Category Archives: Front Page

Fr. Fitzgerald speaking at an event at the Chinese Consulate in New York City honoring extraordinary Chinese graduate students in the region’s universities. Photo courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald

USF Welcomes New President Father Fitz

The presidential search ended last week with the Board of Trustees voting unanimously to elect the Reverend Paul J. Fitzgerald S.J. as the 28th president of the University of San Francisco. Fr. Fitzgerald will officially take office on August 1.

“When I received word I was selected as president, I was absolutely elated,” Fitzgerald said. “USF has an impressive legacy. The chance to contribute to this environment of learning and service is a true honor.”

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

This role will bring Fitzgerald back to the Bay Area. He grew up in Los Gatos, Calif. after his family moved from Southern California when he was five. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1980 (“that other Jesuit school,” he joked) and entered the Society of Jesus two years later. Fr. Fitzgerald was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus in 1992. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fairfield University in Connecticut.

Fitzgerald also has a wealth of international experience; he attended the University of Paris, La Sorbonne, where he earned a postgraduate degree and PhD in the Sociology of Religion and he taught as a visiting lecturer in China and Kenya. He is fluent in French, German, and conversational in Spanish.

“We believe Fitzgerald is ideally suited to work with the entire USF community in delivering a Jesuit education to the next generations of USF students,” said Thomas E. Malloy, chair of the USF Board of Trustees. “He has a strong commitment to diversity, brings a global perspective, and is an enthusiastic supporter of intercollegiate athletics. He is excited about leading San Francisco’s first university and expanding our partnerships with the community.”

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald talks to the Foghorn in an exclusive interview

On coming back to USF and California

“I want to be back at USF because that [diversity] to me is normal, and I just feel joy in a place where everyone feels welcome. USF should look like the Bay Area.”

“In San Francisco you can eat the food from the world, and you can do that in New York City as well, but in New York there’s snow.”


On his campus presence 

“I want to have structured conversations, and I want to meet constituencies and groups of students, but I also want to give myself opportunities to go and have lunch in one of the student dining commons, and sit at a random table and talk to people. I want to do that with faculty. I want to do that with staff.”

On Pope Francis

“I love the new pope, I love the new pope. He is just so genuine, so warm, so loving, non judgmental; you know, he’s like Jesus. He’s challenging, and he is going to be challenging because he’s going to ask people to lead lives of virtue, generosity, kindness, charity, diversity — and those are not alway easy.”


On the San Francisco Chronicle calling him “tech-savvy”

“That’s nice of them. I don’t have any degrees; my degrees are in history and philosophy and theology, and sociology. What some of our conversations were on is what’s going on in San Francisco right now, which is that Silicon Valley is moving into the city. I think the students at USF will go into the tech industry, whether as an engineer, marketer or technical writer, so I think we want to pay really close attention to what are the jobs students are preparing for and what are the jobs our students want when they graduate.”


On technology and morals

“We need to talk together about what technology can do for us, but we also have to be attentive to what technology can do to us. When undergraduate students arrive, they’re pretty comfortable using technology. Is it really keeping them connected to people or is it keeping their relationships kind of  superficial?”


On how USF can lead the conversation on tech and morals

“Some people arrive having had the experience of cyber bullying so how do we have conversations around being kind and being caring in a digital format? If we can be a place where people from different religious traditions have deep conversations, maybe we can help folks in the city do that, as well.”


On student media

“I promise I will never ever ever censor the newspaper. Student media is educational; students are learning how to be journalists; but also they serve a really important function of building community and that also involves presenting difficult questions and brokering difficult conversations.”


On interacting with outside community

“Jesuits have always, for 450 years, thought of our schools as a place where we educate our students, but also a place where we engage the larger community; and sometimes we do it through our students. USF wants to be, and is, and should be more and more, a university for San Francisco, not of San Francisco. We can help the city think of ethical questions about inclusivity and respect. We can have the city ask itself “what are the values of this community that we’re willing to stand up for?”


On his morning routine

“I do yoga. I sit for 25 mins or so, say my prayer. I do these yoga poses: salute to the sun, the cat. There’s a lot of them. I get cleaned up and have breakfast and get the paper and eat with other Jesuits and we chat a little bit.”


On what newspapers he will be reading at USF

“The Foghorn! The [San Francisco] Chronicle, and I hope we get the New York Times and Le Monde.”


On speaking many languages

“We get students from all over the world, and we want to send students all over the world, and we want students to have a sense of global citizenship.”




On Patrol

Staff writer Joe Isaac joins ROTC for a weekend of field training

    “You can’t make an officer in 60 days,” USF Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Executive Officer Major Dodge told me on the van ride to camp. I could only appreciate the truth in the Major’s sentiment two days later when I witnessed a military transport helicopter landing twenty meters ahead of me to simulate the evacuation of the lone casualty of the morning’s action: a cadet I had headshot with my paintball marker just minutes earlier.

