Alumna Pledges $2 Million to Support Jesuit Education — and Jesuits Among Us — at USF

by Mary McInerney, Office of Development Communications

A 1981 alumna of the University of San Francisco has pledged $2 million to the university to support Jesuit education and the teaching of ethical business values as a way to counter a corporate and tech world that she feels has lost its way in the blind pursuit of profits.

USF can have a major impact on the education of future business leaders by focusing on Jesuit educational principles and Ignatian values, said the alumna, who received her MBA from the university. The gift will support the kind of “conscious capitalism” that is being taught at the School of Management, and the initiative will be called “Jesuits Among Us.”

“This generous alumna is herself a perfect example of how a USF education sets up our students for a lifetime of professional accomplishment, civic engagement, personal integrity and heartfelt generosity,” said the Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., president of USF.

Jesuits Among Us

It is the high regard she has for Jesuits, especially former USF president John Lo Schiavo, S.J., that inspired the donor, who has asked to remain anonymous. She also sees Fr. Fitzgerald as a visionary leader who models the principles of integrity, respect, and excellence that she is so committed to.

“The ‘Jesuits Among Us’ scholarship students will serve as living examples of the Jesuit values,” she said. “They will help lay students to build an immunity to the prevalent business world’s pressures of indifference to others, greed, and self-interest, and they will remind students to become ethical leaders, respectful of all of God’s creation.”

The gift will fund graduate program scholarships for approximately six Jesuits each year, for a total of 30 Jesuits over five years. These Jesuit graduate students will have multiple roles on campus, including:

  • Speaking in classes, both with their peers as graduate students in masters or doctoral degree programs and where appropriate, as guest speakers in undergraduate programs, with special attention provided to the School of Management and the MBA program in particular
  • Supporting students, faculty, and staff through University Ministry, where they will work in programs serving the spiritual and religious needs of the USF community
  • Living as resident ministers in undergraduate student residence halls across campus

The goal is to include these young Jesuits in campus life where they can help teach the conscious leaders and innovative entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Ignatian values mesh nicely with the university’s vision of cultivating student leaders who seek to innovate for good, said Fr. Fitzgerald. The goal of the initiative is to develop students who are “conscious capitalists and ethical persons of integrity and imagination” with a full understanding of the connections, values, and relationships required to succeed across all sectors.

Changing the World

The Jesuit community at USF appreciates the support that “Jesuits Among Us” will provide.

“It’s very touching, because when I talked to the donor she spoke of her experience as a student here, and she expressed that the Jesuits had a huge impact on her,” said Timothy Godfrey, S.J., Rector of Loyola House, the Jesuit Community on campus. He is also an assistant professor of Nursing at USF, teaching the gateway course, “Nursing in the Jesuit Tradition.”

“We are so grateful,” Fr. Godfrey added. “She is a wonderful example of an alumna who is changing the world.”

Learn more about supporting Jesuit education at USF

This gift was made in support of Changing the World from Here: Campaign for the University of San Francisco.