By Deanna I. Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU

Nearly two years have passed since members of the AJCU Marketing & Communications Network met at Loyola University Maryland to plan a collaborative advertising campaign in conjunction with Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States later that fall. Since then, we have met again at Xavier University and Creighton University to discuss ways that our network could build upon the 2015 Pope Francis / Jesuit Educated campaign and continue to promote Jesuit higher education through social media and other creative platforms.

At the request of the AJCU Board of Directors (the presidents of the nation’s 28 Jesuit colleges and universities), we are developing a video and social media campaign that will promote Jesuit colleges and universities to high school students and their parents. This video will include students from our schools, many of whom will be in Washington, D.C. this summer for the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference at Georgetown University. We are excited to begin working on this production and including our colleagues from the Jesuit Excellence Tour (JET) program as our collaborators. We anticipate a release date of spring 2018, which will reach future college graduates from the classes entering freshman year in 2018 and 2019.

In this issue of Connections, you will learn about new advertising campaigns and creative programs that Jesuit colleges and universities have created to share their mission and identity with a broader audience. From Le Moyne College’s new slogan, ‘Greatness meets Goodness,’ to the University of San Francisco’s Go Move fitness challenge for Jesuit colleges and universities, incredible work is being done on our campuses to celebrate and promote our shared mission and identity.

Although this is our last issue of Connections for the academic year, we will continue to keep you informed on the latest news from Jesuit colleges and universities over the summer through our weekly e-newsletter, AJCU Higher Ed News. Connections will return in September with an issue that will highlight creative ways that our institutions serve adult learners and under-served populations. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered in Connections next year, please let me know! You can feel free to write to me at or give me a call at (202) 862-9893.

As always, thank you for your support of AJCU and our mission to serve our nation’s Jesuit colleges and universities. We wish you a wonderful and relaxing summer!

By Cynthia Littlefield, Vice President for Federal Relations, AJCU

Finishing FY17 Appropriations
Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act on May 5th, which was then signed into law by President Trump. This bipartisan omnibus act was a continuation of efforts from the last session of the 114th Congress. FY17 appropriations for higher education were, for the most part, positive.

The Pell grant maximum award was increased by $105 to $5,920. With bipartisan support, the year-round Pell grant program was reauthorized and included in the act again. This program encourages students to attend classes in the summer in an effort to accelerate their graduation. Unfortunately, the Pell grant reserve fund was cut by $1.6 billion.

Some good news was the inclusion of the campus-based aid Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work Study program, both of which were level-funded at $733 million and $989 million, respectively. This will be important during reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) because Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) supports the “one grant / one loan” concept. TRIO and GearUp program funding increased by $50 million and $17 million, respectively. Even Title VI (International Education) was level-funded at $72 million.

The President’s budget for FY18 was released yesterday (new presidents are often given great latitude to present their first budget to Congress, thus the late release date). This article will be updated with information on the budget’s potential impact on higher education in the days to come.

Perkins Loan Extension Bill Introduced
In a continued effort to save the undergraduate Perkins loan program, Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Jeff Duncan (R-TN), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) have introduced the Perkins Loan Extension Act. This bill would extend the undergraduate Perkins loan program for two years; it would otherwise expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2017. AJCU and the Campus-Based Aid Coalition will continue to work on seeing this bill passed so that the program can be saved.

Student Loan Rates to Increase
On July 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Treasury will raise student loan interest rates. Undergraduate student loan interest rates will increase from 3.76% to 4.45%; graduate student loan interest rates will increase from 5.31% to 6%; and Parent PLUS loan interest rates will increase from 6.31% to 7%.

AJCU Congressional Breakfast: October 5th
Save the date: on Thursday, October 5th, AJCU will host a Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill for Jesuit alumni in Congress and representatives of Jesuit institutions. For more information, please e-mail or call me at or (202) 862-9893. Have a terrific summer!

Christopher P. Puto, Ph.D. is the thirty-seventh president of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and a proud, Jesuit-educated member of the Spring Hill Class of 1964. After completing his undergraduate degree in economics on The Hill, he earned a Master of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Miami and a Doctorate in Business Administration in marketing from Duke University.

