Nearly 10 Percent of the 113th U.S. Congress Hail From Jesuit Institutions
Tags: association of jesuit colleges and universities, Jesuit, jesuits, Society of Jesus
Among the 535 members of the 113th U.S. Congress that were sworn in on January 3, 52 are alumni of Jesuit colleges and universities, comprising almost 10 percent of the entire Congress. There are 11 Jesuit alumni serving in the Senate and 41 in the House of Representatives.
Congressman John Boehner (R-OH, Xavier University, Cincinnati, alumnus) is serving his second term as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., alumnus) continues to serve as the House Minority Whip. In the Senate, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL, Georgetown University alumnus) continues his service as the Assistant Majority Leader.
Of the 52 alumni, nine were elected in 2012. Of the newly-elected alumni, Representative Juan C. Vargas (D-CA, Fordham University, N.Y., alumnus) was once a Jesuit in studies for the priesthood before leaving the Society.
There are currently 14 Jesuit institutions represented by alumni in the U.S. Congress. Georgetown University has the most alumni with a total of 21, followed by Boston College with 7 and Fordham University with 5. The College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Mass.) has 4, Creighton University (Omaha, Neb.) has 3 and Loyola University Chicago, Saint Peter’s University (Jersey City, N.J.) and University of Detroit Mercy all have two alumni represented. The remaining schools with alumni in Congress are Loyola University Maryland, Marquette University (Milwaukee), Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia), Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, Calif.), Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling, W.V.) and Xavier University.
“We are proud that nearly 10 percent of Congress are alumni of Jesuit colleges and universities,” said Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) President Jesuit Father Gregory Lucey. “We are grateful for their leadership, and we look forward to strengthening the excellent working relationships we have already established with those in Congress and forging ties with new members of the 113th Congress.”
President Barack Obama has also appointed several Jesuit college and university alumni to serve in key leadership positions. Members of the Obama administration from AJCU institutions include Department of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta (Santa Clara University); Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano (Santa Clara University); and White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew (Georgetown University).