Peter James Lee Fund established by General Seminary

January 10, 2012

[General Theological Seminary] The Rev. Lang Lowery, president of The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church (GTS) has announced the creation of a new fund to honor the seminary’s departing dean, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee.

The announcement was made at a December luncheon honoring Bishop Lee, who will be leaving the seminary in January to become interim dean of the American Cathedral in Paris. The fund will help prospective students visit the seminary’s New York City campus and will also assist first-year students who have registered early.

The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee has had a ministry like few other bishops in the Episcopal Church. For nearly a quarter of a century he served as bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, the largest diocese in the continental United States and one of the oldest. At the request of the presiding bishop and the archbishop of Canterbury he visited the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem during the first Intifada.  He later was the founding president of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. At the same time, he served as chair of the grants committee of the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief (now Episcopal Relief & Development). He has attended three Lambeth Conferences and has served on the advisory committee to the Anglican Observer at the United Nations. In 2012, he will complete 14 years of faithful service on the board of trustees of the Church Pension Fund, a $9 billion financial services company that provides pensions, insurance and wellness programs for the clergy and lay professionals. For 16 years he served as chair of the board of trustees of the Virginia Theological Seminary after earlier service on the board of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. In 2009, the Virginia Council of Churches awarded Bishop Lee its Lifetime Ecumenist Award and Washington and Lee University gave him its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010. He has received honorary doctorates from Washington and Lee University, the University of the South, St. Paul’s College and the Virginia Theological Seminary.

“Bishop Lee’s tenure at the seminary has benefited our institution enormously,” said President Lowrey. “He has overseen the revitalization of our faculty by adding three new members, the planning and dedication of the new Keller Library, and the launch of an innovative distance learning initiative–all the while aiding our advancement effort significantly and serving as a faithful pastor to faculty and students alike. We will truly miss his ministry here in Chelsea Square.”

The Peter James Lee Fund will provide a stipend to qualified and committed prospective students so that they might afford to travel to GTS and visit the GTS campus first hand. It will also provide grants for the first year of full-time study to students who have formally accepted the offer of admission and have made their required deposit by March 31, 2012.