Dr. Puto has held numerous leadership roles in higher education, including professor of marketing and dean of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, and professor of marketing and psychology, associate dean, director of the MBA program and director of doctoral studies in marketing at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Puto’s significant industry and consulting experiences include work with major brands including Bank of America, General Electric and the Burger King Corporation. He is the author of numerous journal articles and publications. His expertise in marketing, particularly his work dedicated to understanding consumer preference, is extensive. He is a past recipient of the Sheth Foundation Award for his research that appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research. His chapter, “The Marketing and Business of Higher Education” for the book, Restoring Trust in Higher Education, was recently published by Praeger.

Dr. Puto recently discussed his years of professional experience in higher education marketing with Spring Hill College’s chief marketing officer, Donna Heroux. The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Heroux: What are some of the challenges that marketing professionals and administrators currently face when marketing higher education services? 

Puto: I’d like to point out that although marketing has been a part of corporate America for quite some time, multiple constituents in the higher education setting are often skeptical of the term. Is marketing promotion, customer experience, media relations or advertising? From my experience, it’s often a lack of a common understanding of what marketing is and what marketing can do for an organization that prohibits or impedes an organization’s ability to maximize its potential. So, strong internal communication, education and alignment of faculty, staff and administrators are key to ameliorating any misunderstandings or false perceptions of the concept of marketing.

Additionally, the market place is noisy and competitive. Potential customers – prospective students and their parents—are focused on choosing the services of an organization with maximum perceived value. Amidst all of the market noise, an organization must be able to communicate a value proposition that supports the goals and values of today’s customers. It is essential that we as Jesuit leaders are able to articulate the value of a Jesuit education, and that of our institution, to our potential customers.

What, in your opinion, is the role of marketing in higher education?

Marketing, in its broadest terms, is a process through which organizations understand and define needs, create solutions and communicate the value of those solutions to those in need of it. It is incredibly important to know and try to understand your customers. What does the market – what do the customers — want? What is important to them? Are we able to offer what they want and need? And, if so, is what we are offering truly different than our competitors and do our customers value what we have to offer?

For the purpose of our conversation, it is important for readers to understand that I define the word “customer” to mean an individual who has a need that an organization can solve or fulfill and who is willing to exchange something of value in return for the solution that he or she, in turn, values.

With prospective students and parents as primary customer segments for those of us in higher education, part of the job of marketers is to help facilitate the student decision process in an effort to meet and fulfill customers’ needs and demonstrate value.

As the emphasis on mastery, outcomes and co-curricular experiences increases for customers seeking undergraduate experiences, it is important for us to consider matters such as predicted hiring trends and industry growth, the importance of work-life balance to today’s students, and vocational discernment’s role in preparing young adults for independent lives that will enrich both them and the world in which they live.

How can colleges and universities articulate and communicate their value?

At Jesuit institutions, we have the rich history and immensely valuable experience of Jesuit education to articulate. Through the work of the AJCU and many individuals from its member institutions, we are well on the path to communicating and demonstrating that unique value proposition to our customers.

Yet each member institution has its own unique value to communicate as well. And the process of understanding that begins with listening – listening internally to one another and listening to your current customers and understanding their needs.

Another important step in this process includes honestly examining and understanding the core capabilities and key strengths of your institution.

As the president of one of the oldest Jesuit, Catholic institutions in the United States, how do you see institutions of higher education – particularly those in the Jesuit tradition – remaining relevant?

The impact of the retail industry and its approach to service on our reality is an important one. All of us must understand the customer journey, the complete experience of the student from his or her initial awareness of any need or desire to pursue an undergraduate degree – which is occurring earlier and earlier in a student’s lifetime – through graduation and beyond. Some of the research shows that this upcoming generation of students is even more focused on cost savings and value. To best reach them, we must understand what precisely they perceive as valuable.

And of course, we live in a world that is vastly different than when I attended Spring Hill. We are recruiting and educating digital natives. As a primarily residential campus, for example, we are envisioning what a truly immersive, 365-day, 24/7 experience looks and feels like, and what it takes to provide this for our students. We are also exploring innovative collaborations that allow us to partner with other organizations and to meet others, in the true Ignatian spirit, where they are at the present moment.

The wonderful news is that there has never been a time when Jesuit education seems more relevant. For more than 450 years, Jesuits have been crafting a complete educational experience for students founded on the belief that knowledge is not something to merely be acquired but rather used to better the world. As one of 28 institutions founded on this principle of service, as well as those of faith, leadership, social justice and community engagement, there has never been a more relevant time for Jesuit education.

