Jacob Lester: Retiring With Riches

When Professor Jacob Lester, 72, retired this spring, he capped a career teaching in the biology department and the Integral Program that’s spanned almost four decades. Through a myriad of changes, one constant has been his respect for the Christian Brothers.

“The Brothers immerse themselves in a culture and they focus on the needs of the people. For education, they do the best job in the world,” he said.

Lester lived and taught with the Brothers on four continents in eight institutions—from an orphanage in southern India to a postulate house in southern Thailand to universities in Bethlehem, Kenya, and Manila. A number of Brothers have served as his mentors over the years, particularly Brother John O'Neill, who recommended Lester for many of the assignments at Christian Brothers schools.

Lester’s time teaching Seminar in the Integral Program has also been a rewarding and intellectually challenging experience. “There are so many times when I’ve come out of an evening seminar and just said to myself, ‘That was really neat, really exciting,’” Lester said.

The next chapter should be equally fulfilling. Lester and his wife are moving to Colorado Springs to be near their daughter, Angela, and her three boys. Lester sees it as the perfect excuse to retire—with gratitude for all Saint Mary’s has done for him.

“I've been so blessed to have lived with the Brothers in Asia, Africa and throughout Europe,” said Lester. “It's been such an enriching experience.”