Kim B. Bepler, Philanthropist
Often, one demonstrates true caring through attention to detail. When Kim Bepler and her husband, Stephen, endowed the renovation of Fordham’s historic University Church, it was Mrs. Bepler who concluded that fresh flowers—such a joy during Christmas and Easter holidays—really should be placed on the altar every week.
What better way to celebrate the perpetuity of faith in bloom? With a stroke of the pen, Mrs. Bepler provided Sunday worshippers with bountiful blossoms year-round.
Mrs. Bepler did not know the Jesuits firsthand before she married Stephen. However, she quickly grew to share her husband’s affectionate regard for the order and its educational mission. In manifold ways, she’s become part of the Ignatian family. Kim Bepler is a true friend to Fordham and the Jesuits. Since her retirement in 2002 from Cahners Travel Group, where she was director of business development, Mrs. Bepler has been tremendously generous with her time, creative energy and financial help.
Two very special Jesuits—Gerald Blaszczak, S.J., pastor of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan and Fordham’s former vice president of mission and ministry, and Vincent DeCola, S.J., president of New York’s Nativity Mission Schools—are proud to count Kim Bepler as a devoted and loyal friend. At St. Ignatius Loyola, Mrs. Bepler is working enthusiastically to establish the church’s first Hispanic outreach program. And as a regular volunteer at the Nativity Mission Center, a Jesuit middle school on the Lower East Side, she has hosted meetings and shared her expertise, helping Father Vin to merge all three of the city’s Nativity Mission schools. Thus, they’ve secured the future of this institution, which transforms the lives of so many underprivileged students.
Mrs. Bepler is deeply engaged with Fordham University’s educational outreach efforts. She and Steve Bepler have endowed countless scholarships, faculty appointments and improvements to the physical campus. And Fordham hardly stands alone as a beneficiary of her largesse: Mrs. Bepler also sits on the boards of the Hunts Point Action Committee and the Darien Chapter of the American Red Cross. She is a trustee of the Nativity Mission Center, Saint Ignatius School, Brooklyn Jesuit Prep and the Nantucket AIDS Network.
For her inspired leadership and her loving attention to the lives of young people, the University honored her with the Fordham Founder’s Award in March 2007.