Dr. Christopher P. Puto with Spring Hill College students in Italy in November 2016 (Photo by Spring Hill College)    
Dr. Christopher P. Puto with Spring Hill College students in Italy in November 2016 (Photo by Spring Hill College)

By Cristal Steuer, Senior Strategist at TVP Communications & Bridget Campolettano ’10, Integrated Marketing Manager at College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

 Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

          Photo by College of the Holy Cross

Last November, the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders played the Fordham University Rams at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY to compete for the 31st Ram-Crusader Cup. While the premise for this event was football, it went well beyond a game.

On the Holy Cross campus in Worcester, MA, it was a major collaboration between athletics, advancement and alumni relations, and college marketing and communications. The College viewed the game as an opportunity to tell its story more broadly in a new market: New York City.

“The combination of the nationwide recognition of Yankee Stadium, a rivalry game against fellow Jesuit school, Fordham University, and our large alumni presence in New York presented us with an ideal opportunity to share the meaning and impact of a Holy Cross education with a new audience,” said Marisa Gregg, director of marketing and communications at Holy Cross. “We planned a weekend full of events that brought together our passionate alumni from across the country to create a visible presence in New York. We advertised the game itself and also created in-game video content to tell our story through the voices of faculty, students and alumni. [And] we garnered media attention both before and after the game.”

An announcement of the rivalry ran in more than 200 media outlets across the country including Yahoo! News, MarketWatch, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Holy Cross administrators were on the TODAY show plaza and received on-camera coverage (the day before the game) cheering for the Crusaders. Media outlets in New York and Worcester covered the game in advance and recapped the scores in post-game coverage. The earned media value for the event was approximately $217,000.

With a crowd of nearly 22,000 (40 percent of whom were non-Holy Cross fans), the in-game presentations were an opportunity to tell a story beyond football. Numerous videos were created to play on the Jumbotron, in the suites of the stadium, and around the concourse. One played on the College’s branding platform of “Ask More,”: What big questions do you ask in your life? What do you hope for the future of Holy Cross? What does it mean to be a student-athlete at Holy Cross?

Interviewees in the videos included senior administrators (e.g. College president Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.); prominent alumni (e.g. John Luth ’74, Seabury Group founder who, with his wife, donated $32.5 million to the College’s new athletic complex; Gordie Lockbaum ’88, a Heisman Trophy contender and vice president of Sullivan insurance group; Anne Fink ’85, CEO of PepsiCo North American Foodservice); and student-athletes (Peter Pujals ’17, Luke Ford ’17 and Jimmy Murray ’17).

“At Holy Cross, we are always looking for ways to further enhance the experience of our student-athletes,” said Nathan Pine, the College’s director of athletics. “Having the opportunity this year to play a game at Yankee Stadium is something our players will remember long after their football careers are over. It was wonderful to have so many students, faculty, administrators and alumni at the event to cheer us on.”

The College also held numerous events during the big weekend to highlight the spirit of Holy Cross. Alumni and friends took part in a variety of activities that were both true to the College’s mission, and to the spirit of New York including: an alumni networking event; a joint service project with Fordham at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle; a tour of Carnegie Hall; a walking tour of the Multi-Ethnic Lower East Side with Ed O’Donnell ’86, professor of history at Holy Cross; and Sunday morning Mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.

By Jennifer Anderson, Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Fairfield University

PHoto by Fairfield University
PHoto by Fairfield University

Fairfield University’s co-ed Class of 2021 will be entering their freshman year with cell phones, the Internet, and the ability to communicate globally at the touch of a hand. Fairfield’s first all-male class in 1942 was armed with pens and paper.

Despite the passage of time and the dramatic changes in campus culture, the Jesuit mission of forming men and women for others has continued to inform everything we do. The Catholic intellectual tradition has grounded our core curriculum through its broad humanism and commitment to reasoned inquiry. As we promote our mission and identity to prospective students, these values are at the heart of all of our communications. Our viewbooks, videos, information sessions, tours and social media all show high school students how our Jesuit mission has shaped our students’ experience and guided their future direction.

