Retired Naval Medical Corpsman Honors Late Wife with Nursing & Social Work Scholarship at Stockton

Cenon Jacob Family

Guia Calicdan-Apostle, associate professor of Social Work, Penelope Jemima Jacob and her father, Christopher Jacob, Carl Jacob, Crystal Jacob, Cenon Jacob and President Harvey Kesselman at the gift-signing ceremony on Dec. 2, 2016.

For Immediate Release


Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Cenon Jacob, a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy who was inspired by the work of his late wife, Jemima, a nurse, has pledged $30,000 to the Stockton University Foundation to benefit Nursing and Social Work students.

Jacob, a Filipino-American immigrant who was once a recipient of scholarships in the Philippines, made an initial gift of $6,000 on Dec. 2 and pledged $6,000 a year over the next succeeding four years.

The funds will endow the Jacob Family and Friends Nursing/Master in Social Work Endowed Scholarship to support students pursuing a bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) or a Master’s in Social Work (MSW), with a preference for those who belong to historically underserved populations and have shown a commitment to work in diverse communities.

Jacob, a Mays Landing, N.J. resident, had learned of the need for scholarships to students in practice professions such as nursing and social work from Stockton faculty member Guia Calicdan-Apostle, an associate professor of Social Work.

“Stockton is profoundly grateful that Mr. Jacob and his family have chosen to honor his late wife’s work as a highly committed nurse by creating a legacy for future generations,” said President Harvey Kesselman. “Nurses and social workers are healers who improve the quality of life in their communities. There is no more fitting way to honor Mrs. Jacob’s memory than to support their education and pass on her gift of caring.”

Jacob, who had a career as a medical technologist in Vineland after retiring from the Navy, was accompanied by his daughter Crystal Jacob, a nurse at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, and his sons, Carl, a software engineer at AT&T from North Brunswick, N.J., Christopher, of Bethlehem, Pa., an expert at an Apple store, and Christopher’s daughter, 3-year-old Penelope Jemima.

Jacob’s parents were farmers in the Philippines and his father advised him to take the test for the U.S. Navy, which he passed with flying colors. He came to the United States at age 19, working his way up the naval ranks from kitchen helper to become a medical corpsman.

He wanted to do something lasting to honor the memory of his wife, who worked at the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation over 20 years before her death 2011, and said he was “lucky to bump into Guia,” (Calicdan-Apostle), a member of the South Jersey Filipino community.

Through that connection, he realized “the best thing is to establish a scholarship on my wife’s behalf. Her name will always be there.”

Calicdan-Apostle said, “I really appreciate that Crystal, Christopher and Carl are a big part of this.”

“What you are doing for your wife - your mom- your family is extraordinary,” Kesselman told the family. “You’re going to make a difference in the lives of students and they keep on giving.”

Christopher Jacob referred to Apple’s belief that “commitment is something that never ends. It’s institutions and foundations like this that allow that to happen... It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of it.”

The Jacobs gift will build an endowment through a series of $5,000 donations over five years, with another $1,000 being donated for a scholarship each year which will alternate between a Nursing or Master of Social Work student beginning in the 2017-18 academic year.

“It can be so difficult for those on a graduate level,” said Assistant Dean Mary Beth Sherrier of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, who noted that those students often are working and paying off undergraduate debt. “Social Work and Nursing students have the biggest hearts. This is a real tribute to your wife and mother.”

Mary Padden, coordinator of the Nursing Program, said: “This will be so meaningful for any one of our students, but probably for the Accelerated Nursing students, it will be most beneficial.”

Stockton’s Accelerated Nursing Program enables students holding baccalaureate degrees to complete all of the courses to earn a second bachelor’s degree in Nursing in just four semesters. The university’s Nursing Program was ranked #43 out of 450 schools considered in the MidAtlantic Region by

Stockton’s Master of Social Work (MSW) Program is designed to educate social workers who are prepared for advanced-level practice with diverse individuals, families and communities. It was named one of the 50 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the East by The Best Social Work Programs.