Doing More to
Advance SJU’s Mission
From the transformative effect of new scholarships, endowed faculty positions and academic programs to the energetic participation of our students and campus community on National Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day, the Saint Joseph’s community thrives in the spirit of doing more to advance our Catholic, Jesuit mission.
In this edition of the President’s Report, I’m pleased to share with you stories of some of the ways that philanthropy enables Saint Joseph’s to strengthen and enhance our students’ experience. Behind every story is another story.
My Magis Scholarship Initiative continues to gain traction, as more alumni and friends join our efforts to make a Saint Joseph’s education accessible and affordable. Since my last report, I’m thrilled to announce a significant gift from Sharon Ramsay O’Brien ’76 and her husband Jim O’Brien ’74, who are honoring Sharon’s father, SJU’s legendary coach Jack Ramsay ’49 with a scholarship in his name. One of the largest gifts to the scholarship campaign thus far, the Ramsay scholarship speaks to Jack’s family legacy on the court and in the classroom. I’m deeply grateful for the significant way in which the O’Brien family has chosen to honor Jack and support the University through this scholarship.
If not for the two Asian culture courses James J. Nealis III ’69 took as an undergrad, our Asian Studies Program would not exist. Because of the generous support Jim and his wife Bernadette provided in 2008, the program has grown tremendously, giving our students the opportunity to enhance their worldview and immerse themselves into a culture that inspires them much in the same way Jim was inspired when he was a student here. Our commitment to enhancing our relationships with high schools and universities in China was evident during my recent visit there . As one outcome, we’re pleased to welcome high school students (and potential future undergraduates) to our campus this summer through Saint Joseph’s Summer Chinese Academy to be launched in July.
Saint Joseph’s endowed chairs program enables the University to host faculty who are highly specialized in their fields, bringing greater diversity in academic programming. In particular, the Donald I. MacLean, S.J. Chair, established by Michael J. Morris ’56, Joseph McKinney ’52 (dec.) and the Jesuit Community at Saint Joseph’s, enables us to preserve and enhance our Jesuit identity through faculty support in the College of Arts and Sciences. This story highlights the numerous endowed chairs positions at Saint Joseph’s – an impressive list – and the wide range of expertise they bring to our campus to enhance our academic programs.
And finally, we were excited to dedicate Sweeney Field in April and celebrate the generous support of Sean Sweeney MBA ’94, whose gift enabled the University to improve dramatically the field for our lacrosse and soccer student athletes and campus community. The Jesuits impacted Sean during his childhood and influenced his journey to Saint Joseph’s for which we are the appreciative beneficiaries today.
As always, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to these and each and every one of Saint Joseph’s benefactors. Your story makes our story possible. And, we would not be who we are today without your belief in our mission.
Blessings and best wishes,
C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72 President