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

July 21, 2014 — Jesuit Father Scott Santarosa is taking on a new assignment as the provincial of the Oregon Province Jesuits.

July 18, 2014 — More than 1,200 graduates of Jesuit schools are calling on fellow alumni in the U.S. House of Representatives to act on fair immigration reform.

July 16, 2014 — Pope Francis recently sent a message of hope to a group of prisoners who are serving life sentences without parole for crimes they committed as children.

July 14, 2014 — Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno has been awarded the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society.

July 11, 2014 — The Vatican Observatory Summer School brings together young astronomers from countries as varied as Burkina Faso, Mexico and Iran to study the stars for four weeks every other summer.

July 9, 2014 — Jesuit Father Greg Boyle has been recognized by the White House as a "Champion of Change" for his Los Angeles-based gang intervention program, Homeboy Industries.

July 7, 2014 — A new Boston College study found men who pursue vocations to the priesthood are more likely to have attended a Catholic college.

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 - 7/7/14

America - 6/23/14

America - 6/9/14



Jesuit Spiritual Center
The Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford spreads over 37 park-like acres overlooking the Little Miami River, 30 minutes east of Cincinnati.