News Detail
Jesuit Father Jim Reites
“It’s engineering with a mission, a real mission to make the world a better place.”
Jesuit Leading Santa Clara University Solar Decathlon Team to Victory
August 26, 2013 — Jesuit Father Jim Reites started out as an engineering student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, but meeting the Jesuits his senior year changed his career path. Instead, he joined the Society of Jesus and became a professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University in California. In a nod to his former career path, Fr. Reites is now making headlines as the adviser of Santa Clara’s Solar Decathlon team.

The United States Department of Energy sponsors the Solar Decathlon every two years, in which teams from schools worldwide compete to build the most efficient, livable and beautiful solar home. Santa Clara’s teams finished in third place in both 2007 and 2009, besting many bigger, better-funded universities. Students credit Fr. Reites as a large reason for their success, and the 2013 solar decathlon team is currently working on their next entry at the Santa Clara campus.

“I’ve never seen him down in spirits or tired,” said Santa Clara junior Brian Grau. “He’s always ready to work whether it’s actually doing physical labor all day long or helping us with the design.”

Fr. Reites may be 75 years old, but he is teaching young Santa Clara students plenty about technology. Additionally, Fr. Reites brings his love of science to his position as chair of the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara. “The very first personal computer in a department on campus was in the Department of Religious Studies,” said Fr. Reites. “And I built it from a kit.” His do-it-yourself attitude led the university to ask him to become the Solar Decathlon team adviser.

Tim Hight, professor of mechanical engineering and faculty project leader for the Solar Decathlon team, said Fr. Reites “always seemed to be around when something needed to be done and outworked most of the team in terms of energy and enthusiasm. His understanding of so many aspects of the house, whether electrical, plumbing or controls, means that he knows how the whole house works and how to fix it if it doesn’t.”

According to Fr. Reites, building a solar house is right in line with the Jesuits’ mission. “It’s engineering with a mission, a real mission to make the world a better place.” [NBC Bay AreaSanta Clara University]


Recent News

December 19, 2014 — Jesuit Father Jean Baptiste Ganza is doing his part to build a better, brighter future for the people of Rwanda.

December 17, 2014 — Ready to curl up next to the fireplace with a good book this winter? Jesuit Father Raymond Schroth has just the reading list for you.

December 15, 2014 — Scranton Preparatory School announced that Jesuit Father Ryan J. Maher will become the school’s new president in July 2015.

December 12, 2014 — Father General Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Jesuits, has convoked the 36th General Congregation, to be held in Rome in 2016.

December 10, 2014 — Jesuit Father Daniel S. Hendrickson takes office at Creighton University on July 1, 2015.

December 9, 2014 — The Jesuits of Puerto Rico have joined a sprawling province in the central and southern U.S. as part of a larger reorganization of the Society of Jesus worldwide.

December 8, 2014 — Jesuit colleges and universities have developed programs specifically designed to train students for careers in lay ministry.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 12/08/14

America - 12/01/14

America - 11/24/14



Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House
Located on the shores of Lake Lewisville in Lake Dallas, Texas, Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House is situated on an inviting 37-acre campus less than an hour north of Dallas.