As Fairfield turns 75 this year, we are reminded how deeply our Jesuit identity has shaped our institution, and the lives of all of the members of our University community over the years. In recognition of our 75th anniversary, Fairfield’s Vice President for Mission and Identity, Dr. Nancy Dallavalle, sponsored an essay contest, “What Does Fairfield Mean to You?” Members of our community were invited to reflect on how Fairfield’s mission has shaped their lives and those of their families. The contest received over 50 strong submissions from students, alumni, former and present faculty, and staff members from across the University’s divisions, including one in the form of a digital essay, seen below.

A total of eight winners were chosen at the beginning of May, including the video above from Nicole Rosania ’20, and featured a range of experiences and reflections. Lori Boccuzzi ’06 shared a poignant essay about the death of her father who said in his last days, “The fact that we both went to Fairfield…will always be our special memory.” Christine Ducey ’19 expects her transformation to continue after graduation when she can make the world better because of her Fairfield education. Anna Kamradt ’19 explained how transferring to Fairfield was the best decision she has made and that she would not be the individual she is today without the University.

The Jesuits who founded Fairfield in the middle of World War II did so because they were filled with hope for the future, and inspired by the Jesuit mission — to educate and form young people and thereby transform the world for the better. That mission is as alive at Fairfield today as it was 75 years ago.

By Molly Kathleen McCarthy, Writer-Editor, Le Moyne College Office of Communications

“Greatness meets Goodness.”

At Le Moyne College, these three words are more than a tagline. They permeate everything we do, including the way we educate our students, respond to letters from parents, and interact with the broader community of Syracuse, NY. This phrase is a reflection of our values and ideals, and is rooted in our Jesuit identity. In short, “Greatness meets Goodness” shapes people’s perception of the College and helps to distinguish Le Moyne from other institutions. Beyond that, it reminds us who we are and who we aspire to be.

Andrew Lunetta, Le Moyne '12 (Photo by Le Moyne College)
Andrew Lunetta, Le Moyne ’12 (Photo by Le Moyne College)

At the start of the 2016-17 academic year, the College launched a new marketing campaign centered on this theme. The message conveys Le Moyne’s mission to educate men and women who not only have the capacity to succeed, but the will to use that success to aid the wider world. It is exemplified by individuals like Jeanette Epps ’92, a NASA astronaut who will travel to the International Space Station next year to conduct research for the benefit of everyone on Earth; Andrew Lunetta ’12, who used his passion for entrepreneurship and social justice to found A Tiny Home for Good, which provides formerly homeless individuals with a safe place to live; and classical actor John Douglas Thompson ’85, whose portrayal of Shakespeare’s Othello brought that character to life for rapt audiences – and earned him a prestigious Obie Award.

“Our brand is an umbrella under which everything else falls,” explains Peter Killian, associate vice president for communications and marketing at Le Moyne. “It encapsulates everything we are and everything we do. The brand is a promise and, as such, it is woven into everything from our mission, to our marketing, to our storytelling, to our strategic plan, to our merchandising.”

The campaign was developed by the Brooklyn, NY-based creative agency Baiocco and Maldari, whose chief creative officer is Le Moyne alumnus Rob Baiocco ’85. It was crafted in close consultation with the staff in Le Moyne’s Office of Marketing and Communications, Office of the President, faculty members and key administrators. The campaign is centered on four themes: values in action, think forward, meaningful success and become you. It was designed to be memorable, adaptable and concise, and emphasizes the College’s highest priority – to prepare men and women to live generously and compassionately. At its core is the idea that integrity and success are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact in concert with one another.

The marketing and communications team is sharing that message daily through videos posted to the College’s website and stories published online and displayed on campus. Told in a tone that is genuine, warm and confident, they feature students, faculty and alumni in the classroom and out in the community putting their education to work to make a positive impact on the lives of those around them. Among other things, they highlight the thousands of hours of community service that Le Moyne students do every year and the opportunities they have to learn in far-flung places like Iceland and the Galapagos Islands. These stories are designed to provoke emotion and inspire people to action.

Beyond that, the Le Moyne brand has also been highly visible in social media campaigns. The College regularly uses the hashtags #greatnessmeetsgoodness, #dolphinseverywhere and #dolphinswork. Last year, the College took part in First Lady Michelle Obama’s College Decision Day campaign using the hashtag #dolphins2020 and #reachhigher. Students who declared their intention to attend Le Moyne were encouraged to share that news on social media using the hashtag #dolphins2020.

