SJU President C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72 chats with (from left) McNulty Scholars Lisa Mariani ’14 and Kathleen Logan ’16.

SJU President C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72 chats with (from left) McNulty Scholars Lisa Mariani ’14 and Kathleen Logan ’16.

Scholarship Initiative Makes
a Difference Today

Since the launch of the $50 million President’s Magis Scholarship Initiative just over a year ago, alumni, parents, and other donors have heard and acted upon the call for support. To date, $4.5 million has been raised for scholarship assistance. This includes $1.3 million for 19 newly established current-use and endowed scholarships.

Each scholarship has a story, from the donor who makes it possible to the student for whom it is intended. Together, the scholarships enable Saint Joseph’s to remain competitive while fostering a thriving and diverse campus and attracting the most capable students who share the University’s Jesuit values.

“The market for high achieving students is very competitive,” said Maureen Mathis, Assistant Provost. “Colleges all over the country are looking for strong students who can make an impact on their campus. We need to provide students with scholarships so that they thrive and excel in the environment and the education that Saint Joseph’s offers.”

Jesuit Community Leads the Way

The first to be established under the initiative, the Jesuit Community Scholarship provides an annual award over four years to each of its four recipients. Criteria for the scholarship include that recipients are graduates of a Philadelphia Archdiocesan high school, high academic achievers, and show promise for bringing faith in God to life in the service of others. 

“We are hoping to award the scholarships to students who will most likely be motivated in their lives to lead and pass on the giving, to ultimately help others find opportunities as well,” said Brendan Lally, S.J., the rector of the Saint Joseph’s University Jesuit Community. “While this is about leadership, it is not just about extroverts; whether these students lead publicly or in a private way, we are interested in their capacity to touch the lives of people through the quality of their presence … through faith, charity, compassion and understanding.”

Fr. Lally has seen this mindset and disposition in his campus ministry work at SJU. “Sometimes these students are outgoing leaders, but other times they are quiet leaders who have developed Christian values they will not compromise for the approval of others,” he said. “Both have their own way to stand up and be counted and understand themselves as citizens of a world in which who they become is more important than what they do.” Scholarship recipients, through service work during high school, have demonstrated an interest and aptitude for this way of being.

Others Who Give and Receive the SJU Experience 

In addition to being drawn to community service and the University’s Jesuit ideals and values, those students likely to be successful at SJU are inquisitive, motivated and ready to challenge the status quo in classrooms, on athletic fields and in the broader community.

Those who make the Saint Joseph’s experience possible can designate scholarships in a variety of ways: to benefit students in a particular school or program, or to areas of academic distinction such as student research, honors scholars or study abroad programs.  

In the past year, scholarships have been established in Food Marketing, Pre-Med, and Risk Management and Insurance. Another scholarship benefits the Lacrosse program. Others have been set up as general support or to benefit under-resourced students.

The givers range from young alumni to long-time supporters, alumni honoring former classmates or acknowledging their own SJU experience, spouses remembering loved ones and parents wanting to extend to another student an educational opportunity similar to one their own child treasured.   

A President’s Inspiration: Francis and Sara Gillespie Scholarship Fund

University President C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72, feels so passionately about the platform of his presidency that he has established the Francis and Sara Gillespie Scholarship Fund in honor of his parents. The scholarship will give preference to first-generation college students who demonstrate financial need and who have attended a high school in the Archdioceses of Philadelphia or Camden, N.J. Many of Fr. Gillespie’s family and friends have already supported the endowed fund.

As an SJU student, Fr. Gillespie was a recipient of the Horn & Hardart Scholarship, awarded by the food service automat company where his father worked for 35 years. Fran Gillespie ’64, his older brother, received the same scholarship. The Gillespie family knows firsthand the impact of a scholarship. 

For the individual student, a scholarship allows a dream to materialize.

For Saint Joseph’s University, scholarships facilitate the creation of a vibrant community of individuals learning to become themselves in an environment where they are called to live greater.