail Paul O’Reilly , vice president for development, or call him at 805-421-5974.