St. Francis of Assisi – St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and environment could be viewed as the original Earth Day advocate. Francis' devotion to God was expressed through his love for all of God's creation. St. Francis cared for the poor and sick, he preached sermons to animals, and praised all creatures as brothers and sisters under God.
St. Francis of Assisi abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty.
His dedication to poverty, humility, obedience, patience, and compassion soon attracted followers and, in 1209, he received permission from Pope Innocent III to form a new religious order known as the Friars Minor (commonly called the Franciscans).
Professor Dr. Budalur Thyagarajan – Passionately devoted to chemistry and dedicated to giving, Dr. Thyagarajan has inspired countless students, friends, colleagues, and even strangers, with his selfless giving – always with an exemplary resolve for Truth and Justice.
Professor Thyagarajan has set a great example of selfless giving. His life has been dedicated to giving to many noble causes. Over the last 40 years he has given thousands of dollars to feed the Homeless. He has given thousands of dollars to establish Endowments supporting Higher Education in Chemistry, Physics, and Geology, and the School of Nursing in San Antonio.
Between 1975 and 1989, Prof. Thyagarajan recruited students from the poorest schools in San Antonio, from families with below-poverty level incomes - gave them scholarships and the resources of his Research Facilities, at his expense, to spend 10 weeks each summer in his Research Laboratory at UTSA and spent individual time with each and every one of those students. They were encouraged not only to attend College but also major in the hard Sciences. Several of them went on to graduate in Chemistry and secured jobs in chemical industry. Some went on to finish their Master's and Ph.D. Degrees also…
He has supported Native American Schools to help educate Native American children of the Shoshone, Lapwai, Lakota, and Navaho in the U.S.. To inspire and motivate his students, Dr. Thyagarajan once told a story from his childhood which encapsulates his vision for the St. Francis-Professor Thyagarajan Foundation:
. “An old man was toiling away digging a hole in his garden for his mango stone, not knowing that the King was observing his progress just a few steps away. The King was bemused by the man’s efforts as the ground was rocky and hard to prepare for plants. Intrigued, the King inquired the man why he toiled away knowing full well, he may not live long enough to see the fruit of his labors. The old man answered,
“My King, I am not planting a mango tree for me. I am planting it for everyone. Not merely for my grandchildren, but for all those who pass by this way.” And so it shall be, embodying the Spirit of selfless giving, for the St. Francis-Professor Thyagarajan Foundation. The Foundation springs forth from the generosity of his resources - his Energy, his Spirit and his financial support. All of us join him with our own devoted spirit in every way we can to contribute to this Foundation.