By Deanna I. Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU

Deanna Howes Singing the National Anthem at Fordham University on September 19, 2015 (Photo by Janet Faller Sassi, Fordham University)

Deanna Howes Singing the National Anthem at Fordham University on September 19, 2015 (Photo by Janet Faller Sassi, Fordham University)

This month’s issue of Connections celebrates the arts on Jesuit campuses. The arts are an integral part of the Jesuit concept of “educating the whole person” — mind, body and spirit. You’ll read about how this is taught at five Jesuit institutions featured in this issue: Boston College, Canisius University, Fairfield University, Gonzaga University and Loyola Marymount University.
The arts played a big part in my experience at Fordham University, and helped to enhance my understanding of Jesuit education. During the summer after my freshman year, I had the opportunity to travel to Spain with the Fordham University Choir to sing in cities that were significant in the life of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Our group also visited pilgrimage sites including the room in Loyola where Ignatius experienced his conversion to a new life as a religious person, Barcelona, where he studied the classics, and Montserrat, where he prepared for his new life by giving away his possessions. It was amazing to be in these places and walk in the footsteps of Ignatius, a man whose educational legacy was alive and well in all of us on that trip.
My musical education at Fordham also taught me leadership skills (through serving as vice president of the University Choir during my senior year); adaptability (depending on which sections needed stronger voices, I regularly switched from alto to soprano); and teamwork (when you’re part of an ensemble, you have to work together and listen to each other at all times). All of these skills are essential to being a successful professional, and all can be acquired through the performing arts.

This is our last issue of Connections for 2015, but we will return next month with a look at STEM programs on Jesuit campuses. As always, we thank you for your support of AJCU, and wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

All the best,

Deanna I. Howes

By Cynthia Littlefield, Vice President for Federal Relations, AJCU

Perkins Loans Are Resurrected

The Federal Perkins Loan Program was discontinued on September 30th, causing uncertainty and confusion for over 500,000 students across the country. Over the next two and a half months, significant efforts were made by AJCU and the Campus-Based Aid Coalition to save the program. Working with Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA) (Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions [HELP] Committee) and Bob Casey (D-PA) (Jesuit alumnus of College of the Holy Cross) proved to be fruitful for their negotiations with Senate HELP Committee Chair Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). 

Senator Baldwin’s first efforts to offer two Unanimous Consent (UC) agreements on the Senate Floor were met with opposition from Chairman Alexander. She was undaunted and introduced an amendment to extend the Perkins Loan Program in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA] conference; while this was withdrawn, the point was made. 

Two weeks ago, the higher education community sent a letter from the American Council on Education (ACE), signed by 53 organizations (including AJCU) and 536 higher education institutions (including all 28 Jesuit colleges and universities) to the Senate in support of Baldwin’s amendment. This show of support also contributed toward a compromise for Perkins Loans.

On December 15th, the Senate reached agreement on a Unanimous Consent to extend Perkins Loans for two years. This time, the effort was led without any objections by Senators Alexander, Baldwin and Casey, together with Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The House finished their UC on Thursday, December 18th in less than two minutes; Representative Mike Bishop (R-MI) asked if there were any objections and without any, it passed. The bill will soon be signed by President Obama.

In essence, Perkins Loans are saved for two years, giving time for AJCU and the higher education community to keep working to fine-tune this critical program through Higher Education Act (HEA) Reauthorization. In addition, institutions will not have to return their Perkins Loan revolving funds to the U.S. Department of Education because Perkins Loans are now reauthorized.

However, the policies used as offsets to pay for this extension are problematic: 1) The Perkins Loan Program was eliminated for graduate students, although current graduate students can receive their loans through the 2016-17 academic year. 2) Undergraduate Perkins Loan recipients will receive their loans through 2017, but new undergraduate Perkins recipients would have to exhaust subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans before their Perkins Loans could be dispersed.

