Senator Harkin Receives AJCU Lifetime Achievement Award

On Monday, February 3rd, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) awarded the AJCU Lifetime Achievement Award to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) for his exceptional advocacy for Pell grants and campus-based aid, and support of Jesuit higher education.
Newsroom
Press releases

Senator Harkin Receives AJCU Lifetime Achievement Award
Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Rev. Michael Sheeran, S.J., Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

February 4, 2014

Contact: Deanna I. Howes, AJCU Director of Communications
(202) 862-9893, dhowes@ajcunet.edu

WASHINGTON, DC - On Monday, February 3rd, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) awarded the AJCU Lifetime Achievement Award to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) for his exceptional advocacy for Pell grants and campus-based aid, and support of Jesuit higher education. Senator Harkin received the award from AJCU President Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, S.J. at the annual AJCU board dinner in Washington, DC.

In his acceptance speech, Senator Harkin expressed his appreciation for the Jesuits, and their contributions to higher education and social justice in the United States. He said, "Catholic social teaching asks us to lift up the poor, and Jesuit colleges and universities are committed to that. But, they can't do it alone, and that's why government [funding] has to be part of it. Government and religion are both about lifting people up and giving them hope."

Senator Harkin also expressed his admiration for Jesuit Pope Francis, whose commitment to helping the poor has deeply resonated with him, the son of a Slovenian immigrant mother and Irish coal-miner father who worked tirelessly to provide for Harkin and his five siblings in spite of their limited means and education.

Senator Harkin's upbringing influenced the issues that he has championed during his 40 years spent in the United States Congress, including 30 in the Senate. He has demonstrated his commitment to education by serving as Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, where he oversaw passage of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA); increased the Pell Grant maximum award twofold between 1989-1990 and 2009-2010; and secured $17 billion in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Senator Harkin is also noted for crafting the legislation that became the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); in his remarks to the AJCU Board, he described his brother's struggles with hearing impairment as his inspiration for helping others with disabilities.

For nearly two decades, AJCU has had the honor of working closely with Senator Harkin, who will retire at the end of his current term. The Association and its members, the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, thank him for his dedication to helping the poor and vulnerable, and appreciate his support of the initiatives of the Society of Jesus. At the end of his remarks on Monday, with his trademark sense of humor, Senator Harkin said, "I've always admired Jesuits and I've always said that they're so smart, I could never aspire to be one!"


Please click here to view more photos from the AJCU Board Dinner.

Quote of the week

"The greater. The better. The elusive idea of personifying the Magis in everything we do lives at the core of a Jesuit education. When we work, we must work as hard as we can. When we plan, we plan boldly. When we dream, we dream big."
Edward Cullen, Co-Founder, Bridge-USA, Fordham University '09


Meet the AJCU President

On April 1, 2013, Rev. Michael J. Sheeran became president of the Association of Jesu...
Read more

Federal Relations


AJCU Federal Relations Network is the lobbying arm of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and comprised of at least one representative from each one of the twenty-eight Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The Network is kept up to date on an on-going basis by the Vice President for Federal Relations on all issues relating to Appropriations, budget, higher education authorization issues and taxes. The Network meets annually in September for a Legislative Conference and also participates in the Annual Committee for Education Funding Legislative Conference and Awards Dinner.
Learn More

AJCU Conferences


The 35+ Conferences sponsored by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) are affinity groups within the AJCU Network. The Conferences provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, information and best practices; support the professional development of their members; and present opportunities for AJCU representatives to discuss opportunities and challenges in Jesuit higher education. Most of the AJCU Conference groups meet in person at least once a year, and many of them communicate regularly through an AJCU listserv.
Learn More

International Outreach


The member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) are committed to developing programs and partnerships that advance international education and support initiatives that advance global citizenship.
Learn More