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Newsmakers

7/13/2006

The Rev. E. Bolling Robertson  

 
[Episcopal News Service] 

The Rev. E. Bolling Robertson, Episcopal missionary in Liberia, dies at 88 
 
[ENS, Source: AGR/ Liberian Daily Observer] The Rev. E. Bolling Robertson, American priest and educator who oversaw the Episcopal High School in Cape Mount, Liberia, died June 16, at the St. Paul River home of his former student, Dr. Taylor Neal. He was 88 years old.


    Robertson, a 1940 graduate of the University of Virginia, graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria in 1943 and was ordained to the priesthood November 30, 1943.  The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society appointed him missionary to Liberia the following year.


    Upon his arrival at the St. John’s Mission on February 17, 1945, Robertson became principal of the Episcopal High School. Educating and nurturing Liberian youth became the focus of his adult life. He set such a high standard of learning that parents throughout Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone sought the school out for their children. The school soon became a feeder school for Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), the University of Liberia, and other educational institutions in the country.


    In addition to his role as principal at St. John’s, Robertson headed all Episcopal schools throughout Grand Cape Mount, from kindergarten to secondary. He served as rector of St. John’s Irving Memorial Church and archdeacon of Grand Cape Mount County.


    Robertson retired from St. John’s in 1971 and was appointed interim president for Cuttington the following year.  From 1974-75 he served as administrative assistant to Bishop George D. Brown and as chaplain at Bromley School for Girls.  He headed the Theology Division at Cuttington University College from 1975-1983.


    When he retired on January 31, 1984, after 40 years of service, Robertson and his wife Marilyn returned to the United States, where he took up canonical residence in the Diocese of Virginia.  Liberia, however, was too strong a call for the Robertsons, and they returned to their adopted country for good. 


    "The passing of the Rev. Father E. Bolling Robertson marks the passing of an era in the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Liberia.  He was at the center of the Church’s education ministry for more than four decades. In the molding of the character of scores of Liberians, he leaves a legacy that will endure. I am blessed to be counted among those whose lives he shaped for service to humanity," said the Rev. Matilda E. G. Dunn, former Robertson student and current vicar of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Copperhill, Tennessee.


    Robertson was buried on the Cape Mount Mountain in Liberia. A memorial service will be held in Virginia, at a later date.

    Robertson is survived by his wife, Marilyn Kean Robertson.
     
    Remembrance gifts may be sent to the E.B. Robertson Fund for Theological Education in Liberia (managed by the Diocese of Virginia) or to Cape Mount Schools (managed by the Diocese of Liberia). Checks should be made payable to the Trustees of the Fund, Account No. 0000.61 and mailed to the Diocese of Virginia, 110 W. Franklin Street, Richmond VA 23220, Attention: Treasurer Mike Kerr.


    International Partnership for Service-Learning announces staff additions 
     
    [ENS, Source: IPSL] Nevin C. Brown, president, International Partnership for Service-Learning (IPSL) recently welcomed to the staff Dr. Martha Merrill, as dean of Academic Programs, and Christine Gasparich and Michael Manchester as summer interns.


    Merrill was a member of the IPSL board of trustees for several years and is knowledgeable about IPSL, international service-learning and techniques of intercultural communication. Previously she served on the faculty of the School for International Training (SIT) in Vermont, and as academic vice president for the American University of Central Asia (located in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). Merrill is fluent in Russian. 


    Gasparich’s work will focus on projects related to undergraduate and graduate programs around the world. She is a student at Bard College (one of 11 colleges and universities affiliated with the Episcopal Church) and is studying this summer in Bard’s Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City. Originally from Pawling, New York, Gasparich has been a volunteer with youth and children in Dutchess County. She is fluent in Spanish.


    Manchester’s duties are related to the service aspects of IPSL programs. He serves as service-learning coordinator for Siena Italian Studies, the local co-sponsor of IPSL’s Italy program in Siena. A native of Denver, Colorado, Manchester is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College (Oregon). He is fluent in Italian.