Omnibus Bill Passes Both Chambers

On December 18th, the House passed the Omnibus bill by 316-113, followed by the Senate vote of 65-33. Included in this $1.1 trillion bill is the tax extender package which produced a permanent Charitable IRA Rollover, Research & Experimentation Tax Credit (R&D Tax Credit), and above-the-line tuition deductions for two years.

The Omnibus bill had a $1.2 billion increase for education. Higher education fared well by receiving an increase of $140 on the Pell Grant maximum award to $5,915. Important Campus-Based Aid programs such as the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program and the Federal Work Study (FWS) program were level-funded. Support for these vital need-based programs will be helpful for future HEA Reauthorization discussions. The TRIO and GearUp programs also received increases. None of the proposed higher education riders on gainful employment, credit hour, and state authorization or teacher regulations were included in the bill.

All in all, AJCU and Jesuit institutions received many Christmas presents this year: saving Perkins Loans; increases for Pell Grants; saving SEOG and FWS; making the Charitable IRA Rollover permanent; and above-the-line tuition credits.

We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and joyous year ahead!

Photo of Rev. Sammy Chong, S.J. by Lee Pellegrini (Boston College)

Photo of Rev. Sammy Chong, S.J. by Lee Pellegrini (Boston College)

This interview is reprinted with permission from the Boston College Chronicle (10/29/15).

An interdisciplinary artist who practices mainly in drawing, painting and installation, Rev. Sammy Chong, S.J., is a visiting assistant professor in the Fine Arts Department at Boston College (BC). With an academic background in theology and philosophy, his studio practice builds on the notion of individual identity and transcendental meaning in contemporary society.

He has taught courses in the history of Christian Art, theology and film, at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, after which he completed the MFA program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Fr. Chong has exhibited in the U.S. and South America, and has a studio in Jamaica Plain. His BC courses include Issues and Approaches to Studio Art; Drawing: Introduction to the Figure; The Art of Portraiture; Making Art through a Spiritual Lens, and Introduction to Painting. He serves as faculty advisor to the Art Club.

Fr. Chong recently discussed his latest work: a set of 12 paintings titled “The Pilgrim,” which depicts the journey of a modern man in search of his authentic self, for which he appropriates Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens’ etchings of “The Life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola” to create a parallel narrative that follows one’s path from self-centeredness to a man for others. The works were on display Nov. 2 through Dec. 4 as the inaugural exhibition in the new student and faculty gallery in Carney 203 at BC.

Q: What was your inspiration to recast Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s journey for today’s audience?

Throughout my Jesuit formation I saw many visual depictions of Ignatius of Loyola in books, paintings, sculptures, etchings, icons, stained glasses and even stamps. I always felt I myself could portray him in a way that would do justice to his persona and his spiritual legacy. Ten years ago, I decided to address this desire, yet the project never progressed beyond its sketching phase. I kept those drawings, which a decade later inspired the creation of “The Pilgrim” series. Even though the final project differs from its primal sketches, the stress on narrative remains. The story of Ignatius of Loyola is worth telling because he is an example to follow for anyone concerned with finding true meaning in life.

Q: What artistic challenges did that “recasting” present?

From the get-go I aimed to keep the past in conversation with the present and the future in this body of work. During the Renaissance, etchings became a novel visual medium in tandem with printmaking. Rubens received several commissions from the Jesuits in the early 17th century. Among them, the etchings he created of “The Life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola” made an impression on me when I saw them for the first time in a book [a] long time ago.

Today, computer digital printing is continuously evolving and is intrinsic to our modern technological arsenal. To bridge the old with the new, I appropriated Rubens’ etchings and printed them on large canvas. These became the ground or surface on which I painted with oils. My painting approach also reflects the dialogue between past and present, by using traditional techniques along with compositions inspired in cinematography and graphic novels (or comic books), which are more attuned with modern sensibilities.

Q: Why is this journey relevant to today’s viewers, and what do you hope they take away from the exhibit?