Perhaps most meaningfully, the message that Le Moyne is truly a place where “Greatness meets Goodness” is conveyed during visits to campus. Prospective students learn that Le Moyne is a place where they will discover who they are and what they value. Students and their families have the opportunity to speak to faculty members one-on-one and to share their dreams and their concerns with them. They discover the myriad opportunities that Le Moyne provides for its students to give back – as near to campus as the Syracuse Rescue Mission and as far away as the Working Boys Center in Quito, Ecuador. They also learn about unique programs like Manresa, which blends learning, meaning, calling and career over the course of a student’s four years at Le Moyne. Visitors are welcomed to campus with banners featuring images of students accompanied by one of the four brand themes – values in action, think forward, meaningful success and become you.

“The world is changing rapidly, and the need for sustained, innovative and agile thinking has never been more pronounced than it is today. That is what we do here,” says Killian. “What it boils down to is simple. We live the brand.”

By Chris Yates, Creator & Director of Emmaus: The Nature of the Way; Loyola Marymount University ’16

Rev. Thomas Rausch, S.J. (Photo by Chris Yates & Robert Macaisa)

“Love transcends a relationship from a puzzle to a mystery. With a puzzle, you eventually hit a wall but with a mystery, that wall opens up into infinity,” said Rev. William Fulco, S.J. during his Archaeology & The Bible class that I was lucky enough to be part of at Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

I often reflect on moments like these, which occurred throughout my four years at LMU in Los Angeles, California. LMU is the place where I have been forever changed by moments as simple as a sentence, like this one shared by Fr. Fulco.

As a student, I was very involved in Campus Ministry, and having professors like Fr. Fulco gave me greater insight into this seemingly ‘mysterious’ group of men known as the Jesuits. As my four years progressed, I grew lucky to call a number of these men professors and mentors, but also friends.

One day during my junior year, I had a light bulb moment, in which I realized that the Jesuits who I knew at LMU were instrumental in forming the man I am today. But I was also saddened, as I realized that hundreds of students would leave LMU without ever meeting a single Jesuit.

On top of this phenomenon, society as a whole has not painted priests in the most positive light. There are often misconceptions about priests that make them unrelatable or not approachable. As a result of my own experiences, I decided to create a project to confront these obstacles and capture the inherent humanity of these men.

Over the past two years, professional photographer Robert Macaisa (LMU ‘14) and I photographed twenty-two Jesuits who live at LMU’s Jesuit Residence. The result was a photography book called Emmaus: The Nature of the Way.

Through the juxtaposition of formal and informal portraits, paired with word-for-word anecdotes about conquering alcoholism, escaping Vietnam during the war, handling a mother’s sundowning episode and more, Emmaus: The Nature of the Way aims to shed light on the humanity of these men.

Rev. Thomas Rausch, S.J. (Photo by Chris Yates & Robert Macaisa)

On Saturday, May 13th, Robert and I were fortunate to celebrate our official book launch and gallery exhibition. At the gallery opening, Fr. Fulco introduced the project, fully encapsulating all that the book hopes to do.

“Chris started out wanting to tell other people this is who we are — in a big sense, we are finding out now who we are,” he said. “In each one of these [photographs], Chris and Robert saw something about us that sometimes we didn’t see ourselves. And when we see our finished product, [we] realize they’re right — this is who I am. They captured something that we didn’t know about ourselves.”

This was yet another moment in my own journey in which I was uniquely changed from a blessed encounter. The book is not simply two covers with some photographs, or someone’s diary, but rather, a spiritual exercise, walking with these men in solidarity as each one of us strives to understand The Nature of the Way.

For more information on Emmaus: The Nature of the Way and to obtain a copy of the book, please visit You may follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @natureoftheway.

By Lisa Kirby, Communications Specialist, University of San Francisco

Photo by University of San Francisco

Together as a network, the nation’s Jesuit colleges and universities have embarked on a distinctive wellness movement that models the central Ignatian principle of cura personalis and provides individual institutions a way to build community on their campuses.

Five years ago, faculty and staff from Santa Clara University and the University of San Francisco (USF) partnered on an experiment in friendly competition: which university could accumulate the most minutes of movement in a month? That competition has expanded exponentially in each subsequent year, to the point that 20 of the 28 Jesuit institutions are now engaged in the Go Move Challenge.