Captain Romero shields a fallen cadet from debris. Photo by Joe Isaac/ Foghorn.

Captain Romero shields a fallen cadet from debris. Photo by Joe Isaac/ Foghorn.

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USF Lights It Up Blue for Autism

USF’s Kalmanovitz Hall beamed blue last Wednesday April 2 in honor of the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Speaks’ widely celebrated “Light It Up Blue” campaign.

The blue lights symbolize USF’s support of autism awareness and education as means of creating better understanding about a disorder which affects one in 68 children in the U.S.

The USF chapter of Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization for autism research and education, is dedicated to bringing awareness of autism to the community.


Pre-Combat Inspections

ROTC students prepare for a weekend of nighttime missions and 5 a.m. wake-up calls

    The USF Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is gearing up for the big show.

Students in ROTC will soon tackle spring semester’s Combined Field Training Exercises (CFTX), a biannual, three-day-long event where cadets demonstrate and practice the military specific skill set they developed concurrently with university curricular at USF. Next week they go, this week is prep.

Ask Captain Michael Pasquale — acting cadre or training officer at USF ROTC and veteran of the US Army’s actions in both Afghanistan and Iraq — and he will tell you that much of ROTC is preparation followed by examination. He explained that cadets are currently reviewing field-procedures and undergoing Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI) in anticipation of next week’s CFTX.

Military Science (MS) courses teach cadets lessons in the theory and practice of military concepts. CPT Pasquale said this week’s lesson taught cadets to administer first aid, so that if any injuries occur in next week’s training exercises, cadets will be able to self-administer aid.

Cadets also learned how to deal with both hot and cold weather injuries, both of which they may encounter in the upcoming exercise. The operation order, a memorandum cataloging the necessary preparations and expected conditions of CFTX, predicts temperatures will vary by as much as forty degrees.

Unlike the typical college student, whose advancement throughout university is acknowledged with the titles of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior, the ROTC cadet is referred to in concordance with his completed level of MS training.

MS III’s, shorthand for third year cadets,  spend six weeks taking part in the Leader Development and Assessment Course, yet another valuation of a cadet’s future potential as an officer.

Cadet Major Joseph Wyatt, a senior media studies major, was an MS III when his performance in last summer’s Leaders Training Course earned him a rating of overall E. According to the US Army Leadership Development handbook this puts Wyatt in the top 8th percentile of those who complete the course.

One of Cadet Wyatt’s responsibilities is to oversee his fellow cadets assembling makeshift shelters known as hooches. “The hooch,” he explained, “is made by fastening a tarp with tent stakes.”

Staff Sergeant Brian Park, MS III, stood stoically at attention while superiors examined his field pack for preparedness as part of ROTC’s Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI), last Friday afternoon. Photo by Joe Isaac/Foghorn

Staff Sergeant Brian Park, MS III, stood stoically at attention while superiors examined his field pack for preparedness as part of ROTC’s Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI), last Friday afternoon. Photo by Joe Isaac/Foghorn.

Making a hooch is nothing new to Cadet Staff Sergeant Brian Park, a political science major, stoically stood at attention as his field pack was thoroughly scrutinized by Cadet Battalion Commander Elliott  and Cadet Sergeant Major Wing. While his superior officers rifled through the contents of his pack, including the cadet’s blanket, sunglasses, and spare socks, he appeared tense.

Moments after the inspection was finished, Cadet Park, now at ease, explained the necessity of such attention to detail.

Cadet Park told how during PCI, cadets must examine every item of their field pack in order to ensure that equipment will not fail when most needed. He said the cadets would be overnighting in their sleeping bags, officially referred to as Army Modular Sleep Systems, which were essential items to protect against the projected 44 degree nighttime weather conditions at Fort Hunter Liggett, where CFTX takes place this year.

Though only so much preparation can be done for CFTX, where USF cadets will be expected coordinate their efforts with unfamiliar cadets from three other universities. Cadet Park for one looks forward to the experience.

“You get to meet people you never would have met before… the beauty is when you come together.”

USF students Deepa Mistry (above) and Caleb Smith (bottom right) rang in spring with celebratory fistfuls of colored powder at the USF Holi event last Friday.

Holi Festival of Colors Paints the Campus

Spring is upon us — and for students participating in Holi, the Indian/Hindu festival of color and love, upon clothing and skin and hair, as well.

Courtesy of usf student leadership and engagement

Courtesy of the University of San Francisco on Flickr

Ah yes, students celebrated the religious spring festival by throwing fistfuls of colored powder at one another last Friday afternoon outside Kalmanovitz Hall.

USF’s Indian Student Organization (ISO) hosted the event. A culturally focused club, ISO  brings together students of diverse backgrounds and promotes education of current events and cultural history of India.

Photos courtesy of the University of San Francisco on Flickr