It might sound cliché to address life as a journey, but we can only move forward, while learning from the past. It all comes down to the choices we make along the road that determine who we are as individuals. The challenge has always been to make the right decisions. Most of the time, we are unaware that our decisions are tarnished or conditioned by economic, political, religious, family and personal concerns. In other words, we are not free. Ignatius of Loyola is relevant because he developed a technique in The Spiritual Exercises to achieve total freedom as we orient ourselves toward a greater cause.

Q: In what ways has your experience as a visiting professor at BC enriched you, both as an artist and a teacher/scholar?

I have embraced the liberal arts educational nature of BC. I appreciate BC’s multidisciplinary and integrative curriculum that pursues shaping students as well-rounded human beings. From this perspective, my teaching expands beyond skills and contents pertinent to students’ careers and touches other areas such as the spiritual, social justice, the environment, and so forth. I enjoy engaging in conversation with students, especially in informal settings such as the BC Art Club or over coffee. My practice as a visual artist has been informed by being [a] professor in and outside the classroom inasmuch as I make art that is accessible to those reflecting upon their own journeys.  

Q: How do you feel about your exhibit inaugurating the new Carney gallery?

I am grateful to have the opportunity to display my paintings in the new Carney gallery. My students and the larger community will have their first opportunity to view and respond to the work. I am positive that “The Pilgrim” is a solid and sound body of work that will enlighten students, professors, administrators and others.  

(The Carney faculty and student gallery was created by the BC Arts Council and the Office of Student Involvement with the Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Assessment. Click here to learn more.)

By Kristin Etu, Assistant Director of Public Relations, Canisius University

Students interacting with locals and enjoying a musical performer in a neighborhood restaurant in Naples, Italy (photo: Canisius University)

Students interacting with locals and enjoying a musical performer in a neighborhood restaurant in Naples, Italy (photo: Canisius University)

The Ratio Studiorum of 1599 stated the objectives for Jesuit education and provided the roadmap for the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm, which embodies the following five key objectives: context, experience, reflection, action and evaluation.    

Canisius University Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts/Studio Art Thomas Wolf, MFA believes it is essential to incorporate values from the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm into his courses. He teaches travel photography, and as part of his course offerings, takes students to cities along Italy’s Amalfi Coast. 

“I hope students not only learn photography skills in this course, but also understand how the process of taking a photograph will help them become a part of their community,” says Wolf. “I want them to understand better the world around them and to act responsibly as global citizens moving forward from life after graduation.” 

Context and Experience

At the start of the course, Wolf leads his students in discussions about their background travel experiences, their perceptions of Italy, and what their expectations are for the trip. While some students have studied abroad, others have never left the United States. Students have varied ideas about Italy – from “Italy is a place with good food” to “Italy is a place whose technology isn’t very advanced.” Wolf seeks to expand their horizons through his course. 


Once the group arrives in Italy, Wolf sets the stage for student learning by engaging them with Italian culture in very specific ways. For example, students spend a morning picking grapes at a local farm. 

“During this interaction, students come to understand how people in Italy embrace the land,” says Wolf. “It’s not that the farmer picks the grapes by hand because he doesn’t have access to high-tech machinery. He wants to protect the grapes and pick them at their absolute ripest. No machine can do this. Only caring people can. During this process, students become aware of how Italians connect with the earth.”

Afterwards, the group joins together for a meal, which in Italy typically lasts up to three hours. 

“This is a big change for students because in North America, we take 45 minutes for lunch and quickly move on to the next task,” says Wolf. “Students start to socialize, enjoy each other’s company and interact with the Italian farmers, cooks and families with whom we visit. They realize there is a different way of doing things that is not necessarily better or worse than we do in America.” 

All these experiences will set the stage for how students choose to take photographs. 

“When they become actively engaged with their subjects, they create a point of view about it,” says Wolf. “They take those points of view and incorporate them into the artwork they create.”

In this case, the artwork is photography.