This year also saw the launch of the inaugural Students Go Move Challenge, which premiered with eight institutions competing against each other. This year’s increased participation clearly demonstrated that AJCU values the importance of physical activity in the workplace and its cascade of positive effects on overall wellness, camaraderie and employee engagement.

With the launch of the new Go Move Challenge website earlier this year (, it’s easier than ever to participate, and at no cost to the colleges and universities, says Suzy Kisylia, wellness manager at USF. The new website not only allowed participants to track their minutes quickly and easily, but gave them the ability to connect, share stories and pictures, inspire one another to exercise, and enhance school spirit through healthy competition.

Although it is mainly considered a physical wellness challenge that promotes exercise and movement, the Go Move Challenge fosters camaraderie among colleagues, departments, schools, offices, universities and colleges, and the AJCU as a whole. Now that participants can share their progress on the new website, Facebook and Instagram, Jesuit institutions are connecting on a personal level like never before. “Our faculty and staff were consistently impressed at the level of commitment from the other participating AJCU institutions – even in the face of inclement weather and other challenges such as recruiting participating employees for the first time,” says Kisylia.

In addition to coordinating the network-wide Go Move Challenge, Kisylia oversees her own university’s holistic and nationally-recognized wellness program, GoUSF. She says, “What we’re finding more and more with each year that GoUSF promotes various wellness programming for faculty and staff, is that each dimension of wellness has cross-over effects into other aspects of health. Through surveys and informal feedback, we’ve found that improved physical health also leads to a better emotional state, as employees have more energy, mental clarity and a positive attitude, which translates to better work output and quality time with family among other things. We’ve designed Go Move to be an extension of that.”

Work on the 2018 Go Move Challenge will begin soon, says Kisylia. “Every year, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for AJCU faculty and staff across the country to participate in Go Move. Once a university notifies me of their desire to participate, a university account is created for them and anyone with their university email can sign up for free online.”

The advantages and features of the new website allow each user to:

In addition, Kisylia provides advertising resources and ideas to challenge administrators to take the guess work out of promoting the program to their university. For example:

Scrolling through the Go Move Challenge social media pages, you can get a glimpse of the creative ways that universities stay active during February, a notoriously difficult month to get moving. From post-New Year’s resolution blues, to inclement weather and bouts of the flu, February can easily be the month that everyone is waiting to be over. That’s where the Go Move Challenge becomes particularly effective: participants get moving during an otherwise inactive month.

Whether or not your college or university has participated in Go Move, AJCU institutions can expect to hear from Suzy Kisylia in the coming months about planning for 2018. On behalf of the University of San Francisco, GoUSF wishes you continued health and wellness throughout the year!

Learn more about the results of the 2017 Go Move Challenge by checking out the summary webpage.

By Deanna I. Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU

As we near the end of the 2016-17 academic year, we want to share some highlights from four Jesuit institutions that are celebrating milestone anniversaries. Looking ahead, Saint Louis University (SLU) will be the next Jesuit institution to celebrate a milestone: on September 23, 2017, SLU will kick off its Bicentennial with a Mass under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO.

Fairfield University

Photo by Fairfield University
Photo by Fairfield University

In September 1941, the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT gave the New England Province of the Society of Jesus permission to establish a new Jesuit high school and college near the city of Bridgeport. Just six months later, in March 1942, the Fairfield College of St. Robert Bellarmine, Inc. purchased two adjoining estates in Fairfield, CT; shortly after, Fairfield College-Preparatory School was opened. In 1945, the state of Connecticut authorized by charter Fairfield University as a degree-granting institution.

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Fairfield University is hosting a number of events that began in January 2017 and will conclude with an art exhibit in February 2018. A full list of events can be found on a new dedicated website, The website also features an interactive timeline of Fairfield’s history, videos from 75th anniversary lectures, a social media board, and much more.

Fordham University

New York City’s Empire State Building lit in maroon during the Fordham Founder’s Dinner on March 27, 2017 (Photo by Fordham University)

As the fifth oldest Jesuit institution of higher education in the United States, Fordham University has educated tens of thousands of students from the greater New York region and beyond for 175 years. In 1841, Fordham was opened as a diocesan institution, St. John’s College, by John Hughes, Archbishop of New York. Just five years later, the college was sold to the Society of Jesus, whose reputation for education was renowned across the Northeast. It was not until the early 20th century though (in 1907) that St. John’s College was renamed Fordham University for its local surroundings in the Bronx.

