Pittsburgh Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) received a surprise gift of $20.25 million.
Robert Thomson, an insurance company owner who died in September at age 94, did not tell the school about his estate plans, nor did he place restrictions on the gift, said William Carl, seminary president.
Charles Hard Townes, a Nobel laureate who helped invent the laser and a pioneer in the dialogue on science and religion, died January 27 at age 99.
Townes, professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, also won the $1.5 million Templeton Prize for Progress toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities for 2005.
Syngman Rhee, 83, a former North Korean refugee and leader for more than five decades in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in ecumenical circles, died January 14 in Atlanta shortly after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.
Rhee was born in 1931 in Pyongyang, now part of North Korea, to a Presbyterian family.
Gina Campbell, an ordained United Methodist minister, is canon precentor at Washington National Cathedral and has participated in leading services there for nearly five years. But she was not allowed to preside over the Eucharist until January 25.