Students on the Walk of the Gods located on the Amalfi Coast (Photo: Canisius University)

Students on the Walk of the Gods located on the Amalfi Coast (Photo: Canisius University)

Action and Evaluation

Upon return from the trip, Wolf asks students how their perceptions of Italy have changed, and why they have changed. He says, “They will say things like ‘The food is great, but now I know why the food is great.’”

And he finds the students become inspired in several ways. Many choose to participate in campus ministry service immersion trips in other countries such as El Salvador. “There is a desire to take action and to be more of a citizen of the world rather than just a citizen of the city or the college campus,” he says.

One student, who never traveled before and was particularly shy, had an epiphany of sorts after visiting Italy and witnessing a different way of life. The student chose to enter the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), and later accepted a job with the JVC at a radio station in Nome, Alaska.

“Students ought to take what they learn in class and apply it in the real-world for the benefit of the common good. This is at the heart of a Jesuit education,” says Rev. Michael F. Tunney, S.J., director of mission and identity at Canisius University. 

“The concept dates back to when the Jesuits founded their first school in Messina, Sicily, in 1548. From the start, our schools were based on the principles of a student-centered education,” he explains. “Through this course, students not only learn about photography but they learn to be better people…because they go out and engage with the natural world and the community. They come to understand themselves and their own deeper, personal motivations.”

By integrating the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm into courses, a more student-centered environment is created and opportunities for creative engagement are maximized, according to Tunney, who has recommended how to better integrate the Jesuit mission into all 35 academic departments and programs at Canisius University.

Tunney concludes, “In Tom Wolf’s classes and in so many others, faculty are offering our students an invitation to engage Magis, to go deeper in their learning. They do this for their own academic progress through very discipline-specific material. They also do this to grow as persons of conscience and compassion, by their service and contributions to the world and people beyond our dome.”

By Peter van Heerden, Director, Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Peter van Heerden (Fairfield University)

Peter van Heerden (Fairfield University)

As a distinguished liberal arts institution, Fairfield University is committed to providing its many constituencies — students, staff, faculty and members of the public — with access to culturally enriching programming in the visual and performing arts. 

The University designs artistic experiences that highlight and deepen audience understanding of the breadth of human creativity across different cultures and historical periods. At Fairfield, we are particularly well poised to present such robust cultural offerings through our core arts spaces: a fine arts museum (Bellarmine Museum of Art); an art gallery (Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery) devoted to temporary, special exhibitions; and a performing arts center (Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts), which offers a diverse annual program of performances and lectures to our audiences in a world-class facility. 

Working in concert with our faculty, these arts institutions foster intellectual, cultural and curricular enrichment, and serve as inviting and accessible points of engagement for audiences of all ages, education levels and socio-economic backgrounds.  

The mission of the Quick Center is to create a dynamic and inclusive visual and performing arts center for the whole community that inspires intellectual curiosity, broadens perspectives and transforms the way we see the world and how we interact with one another. The Quick Center is an expression of the University’s Jesuit mission to develop the creative and intellectual potential of our community, including members of the Fairfield University community and the residents of greater Fairfield County and beyond.

The Quick Center then, performs its mission in continuity with the long tradition of Jesuit theater. For hundreds of years, Jesuit institutions used the theater as a way to further their mission of evangelization, and to better reach their communities, at times, for instance, forming companies that would offer their work as a way to reach at-risk youth or under-served populations who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience live theater. Though the Quick Center offers a much wider range of arts experiences, we believe it works in continuity with this specifically Jesuit heritage, offering enlightening and enriching cultural expressions to those that might not typically have such an in-depth experience. 

As we move further into a digital age where experiences are mediated through technology, the live arts experience is more vital and important than ever. I am always in awe and moved by the beautiful and powerful moment at the end of a live performance when the house lights come up and the entire audience  — bound by what they have just experienced — erupts into applause: in that one moment, a community is harnessed and created.

