Our Program: Past to Present
The mission of the Global Residential Community is to engage students, faculty, and staff in the common goals of gaining a global perspective, creating interactive internationally-focused learning opportunities, and forming meaningful intercultural relationships within the USF and San Francisco communities.
In 2002 the University of San Francisco launched the Global Living Community (GLC), a residential-based program offered for students interested in learning more about the world. Its mission was “to develop an intercultural community that stimulates exchange of cultures within an intentional living-learning environment.” The program was hosted on one floor in the Lone Mountain Residence Hall. Student membership fluctuated between ten to twenty community members, with membership consisting primarily of U.S. domestic students and a few internationals.
Based on review of learning outcomes and student testimonials, the offices sponsoring GLC conducted an exploratory study to see if the program could expand to its own facility. In 2009 students indicated through questionnaire feedback that they were extremely interested in living in a community focused on global awareness and intercultural connectivity. Based on the positive response and the University mission, GLC was approved to transform into its own building program in the Fall of 2010.
Plans were implemented to house the program in Pedro Arrupe Hall and begin the next phase of the program with a new name: the Global Residential Community (GRC). Unfortunately, due to the unexpected increase in demands for first-year student and sophomore accommodations, the program was placed on hold for one academic year in order to provide additional housing for students required to live on campus.
During its “sabbatical” year, the planning team continued to work on establishing faculty partnerships and planning for the new launch date of August 2011.
In Fall 2011, the Global Living Community was finally expanded and re-envisioned as the Global Residential Community (GRC) in Pedro Arrupe Residence Hall.
Our Building: Pedro Arrupe Hall
We are proud that our program is housed in Pedro Arrupe Hall, named in honor of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., a leader in social justice work.
Born and educated as a physician in Balboa, Spain, Fr. Pedro de Arrupe y Gondra served as the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Among his experiences, he worked as a missionary in Japan and eventually was appointed Jesuit superior and the master of novices while living in suburban Hiroshima. He headed the first rescue party to arrive in the city after the atomic bomb fell in August 1945; an event that he described as a “permanent experience outside of history, engraved on [his] memory”.
Later in life his publication, “Our Mission Today: The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice,” defined all the Jesuits’ work as having an essential focus on the promotion of justice as well as the Catholic faith. For the Jesuits to tie their work so explicitly to the promotion of justice was a very bold move and eventually led to the development of liberation theology in South America.