In the early years of Nazareth Regional High School in Brooklyn, one man made a big difference in the lives of the students. That difference came from Brother Matthew Burke. His legacy as a teacher and principal inspired a number of alumni, led by Denis Wuestman, ’73, to create and support a scholarship fund in his honor.
Brother Matthew, who passed away in November at 82, selflessly and passionately committed himself to his students and colleagues while contributing greatly to their personal development and education. The scholarship in his name provides financial assistance to two students annually who display the Xaverian values and principles Brother Matthew himself espoused.
While many would have liked to see the scholarship come to fruition while he was alive, his passing inspired more involvement, starting with ten alumni who gave large gifts and then expanded to all alumni of Brother Matthew’s era. The fund has already raised over $20,000 in gifts and pledges, and donors are committed to continuing their contributions yearly to ensure the scholarships funding.
“This is a touching tribute to a man who meant so much to Catholic education and was so formative to Nazareth culture that continues on to this day,” said Advancement Director Robert DiRi. “The impact he has had on our alumni lives on through their passion for Nazareth, and their remembrance of all that he gave them.”
Wuestman expressed how fortunate he was to stay in touch with Brother Matthew.
“In 2017, Brother Matthew shared a speech he gave at the 50th reunion of the Nazareth graduating class of ’67,” he said. In it he reflected on his life as a young teacher as well as his observations as Nazareth matured as a community and school. His words inspired me.”