It is with the importance of these live experiences fresh in our minds that in celebration of our 25th anniversary season, the Quick Center launched the Arts Education and Outreach Fund. The aim of the fund is to develop infrastructure in support of the programmatic work we do in serving the broader community through developing meaningful educational programming in the arts. Such breadth in programming is designed to accommodate the interests and learning needs of an incredibly diverse audience, which is drawn from a broad demographic range. It equally ensures that participants can maximize the many informal learning opportunities that we will provide through multi-modal, multi-sensory programming and activities. 

Since the beginning of our annual School Matinee Series, we have provided live theatre experiences to grades Pre-K through 12, exposing young people to opportunities that enhance their learning, ignite creativity and offer a new view of the world around them. Through integrated school learning, we have positioned Quick Center artists in school classrooms and facilitated artist-in-residence programs, that position teaching artists from the stage to lead educational and curriculum-based activities with local community groups and schools. The fund has enabled us to serve over 5,000 school children annually with educational experiences in the visual and performing arts.

The work and experiences enabled through the support of the fund have ensured a more robust programmatic structure that integrates community, faculty and students, showcasing the importance of the arts as an integral educational tool that should not be seen as an add-on, but as part of the fabric that weaves and holds society together.

In our 25th anniversary year, we are focused on who we are becoming and the role the arts play in nurturing creativity and creating community. The arts are to be shared by all.

For more information on the Quick Center, please visit

Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak, Ph.D. (Gonzaga University)

Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak, Ph.D. (Gonzaga University)

By Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Gonzaga University

Jesuit education focuses on the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Jesuits have long recognized the importance of the arts in the formation of individuals for the benefit of society, highlighting the relationship between creativity and problem-solving. It is no surprise then, that Gonzaga University is one of a few liberal arts universities to own an art museum. Its renowned Jundt Art Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It currently provides the location for Gonzaga’s multi-year Jesuits and the Arts series, which highlights a different artistic discipline each year. This year’s focus is on the visual arts, featuring the works of Jesuit Fathers William Vachon and Arturo Araujo. 

Gonzaga is quickly becoming a leader in arts education, exploring opportunities for interdisciplinary arts, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics + Arts) initiatives, as well as studies of the relationship between creativity and innovation. Gonzaga benefits from two major opportunities: First, the hiring of talented new faculty who are revitalizing the visual and performing arts, ensuring that enrollment in art, theater, dance and music programs continues to be strong; Second, a major gift for a new Performing Arts Center, named after benefactor Myrtle Woldson. Faculty are currently working with campus planners and architectural consultants on design specifications for the Performing Arts Center, a teaching and performance facility that will be constructed by 2018.

Gonzaga University’s Jundt Arts Center and Museum (Gonzaga University)

Gonzaga University’s Jundt Arts Center and Museum (Gonzaga University)

Engaged faculty in newly created departments are committed to interdisciplinary arts education, exploring how the arts can bring the campus together. In fall 2017, we will launch a minor in Interdisciplinary Arts. The 2015-2016 theater season includes performances of “Weaving Our Sisters’ Voices,” a sacred tapestry of dance, music and poetry about women from Scripture. The play was written by religious studies professor Linda Schearing, featuring music composed by professor Robert Spittal, and was choreographed and directed by dance instructor Suzanne Ostersmith. In spring 2016, faculty from classical studies, biology, chemistry, English, art and history are collaborating on a lecture series surrounding an exhibition of Greek and Roman artifacts at the Jundt Art Museum, the first such show to reach the Inland Northwest. 

Spring dance performance at Gonzaga (Gonzaga University)

Spring dance performance at Gonzaga (Gonzaga University)

And the arts are STEAMing ahead, bringing art and design components into the education of STEM majors. Linked classes in biology and dance allow students to study the physiology and behavioral biology behind dance moves, and have led to a choreographed dance presentation entitled “The Dancing River.” The goal of this student-authored piece is to depict the life of the river for an audience of elementary school children. Combining art and science, the piece illustrates the aquatic life and economic growth of the stunning Serpentine River that runs through Spokane, WA. Art therapy will be a course in the new public health program, and the new bachelor’s degree in computer science, acknowledging the role of computing in arts disciplines, will include instruction in the disciplines of English, theater and art. With colleagues in the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, arts disciplines are exploring a J-Mester program on creative industries. The goal is to support the development of curriculum and experiential learning experiences around creative industries so that students in the arts understand their business aspects. An added benefit will be increasing collaboration with community partners and practitioners.

The Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center will serve as the centerpiece for various arts collaborations. The Center will provide a great opportunity to attract students to the arts, to excite the campus community around the arts, to highlight the creative talent that we have on campus, and to welcome the Spokane community to Gonzaga. Not only will it enable us to offer music and theater performances on campus, it will be the platform for the Gonzaga University Visiting Writers series that has annually brought nationally-renowned authors to campus since 2007. The Performing Arts Center will also be the focal point of an “Arts Village” on the west side of the campus, consisting of spaces that will function as a living laboratory for visitors to see students and faculty in action. It will allow faculty and students to both practice creativity and simultaneously study its processes so that we can better understand the relationships between creativity, experimentation and innovation.

Gonzaga recognizes the enormous contributions from the arts to make the world a better place, and is committed to serving its students, faculty, staff and broader Spokane community through innovative programs, performances and collaborations.

By Kristin Agostoni, Assistant Director of Communications and Media Relations, Loyola Marymount University

Bill T. Jones talks with LMU students at a recent workshop (Loyola Marymount University)

Bill T. Jones talks with LMU students at a recent workshop (Loyola Marymount University)

Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo was 19 when she joined a New York City dance company struggling to cope with the loss of several members, as well as its co-director, to AIDS.   

It was 1993, and LeBlanc Loo had been cast in the dance, “D-Man in the Waters” – a powerful tribute to a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company who had died from the disease. As a newcomer surrounded by veterans on stage, “my job was just to keep up,” LeBlanc Loo recalled of the dance that touched upon themes of solidarity and strength during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and early 90s. “D-Man was really a force.”

Now years later, that dance remains a strong force for LeBlanc Loo as she teaches students at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles. As an assistant professor of dance in the College of Communication and Fine Arts, she plans to re-stage a section of “D-Man in the Waters” on campus next year, thanks to a new partnership between LMU and the renowned Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co.

The multi-cultural company founded in 1982 by Jones and his late partner Zane is known for foreshadowing issues of identity, form and social commentary through modern dance. Jones has received major honors for his work as a dancer, choreographer, writer and theater director, including the 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award and 2010 Kennedy Center Honors.

His company’s pact with LMU allows for a wide range of cross-pollination between the two organizations, providing new opportunities for students that encourage learning and engagement with professionals. 

The agreement also allows the university to license and perform two company works over the next four years, and gives LeBlanc Loo, who danced with Bill T. Jones from 1993-99, the opportunity to teach portions of company repertory within her courses. This fall, LMU hosted its first weeklong session in technique for students, led by a Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane associate artistic director along, with a performer. 

“This partnership represents an incredible opportunity for the students in our dance program, and is a testament to the quality and character of the education we offer,” said Bryant Keith Alexander, dean of LMU’s College of Communication and Fine Arts, when the agreement was announced in the spring. “We are honored and humbled to be joining the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in this endeavor.”

LeBlanc Loo believes the partnership will help bridge the gap between professional dancers and students by encouraging increased interactions on campus and in New York, where LMU students will be offered scholarships and discounted rates to attend company workshops and classes.

“I feel like this is one of the most cutting-edge things to be happening within a dance department right now,” she said. 

Bill T. Jones (center) and LMU Professor Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo (front row, far right) with the LMU Dance Department. (Loyola Marymount University)

Bill T. Jones (center) and LMU Professor Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo (front row, far right) with the LMU Dance Department. (Loyola Marymount University)

And the agreement – particularly the teaching of “D-Man” – underscores the Jesuit university’s commitment to educating the whole person and encouraging the pursuit of social justice, LeBlanc Loo noted.

