12 Senators | 44 Representatives
WASHINGTON, DC – The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) has announced that ten percent of the 115th U.S. Congress are Jesuit college and university alumni/ae. Among the 535 members of this Congress, 56 are alumni/ae of Jesuit institutions: 12 in the Senate and 44 in the House of Representatives. This represents a notable increase from 50 members in the 114th U.S. Congress.
Of the 56 alumni/ae in the 115th U.S. Congress, ten were elected in 2016. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD, Georgetown) was elected to the Senate after serving seven terms in the House of Representatives, succeeding fellow Jesuit alum Barbara Mikulski (D-MD, Loyola University Maryland). He is joined by fellow freshman Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV, Gonzaga University), the first Latina elected to the Senate. In the House, Stephanie Murphy (D-FL, Georgetown) is the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to Congress, while fellow Georgetown alumna Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House.
In the Senate, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL, Georgetown) serves as Minority Whip and in the House, Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD, Georgetown) continues to serve as Minority Whip. Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA, College of the Holy Cross) and Juan Vargas (D-CA, Fordham University) remain co-leaders of the Congressional Friends of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Caucus in the House. And although not an elected member, Gonzaga University alumnus Rev. Patrick Conroy, S.J. continues his service as House Chaplain.
There are currently 13 Jesuit institutions represented by alumni/ae in the U.S. Congress. Georgetown University has the most alumni/ae with a total of 28, followed by Boston College and Fordham University, tied with 7 each (note: Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY) is an alumnus of both Boston College and Fordham). The College of the Holy Cross has 3 alumni while Saint Peter’s University, Santa Clara University and the University of Detroit Mercy all have two alumni/ae represented. The remaining schools with alumni/ae in Congress are Creighton University, Gonzaga University, Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University, Saint Joseph’s University and Wheeling Jesuit University.
In addition to the 56 alumni/ae from Jesuit colleges and universities who are serving in the 115th Congress, there are many alumni/ae of Jesuit high schools in office. Of note, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), the 2016 Democrat candidate for Vice President of the United States, is a graduate of Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO.
AJCU President Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, S.J. said, “A hallmark of Jesuit education is service to others, and we are proud to see that commitment represented by the alumni of Jesuit institutions who serve in the House and Senate. We appreciate their leadership and look forward to working with them during the 115th Congress.”
Click here for the full list of Jesuit college alumni in the 115th U.S. Congress.
The December 2016 issue of Connections examines the impact of General Congregation 36 on Jesuit education. Click here to read more.
The distinctiveness of a Jesuit education stems from its deep-rooted history and a mission grounded in faith and intellectual rigor. Since its beginnings in 1548, when the first Jesuit institution opened its doors in Messina, Sicily, Jesuit higher education remains committed to academic excellence, service, leadership and caring for the whole person. Click here to learn more about Jesuit mission and identity through our publications, videos and links to related websites.