Highlights of Fordham’s 175th anniversary (known in Latin as a dodransbicentennial) include the annual Founder’s Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street, the lighting of the Empire State Building in maroon, and the Sapientia et Doctrina lecture series. Visit to learn more.

Seattle University

Seattle University 125th anniversary logo (Photo by Seattle University)

In response to a need for educational opportunities in the Pacific Northwest, the Society of Jesus founded the Immaculate Conception Church parish school in Seattle, WA in 1891. Seven years later, a charter from Washington state renamed the school as Seattle College. In 1948, (seventeen years after it began to admit women), Seattle College was renamed Seattle University. Now a comprehensive university, Seattle University continues to thrive in its 125th year.

A new interactive website ( features a number of commemorative events taking place this year including a lighting of the Seattle Space Needle in red, as well as posters, profiles of 125 students and alumni, and a video of a recent 125th anniversary lecture.

Campion College

As Canada’s only undergraduate Jesuit institution of higher education, Campion College at the University of Regina enjoys a unique role. This year, Campion (an associate member of AJCU) is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a series of events including a lecture by Homeboy Industries founder Rev. Greg Boyle, S.J., an online series of 100 stories of students, alumni and community members, and a 100th anniversary weekend in October 2017.

Campion also created a new logo to commemorate the Centennial. As seen here, the intersecting white “cs” in the zeroes stand for “Campion College” and represent the institution’s Catholic identity. Named for St. Edmund Campion, the College was established in December 1917 to provide educational opportunities for youth in Saskatchewan. Currently, the College has 700 students and 20 full time-professors. To learn more about Campion, please click here.

By Eric Immel, S.J., Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus

Eric Immel, S.J. is a Jesuit regent of the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus. He works at Arrupe College in Chicago and writes for The Jesuit Post. This article was originally published by the Midwest Province and is featured in Connections with permission from the Province.

Eric Immel, S.J. (Photo by Midwest Jesuits)

Jerome had tired eyes, yellowed with age and fragmented by red, angular veins. His rich mahogany irises reflected the harsh fluorescent light of the subway tunnel, and his pupils were minuscule, adjusting from the darkness of the street above. Tears sat gently in the corners of these eyes, and when he blinked, they ran down his stubbled cheeks. Still, these eyes met mine with brightness and warmth. They energized me, tired after another long day at Arrupe College in Chicago, my full-time job for the next few years. He outstretched his clenched, trembling fist in a gesture of brotherhood, and as our knuckles collided, he began his sermon.

“I can see you’re a man of God,” he said. It was late, and I still had on my clerical shirt, white tab undone. He continued, “I want you to know something: Your gifts will carry you far, but your character will define you.”

He went on, paraphrasing parables and quoting Scripture. He told me he believed in me. He asked me to pray with him right there on the Blue Line. Then, we rode together in silence until my stop and said goodbye. I walked home across the college campus near where I live, and after trading my clerical shirt for an old Badgers tee, opened a new document and began typing a lesson plan for the next day, ten hours before I would teach it.

Arrupe College is new for everyone. Part of Loyola University Chicago, it is the first Jesuit two-year college in the country, and it offers a liberal arts education to diverse students, many of whom are the first in their families to go to college. They face judgment about whether they are prepared or even “gifted” enough to succeed in higher education.

Eric Immel, S.J., with members of the student government at Arrupe College in Chicago, IL (photo by Midwest Jesuits)

Through little fault of their own, our students face significant challenges in accessing and succeeding in a traditional four-year degree program. Their average high school GPA and ACT scores are lower than the typical Loyola student, and most of them qualify for state and federal financial aid. They commute from every corner of the city and return home each day, often facing the very worst that Chicago has to offer — systemic racism, violence and poverty. Some are undocumented immigrants seeking education in a country deeply divided over whether they should be here at all. They stand at the foot of a mountain of injustice, and they continue to climb with us at Arrupe.

Our students are hungry to learn. Their grit in facing the realities of a world often pitted against them shows relentless determination, perseverance, strength and wisdom. As one student said, “We aren’t going anywhere.” They are not defined by the adversity that often surrounds them but by how they respond to that adversity and sustain unwavering hope. Time and again, I am struck by how generously they lift one another up with a word of encouragement, a hug, or a prayer.

