Contact: Deanna Howes Spiro, Vice President of Communications, AJCU


WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the third consecutive session, Jesuit-educated alumni comprise ten percent of Congress. Among the 535 members of the 117th United States Congress, 55 graduated from Jesuit colleges and universities: 13 in the Senate and 42 in the House of Representatives.

Of the 55 alumni, three were elected in 2020: Representatives Mike Garcia (R-CA, Georgetown University), Chris Jacobs (R-NY, Boston College) and August Pfluger (R-TX, Georgetown University). A fourth new alum, Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA, Georgetown University), was elected in 2021 and sworn in on Wednesday, January 20.

Jesuit-educated members are well-represented in leadership positions in both the Senate and the House. In the Senate, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY, Georgetown) serves as Chair of the Senate Republican Conference, while Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL, Georgetown) serves as Democratic Whip. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV, Gonzaga) serves as Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In the House, Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD, Georgetown) serves as Majority Leader and Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY, Georgetown) serves as chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Eleven Jesuit institutions are currently represented by alumni in the 117th U.S. Congress. Georgetown University has the most with a total of 28, followed by Boston College with seven and Fordham University with six (note: Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY) is an alumnus of both Boston College and Fordham; Representative Rosa DeLauro is an alumna of Marymount College, which was later incorporated by Fordham University). Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University, Saint Peter’s University, Santa Clara University and the University of Detroit Mercy all have two alumni represented, while Creighton University and Gonzaga University each have one alum.

The eleventh institution, the College of the Holy Cross, has three alumni, including Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), who was re-elected to his fourth term in Congress last fall. In a new interview with AJCU, Rep. DeSaulnier discussed the personal impact of his Jesuit education at both Holy Cross and Cranwell Preparatory School (a former boarding school run by Jesuits in Lenox, MA). He said, “When people ask me how I got into politics, it’s partially family [my dad had served in the Massachusetts Legislature] and, equally or more important, it was the Jesuits.”

In 2015, Rep. DeSaulnier co-founded the Friends of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Caucus with Representative Juan C. Vargas (D-CA), a former Jesuit seminarian and graduate of Fordham. Rep. DeSaulnier’s focus on education and inequality were inspired by his Jesuit background, and is seen through his service on four Congressional committees, including the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Rep. DeSaulnier said, “The things that are of interest to me are the things that what we’ve seen in the last few weeks were symptoms of, in my view, and that’s inequality and racism. And then the third thing that sort of co-joins those is social media and technology: how we get information, how we pursue honesty. If you don’t deal with inequality, we’re going to continue to have these problems.”

When asked how Jesuit values can help Americans to become better citizens and neighbors to each other, Rep. DeSaulnier said, “To be open-minded and to seek the truth. Those two things I definitely think the Jesuits are very good at. I think public service is very spiritual—I’ve said this often. I think the House chamber is a sancta sanctorum of human evolution, and a Jesuit education has a lot that has impacted me and my belief system: that what I do is not a job. It’s not just public service: it’s connected to God.”

In addition to the 55 alumni from Jesuit colleges and universities who are serving in the 117th U.S. Congress, there are several who are graduates of Jesuit high schools.

AJCU president Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J. said, “A hallmark of Jesuit education is service to others, and we are proud to see that commitment represented by the alumni of Jesuit institutions who serve in the House and Senate. We appreciate their leadership and look forward to working with them during the 117th U.S. Congress.”

See full list of Jesuit college alumni below; bold names indicate new members.

United States Senate (13)

Senator Edward J. Markey
(D-MA) Elected 2013
B.A. Boston College (1968)
J.D. Boston College (1972)

Senator Robert Menendez
(D-NJ) Appointed & Elected 2006
B.A. Saint Peter’s University (1976)

Senator Lisa Murkowski
(R-AK) Appointed 2002, Elected 2004
B.A. Georgetown University (1980)

Senator Jon Ossoff
(D-GA) Elected 2021
B.S. Georgetown University (2009)

Senator Gary Peters
(D-MI) Elected 2014
M.B.A. University of Detroit Mercy (1984)

Senator Dan Sullivan
(R-AK) Elected 2014
J.D.-M.S.F.S. Georgetown University (1993)

Senator Chris Van Hollen, Jr.
(D-MD) Elected 2016
J.D. Georgetown University (1990)

Senator John Barrasso
Republican Conference Chair
(R-WY) Appointed 2007, Elected 2008
B.S. Georgetown University (1974)
M.D. Georgetown University (1978)

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
(D-PA) Elected 2006
B.A. College of the Holy Cross (1982)

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
Chair of the Campaign Committee
(D-NV) Elected 2016
J.D. Gonzaga University (1990)

Senator Richard J. Durbin
Democratic Whip
(D-IL) Elected 1996
B.S.F.S. Georgetown University (1966)
J.D. Georgetown University (1969)

Senator Mazie Hirono
(D-HI) Elected 2012
J.D. Georgetown University (1978)