Although LeBlanc Loo did not know Demian “D-Man” Acquavella – he died in 1990 at 32 – she performed in the dance with many of his close friends and colleagues. She can recall their feelings of despondency, as well as the energy and solidarity that defined the era.

“I feel that ‘D-Man in the Waters’ has the potential to teach a very important aspect of public scourge,” LeBlanc Loo said. “What ‘D-Man’ does is bring a group of people together for a common goal. It’s about helping that person who is falling.”

LeBlanc Loo has re-staged the dance at several other college campuses and knows that students can pick up the steps and learn the movements fairly quickly. But what she found along the way is that they didn’t understand what it was like to live through the AIDS epidemic. 

For that reason, she is working on a documentary that tells the stories of risk and sacrifice, love, loss and resurrection that were embedded in the choreography of the dance created by Bill T. Jones roughly 27 years ago. A recipient of the Graves Award in the Humanities, LeBlanc Loo is completing research on the dance that includes interviews with the original 1989 cast members who rallied around Acquavella.

Considering that LeBlanc Loo first saw the dance as a high school student, performed it as a professional dancer and will soon have the opportunity to teach the choreography to her LMU students, she has come full circle. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“When I think about the education of the whole person, the body has to be included in that,” she said. “Dance in that context is an archive. ‘D-Man in the Waters’ has archived the spirit of a particular time.”

12.13 REV JBS poster.jpg

The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight (JBS) committee has a great new poster featuring all 80+ basketball games played by Jesuit men’s and women’s teams during the 2015-16 season. Click here to order yours online today!

The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight (JBS) is a nationwide effort to capitalize on basketball games between Jesuit schools and, through those games, bring greater positive awareness and exposure to Jesuit education and its shared mission. This project was developed by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) in 2008 in response to member institutions wanting to spread the word of Jesuit higher education through the many basketball games in which Jesuit institutions play each other every season.

Pope Francis reads a copy of The Tweetable Pope, given to him by the author in October at the Vatican (Photo by Michael O'Loughlin)

Pope Francis reads a copy of The Tweetable Pope, given to him by the author in October at the Vatican (Photo by Michael O’Loughlin)

Boston Globe and Crux journalist Michael O’Loughlin opens a window into the heart and revolutionary mission of Pope Francis by examining his extensive and revelatory use of social media in The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters.

O’Loughlin, a former America contributor, uses Francis’ Tweets to his nearly 24 million followers to explain why this pope has captured the world’s imagination and to explore his strategy and vision for the Catholic Church.

Grouped by the Pope’s most pressing concerns—forgiveness, mercy, injustice, poverty, war, joy, the environment and more, The Tweetable Pope uses Francis’ pithy 140-character (or fewer) missives as a prism to view the biographical, historical and spiritual context of his messages and how each is part of a larger vision.

Rev. James Martin, S.J. called The Tweetable Pope “a valuable addition to reflections on this extraordinary pope” and Elizabeth Dias of TIME said it is “a must-read for anyone—Twitter user or not.”

The Tweetable Pope, 256 p., HarperOne. More info at


British playwright Jonathan Moore has published the text for his play, INIGO, based on the life of St. Ignatius. After a triumphant initial run off West End and subsequent successful productions in London, the text of the play was recently published with a foreword by Mark Lawson, a leading British arts broadcaster and critic. The play vividly brings Ignatius and the founding Jesuits to life for a contemporary audience, and would be ideal for use as a text for study, campus ministry, spirituality and/or to be dramatised by students.
“Jonathan Moore makes Ignatius accessible to us, capturing much of the drama of The Spiritual Exercises themselves, an excellent discovery for schools and colleges. I hope that is something we may look forward to.”—Rev. James Hanvey S.J., Master of Campion Hall, Oxford University (
“An astonishing achievement” — Jesuits and Friends (Magazine of the British Jesuits)
To order the play online, please click here.