St. Ignatius

SI Alumni on the Pandemic's Front Lines

During the pandemic, many of those who have shown remarkable leadership and whose policies and advice  have saved countless lives have one thing in common — their Jesuit education.

In an April 16 Forbes’ online essay, William F. Meehan III noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s “leadership values and actions” are connected to “his Jesuit high school education at Regis” and at the College of the Holy Cross. He also praised the actions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Fordham grad, and Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Santa Clara University alumnus. (Gov. Newsom’s father, the late Judge William Newsom, is a 1951 SI graduate.)

“I guess this is my Jesuit upbringing,” Gov. Newsom noted. “It comes from the bible, where there are many parts but one body; when one suffers, we all suffer.”

Meehan praised California's governor noting that “when the history of this dread pandemic is written, perhaps no decision will have saved more lives than Gov. Newsom’s order to ‘shelter in place’ on March 20.”

Dr. Fauci’s “exemplary leadership alone,” he added “more than makes the narrative case that one’s Jesuit secondary and college education can inculcate the values of servant leadership.” Dr. Fauci, himself, spoke to fellow Regis graduates, noting that his time at Regis “was the best educational period I could ever have imagined having.”

Many SI grads have also shown leadership roles in this pandemic and have spoken about their foundations in Ignatian values as well as their appreciation of Jesuit education, both of which have inspired them in their work helping people cope with the pandemic.

In recent weeks, we have heard from doctors, nurses and researchers working in healthcare, as well as other professionals, who prepared for COVID-19 before it hit the U.S. and who are currently helping those affected by the virus and the shelter-in-place. They are also making plans for what comes next after the pandemic ends.

Read their stories, below, and look for more to come in the days and weeks ahead.