Jerome knew it on that train, my students know it at Arrupe, and I am learning: That which we are capable of means nothing if good character isn’t in place. And so I stay up, soft light shining across my little desk, memories of Jerome and my students settling in my mind. My eyes are heavy but open and ready to face the night.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) sponsors over 30 conferences (affinity groups) within the AJCU Network. The conferences provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, information and best practices; support the professional development of their members; and present opportunities for AJCU representatives to discuss collaboration and challenges in Jesuit higher education.

Most of the AJCU conferences host meetings at least once a year, and many of them facilitate regular communication among members through listservs. The following conferences and affiliated Jesuit programs and events will be held this summer and fall:

Philadelphia All-Jesuit Alumni Happy Hour
July 11, 2017, Morgan’s Pier (Garden Area)
221 N. Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19106

Click here to register online.

Washington, D.C. All-Jesuit Alumni Happy Hour
July 13, 2017, The Dubliner
4 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Registration link forthcoming.

Ignatian Colleagues Program Cohort 10 Orientation
July 18 – 21, 2017, Loyola University Chicago Ecology & Retreat Center, Woodstock, IL
Contact: Joseph DeFeo, Executive Director for ICP
(203) 254-4000 ext. 2147,

Deans of Communication Programs
Host: Rev. Paul A. Soukup, S.J., Santa Clara University
(408) 554-4022,
July 19 – 22, 2017, Santa Clara University

National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference
July 19 – 23, 2017, Georgetown University

Click here for more information.

Service Learning Professionals
Chair: Sean L. Rhiney, JD, Xavier University
(513) 745-3968,
August 8 – 10, 2017, Seattle University

Research & Sponsored Programs
Chair: Nancy Dufau, Loyola University Maryland
(410) 617-2004,
August 10, 2017, AJCU Office, Washington, D.C.

Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education Conference
August 10 – 13, 2017, Seattle University
Co-Chair: Jennifer Glancy, Le Moyne College
Co-Chair: Fred Glennon, Le Moyne College

Click here to register online.

Education Deans
September 27 – 29, 2017, Marquette University
President: Dr. Vincent C. Alfonso, Gonzaga University
(509) 313-3594,

Arts & Science Deans*
September 28 – 30, 2017, Marquette University
Chair: Dr. Richard Holz, Marquette University
(414) 288-7230,

Graduate Deans*
September 28 – 30, 2017, Marquette University
Chair: Dr. Eva Badowska, Fordham University
(718) 817-4400,

*The AJCU Arts & Science Deans and Graduate Deans will join together for this meeting.

International Education Conference*
May 29, 2017, Loyola Marymount University
Chair: Debbie Danna, Loyola University New Orleans
(504) 864-7550,

*This meeting and reception will be held prior to the annual meeting of NAFSA (Association of International Educators). Click here to register online.

2017 National Christian Life Community (CLC) Gathering
May 30 – June 2, 2017, Loyola University Chicago

Click here for more information.

Jesuit Enrollment Managers
June 7 – 9, 2017, Canisius University
Contact: Kathleen Davis, Canisius University
(716) 888-2500,

Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP) Magis Retreat
June 11 – 18, 2017, Jesuit Retreat House, Oshkosh, WI
Contact: Joseph DeFeo, Executive Director for ICP
(203) 254-4000 ext. 2147,

Conference on Diversity and Equity (CDE)
June 13 – 16, 2017, Fairfield University
Chair: Darryle (DJ) Todd, Marquette University
(414) 288-4252,

Click here to register online.

The Jesuit Leadership Seminar
June 13 – 16, 2017, Loyola University Chicago
Director: Jeanne Fielding Lord, Georgetown University
(202) 687-2912,

Click here for more information.

Conference on IT Management (CITM)
June 18 – 21, 2017, Seattle University
President: Michael Bourque, Boston College
(617) 552-6060,

Click here to register online.

Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN)
June 27 – 29, 2017, College of the Holy Cross
Contact: Julie Mughal, Fairfield University
(203) 254-4000 ext. 3505,

Click here to register online.

World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) North American Congress
June 28 – July 2, 2017, John Carroll University

Click here to register online.

Jesuit Advancement Officers (JAA)
July 9 – 11, 2017, Saint Joseph’s University (co-hosted by University of Scranton)
Chair: Peter Wilch, University of San Francisco
(415) 422-4461,

Click here to register online.