How the Magis Creates Momentum

Dear Friends,

Perhaps you saw the word on the Olympic commercials this past July or maybe while taking a train to or from  Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station or maybe even on a trip down to the campus.  However you heard about it, Magis has created quite a buzz on Saint Joseph’s campus as well as around the Philadelphia region. The word is derived from St. Ignatius of Loyola’s motto,  Ad majorem Dei gloriam, meaning "for the greater glory of God." I like to think of “Magis” as simply suggesting “be inspired so as to aspire” or in other words, “live greater.”

The magis appeals to the best in each of us. As those whose generosity has helped make Saint Joseph’s the wonderful University that it is, you already do what our new TV commercials so resonantly convey: You lead by example. You give more than the bare minimum.  

In the months leading up to my inauguration, I reflected upon our legacy and the call to do more. My tenure follows a period of extraordinary development marked by the addition and integration of the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus, both a literal and figurative gateway to a new Saint Joseph’s University.

I am humbled by the distinguished service of Interim President John W. Smithson and Presidents Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., and Nicholas S. Rashford, S.J. Their leadership set a solid foundation and inspires me to take on the challenges now before us:

  • The widening gap between the actual cost of higher education and what private and public universities nationwide can reasonably charge
  • The threat to providing access to the transformative experience of our Catholic, Jesuit education to deserving students
  • The strategic imperative to closely manage costs, ensuring affordability and net tuition no greater than the rate of inflation
  • The need for scholarships and endowments to sustain the academic distinction that Saint Joseph’s has earned and to continue in the Ignatian educational tradition   

The President’s Magis Scholarship Initiative will ensure that we attract the best and the brightest—those meant to be here regardless of financial ability. Through the Initiative, we will open Saint Joseph’s doors to more students who share our Jesuit ideals and values.   

In this report, you can also read how Saint Joseph’s is Embracing the Future with goals to address academic distinction and affordability, Experience our culture of service and reflection through students Finding Their Faith Alive, Honor the generosity of our donors and review the financial statements of the University. 

When many together aspire to live greater, we feel the energy and create the momentum for continued progress in making real the Saint Joseph’s mission. We share the joyful sense of accomplishment knowing that our combined decisions and actions make a difference in the world. 

As an alumnus of the Class of 1972, a former Trustee, and now, as the 27th President of Saint Joseph’s, I am honored to thank you. I am blessed to call upon your continued commitment to Saint Joseph’s University.

Blessings and best wishes,

C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J., ‘72
President