(L-R): The presidents of Santa Clara (Rev. Michael Engh, SJ), Loyola Marymount (David Burcham) and University of San Francisco (Rev. Stephen Privett, SJ) greet Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
WASHINGTON, DC - On Wednesday, February 27th, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) hosted a breakfast for Members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center. Seventeen Members of Congress, many of whom are alumni of Jesuit colleges and universities, were in attendance, along with nearly twenty Congressional staff.
The breakfast provided an opportunity for Members to interact with presidents and federal relations staff at Jesuit colleges and universities. Attendees heard from U.S. House of Representatives Chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy, SJ, who offered an opening prayer. AJCU President Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, SJ welcomed attendees and AJCU Board of Directors Chair and Seattle University President Rev. Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ discussed current trends at the 28 Jesuit institutions in the United States. For example, 23% of students at Jesuit campuses receive Pell Grants, which is double the rate at other private institutions.
Attendees also heard from Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader, who addressed the many contributions that Jesuits have made to U.S. higher education. Following Rep. Pelosi, Georgetown University junior Luisa Santos spoke about the importance of federal grants and scholarships, which have enabled her to attend a Jesuit institution.
After the breakfast, the presidents and federal relations staff heard from Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ranking, House Budget Committee, who spoke about the upcoming impact of sequestration on federal funding for higher education. To conclude the morning, federal relations staff from Fordham University, Georgetown University and Marquette University joined AJCU Vice President for Federal Relations Cynthia A. Littlefield on a panel to share their perspectives on protecting student aid at Jesuit colleges and universities, and to address college cost complications.
Ms. Littlefield, who organized the breakfast, said, "We are grateful to have had so many Members of Congress meet with the presidents and federal relations staff of Jesuit colleges and universities through this terrific event. As nearly 10 percent of Congress are alumni of Jesuit institutions, we appreciate the opportunity to recognize their contributions and celebrate Jesuit higher education in such a meaningful way."
For photos of the event, please click here.
Contact: Deanna Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 862-9893