The Leo T. McCarthy Center Celebrates 20 Years by Giving Back

by Jady Ojiri, Office of Development Communications

The USF community raised over $450,000 in honor of this year's Leo T. McCarthy Award Celebration on March 3, 2022.

On March 3, 2022, USF community members far and wide gathered at The Olympic Club - Lakeside in San Francisco to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. The university set out to raise financial support for the McCarthy Center’s current programs and ended the night with over $450,000 in donations.
The funds will help enhance all of the current Leo T. McCarthy Center programs, including Engage San Francisco, the Community Empowerment Activist Program, the McCarthy Fellowship programs in Washington, DC, Sacramento, and San Francisco City Hall, USFVotes, and the Equity Interns program.
The McCarthy Center provides hands-on, professional and educational experiences to USF students who are passionate about the university’s mission to change the world. The community’s generosity will empower the McCarthy Center to continue preparing “the next generation of ethical leaders at USF and the programs that serve them,” said Derick Brown, senior director of the McCarthy Center.

McCarthy's Legacy Lives On Through the Community

During the event, the McCarthy Center also recognized philanthropists Janet and Clint Reilly for their steadfast commitment to social justice and equity initiatives in the Bay Area by awarding them the 2022 Leo T. McCarthy Award for Public Service. Alongside past honorees, the Reillys exemplify the late Leo T. McCarthy’s dedication to justice, public service, education, philanthropy, and leadership.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi also made a special appearance at the event, giving thoughtful remarks about McCarthy’s legacy and the impact of the Reillys’ devotion to aiding communities in need.
Throughout the night, the energy in the space was electric. McCarthy Center students shook hands and spoke with well-known public service leaders, including Pelosi, university friends smiled and laughed over old memories, and others paused to savor the chance to meet everyone in-person.
The experience filled the attendees with gratitude for each other and all that the McCarthy Center has been able to accomplish since its beginning.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity to lead the McCarthy Center as we enter its third decade. Since I've joined the University of San Francisco, I've been overwhelmed and blessed to have received the support that I have. My goal is to continue Leo's legacy — preparing our students at USF to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service and the common good. I am absolutely living the dream and pinch myself each and every day,” said Brown.
He added, “Team work makes the dream work and together, collectively, we can do some amazing work. That's why I credit my team at the Leo T. McCarthy Center. Our staff is phenomenal and, just like me, we all believe in the mission of the McCarthy Center to provide mentorship and guidance to the present and future leaders of tomorrow.”
To join the university community in the mission towards global change, consider making a gift in support of the Leo T. McCarthy Center and Changing the World From Here: Campaign for the University of San Francisco.