Participating in the announcement of the John P. and Ann Marie Martin Endowed Scholarship on Oct. 28, 2021, are, from left to right: Jason Morrison, Diocesan Secretary of Catholic Education/Chief Executive Officer; Thomas J. Posatko, Executive Secretary, John and Ann Marie Martin Charitable Trust; Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton; Monsignor John Bendik; and Jim Bebla, Diocesan Secretary for Development. (Photo/Dan Gallagher)

SCRANTON – A generous gift from the estate of a Lackawanna County native with a lifetime of service in education will continue to help shape the minds of the next generation of faith-filled leaders in the Diocese of Scranton.

On Oct. 28, 2021, the John P. and Ann Marie Martin Charitable Trust announced a $150,000 gift to create the John P. and Ann Marie Martin Endowed Scholarship. Funding will be used each year to provide a need-based scholarship to an eligible student or students at one of the Diocese of Scranton’s Catholic Schools.

“He never forgot his roots. He had anthracite coal dust in his blood. He never forgot where he came from and always felt dedicated and committed to the area,” Thomas J. Posatko, Executive Secretary, John P. and Ann Marie Martin Charitable Trust, said of his friend.

Dr. Martin was born and raised in Scranton. He started his education work as the director of athletics at West Central Catholic High School and as assistant superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Scranton from 1965-1967. He was a founding trustee at Luzerne County Community College and an associate professor and campus chaplain at Misericordia University.

As recognition for his decades of service to the education field, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey designated him founding dean emeritus for the School of Health Related Professions. He was also the associate and acting dean of the College of Allied Health Professions at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia.

Dr. Martin died in 2019. His wife, the former Ann Marie Gerrity, died in 2006.

“John knew that the elementary and secondary grade levels are the places where you have to start to make sure children have a unique experience,” his friend, Monsignor John Bendik, said.

The Diocese of Scranton scholarship recipient(s) will be selected on an annual basis under the direction of the Diocesan Superintendent of Schools in accordance with Diocesan Schools tuition assistance policies.

The announcement of this endowed scholarship comes at a time when the Diocese of Scranton has seen a nine-percent increase in enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year. This gift will help to retain and recruit additional students.

Friends of Dr. Martin say this gift will keep his outstanding commitment to educational values alive.

“He was born and raised in a strong Catholic environment. He was very dedicated and committed to both the school we went to, Central Catholic, and to sports in particular,” Posatko added. “He was involved in all aspects of the school and there all the time.”