Senator Patrick J. Leahy
(D-VT) Elected 1974
J.D. Georgetown University (1964))

United States House of Representatives (42)

Representative Stephen Lynch
(D-MA) Elected 2000
J.D. Boston College (1991)

Representative Gwen Moore
(D-WI) Elected 2004
B.A. Marquette University (1978)

Representative Stephanie Murphy
(D-FL) Elected 2016
M.S.F.S. Georgetown University (2004)

Representative Jerrold Nadler
(D-NY) Elected 1992
J.D. Fordham University (1978)

Representative Jimmy Panetta
(D-CA) Elected 2016
J.D. Santa Clara University (1996)

Representative William J. Pascrell, Jr.
(D-NJ) Elected 1996
B.A. Fordham University (1959)
M.A. Fordham University (1961)

Representative Greg Pence
(R-IN) Elected 2018
B.A. Loyola University Chicago (1979)
M.B.A. Loyola University Chicago (1983)

Representative August Pfluger
(R-TX) Elected 2020
M.A. Georgetown University (2019)

Delegate Stacey Plaskett
(D-VI) Elected 2014
B.S.F.S. Georgetown University (1988)

Representative Michael Quigley
(D-IL) Elected 2009
J.D. Loyola University Chicago (1989)

Representative Robert C. Scott
(D-VA) Elected 1992
J.D. Boston College (1973)

Representative Mikie Sherrill
(D-NJ) Elected 2018
J.D. Georgetown University (2007)

Representative Albio Sires
(D-NJ) Elected 2006
B.A. Saint Peter’s University (1974)

Representative Adam Smith
(D-WA) Elected 1996
B.A. Fordham University (1987)

Representative Greg Stanton
(D-AZ) Elected 2018
B.A. Marquette University (1992)

Representative Bryan Steil
(R-WI) Elected 2018
B.S. Georgetown University (2003)

Representative Tom Suozzi
(D-NY) Elected 2016
B.S. Boston College (1984)
J.D. Fordham University (1989)

Representative Lori Trahan
(D-MA) Elected 2018
B.A. Georgetown University (1995)

Representative Juan C. Vargas
(D-CA) Elected 2012
M.A. Fordham University (1987)

Representative Filemon Vela
(D-TX) Elected 2012
B.A. Georgetown University (1985)

Representative Peter Welch
(D-VT) Elected 2006
A.B. College of the Holy Cross (1969)

*Marymount College was later incorporated by Fordham University.

Dates in italics note that Member was elected in a special election

Representative Vern Buchanan
(R-FL) Elected 2006
M.B.A. University of Detroit Mercy (1986)

Representative David Cicilline
(D-RI) Elected 2010
J.D. Georgetown University (1986)

Representative Henry Cuellar
(D-TX) Elected 2004
B.S.F.S. Georgetown University (1978)

Representative Rosa L. DeLauro
(D-CT) Elected 1990
B.A. Marymount College, Tarrytown* (1964)

Representative Mark DeSaulnier
(D-CA) Elected 2014
B.A. College of the Holy Cross (1974)

Representative Debbie Dingell
House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chair
(D-MI) Elected 2014
B.S.F.S. Georgetown University (1975)
M.A.L.S. Georgetown University (1998)

Representative Jeff Fortenberry
(R-NE) Elected 2004
M.P.P. Georgetown University (1986)

Representative Lois Frankel
(D-FL) Elected 2012
J.D. Georgetown University (1973)

Representative Mike Gallagher
(R-WI) Elected 2016
M.A. Georgetown University (‘12 & ‘13)
Ph.D. Georgetown University (2015)

Representative Mike Garcia
(R-CA) Elected May 2020 (Special election)
M.A. Georgetown University (1998)

Representative Paul Gosar
(R-AZ) Elected 2010
B.S. Creighton University (1981)
D.D.S. Creighton University (1985)

Representative Trey Hollingsworth
(R-IN) Elected 2016
M.P.P. Georgetown University (2014)

Representative Steny H. Hoyer
House Majority Leader
(D-MD) Elected 1981
J.D. Georgetown University (1966)

Representative Jared Huffman
(D-CA) Elected 2012
J.D. Boston College (1990)

Representative Chris Jacobs
(R-NY) Elected June 2020 (Special election)
B.A. Boston College (1989)

Representative Pramila Jayapal
(D-WA) Elected 2016
B.A. Georgetown University (1986)

Representative Hakeem Jeffries
Chair of the House Democratic Caucus
(D-NY) Elected 2012
M.P.P. Georgetown University (1994)

Representative William Keating
(D-MA) Elected 2010
B.A. Boston College (1974)
M.B.A. Boston College (1982)

Representative Ann McLane Kuster
(D-NH) Elected 2012
J.D. Georgetown University (1984)

Representative Ted Lieu
House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chair
(D-CA) Elected 2014
J.D. Georgetown University (1994)

Representative Zoe Lofgren
(D-CA) Elected 1994
J.D. Santa Clara University (1975)