Common Good Day
Friday, April 20, 2018
Alumni from around the country returned to SLUH on April 20th to speak to students about how they have served the common good in their lives. All students heard from keynote speaker Prof. Mike Hamm ’70 at the beginning of the day, and then chose three other presentations to attend from among 37 alumni presenters. The day concluded with homeroom, where students reflected upon what they had heard, and together articulated the wisdom of the day as takeaways.
Common Good Day helped students to:
- Understand that serving the common good leads to the superabundant overflow of benefit for oneself and others.
- Be inspired to use their talents, education and careers to serve the common good in their adult lives.
Fr. Brian Christopher, S.J. '93 at the Common Good Day. Photo by Kathy Chott.
Story by Liam John '19 and Chris Staley '19
The St. Louis U. High community heard from 35 alumni, ranging from the class of 1956 to the class of 2016, who returned to SLUH on April 20th to talk about their contributions to the common good.
President David Laughlin started the event with the awarding of Backer Awards to three of the alumni, and then Mike Hamm '70 presented about his work for the common good for the environment. Following that, students went to three breakout sessions to hear speakers they were assigned.
The day was intended to help students understand that serving the common good is beneficial to oneself and others, and to be inspired to use their talent, education, and careers to serve the common good.
Each student heard three speakers throughout the day and was to take notes and reflect on the talks in a pamphlet handed out in homeroom. Part of the idea of having multiple speakers was for students to have their own unique experience. The speeches were not based off a certain profession; rather, a variety of different experiences throughout the world were told to the students.
“I thought it was really cool how the range of people they reached out to wasn’t specifically to ‘oh this was the missionary work I did or catholic work I did,’ but that these are the cool things that I am doing to make the world better,” said junior Luke Alfaro.
For some, having three speakers throughout the day was tiring. Some students had a hard time paying attention towards the end of the day.
“The three breakout sessions were good, but I think they could have switched it around maybe having two half days for it,” said freshman Hayden Rutledge. “By the time the third breakout session was in swing, it started to become monotonous.”
For the keynote, Hamm implemented ideas from Laudato Si to talk about the environment and his work with sustainable agriculture.
“St. Louis U. High is a very important place for me. It was important for me to do a good job for all of you. It was my intent to do a good job and to present a clear message in the context of the (Pope’s) encyclical,” said Hamm. “The one thing I would hope is that one of the things that SLUH students think of is the relationship of the environment and to social justice to the environment. How do we think of reframing our economic system so that it is still one that encourages hard work and is profit driven, but it learns to operate in those boundary conditions of the environment and social justice?”
One of the breakout sessions featured Bill McCalpin '75, who spoke about his work at Athena Capital Advisors and how he coordinates with people to strengthen the firm’s impact investment services and how he helps wealthy investors. He also spent a few years teaching in Hong Kong and then his journey to a Rockefeller foundation to manage a portfolio and to help development in Asia. As a part of the investing committee, he helps people deal with their wealth and whether to invest it to help their political view, their faith, or their general morality.
“One value from SLUH was to be of service to others,” said McCalpin. “I think you can’t help but come away from a place like this with a commitment to making the world a better place and finding some way to make that a central part of your life.”
Handy Lindsey, Jr. '71 strives for the common good by working with the Ruth Mott Foundation in Flint, Mich. The son of two Mississippi sharecroppers, Lindsey was the first person in his family to get a good education.
As part of the Ruth Mott Foundation, Lindsey focuses on the youth, safety, economic opportunity, and neighborhoods in North Flint. When the water crisis hit, Lindsey helped to create “The What to Know and Do About Clean Water Pilot Project,” which delivers services, especially bottled water, to those who need it.
“Values like a sense of equity and equality and values like humility and compassion all to me were reinforced through my interaction with my instructors here and the Jesuit community here, and fellow students and my senior project were absolutely pivotal in my life in terms of focusing me in how I would work and dedicate myself in the future,” said Lindsey. “I hope we can learn that we all can be men of action and men for others and that we should be because it makes for a better world, which makes a better us as well.”
Mark LaBarge '70 opened up his session by pointing out how blessed SLUH students are with the privilege they have and the opportunities available to them. From the Jesuits, he realized that everyone should be open to those in need and realize the privilege one has and what to do with it.
His work for the common good started when he reenergized a program at his fraternity in college where they went to play with orphans every first Saturday of every month. As he got older and moved back to St. Louis, he was convinced to go to St. Matthew’s parish in North St. Louis and after going there for a while, he started Revitalization 2000, a program that made the church and the block a safe place. He went on to help create Belize2020, a group in Belize City that is like the Clavius Project at SLUH. He stressed the importance of relationships formed is more important and lasts longer than money donated.
“In terms of service work, the Jesuits inspired me a lot to find out who’s out there in the world that needs help,” said LaBarge. “I think it’s a sense of exploration to find out what the needs are of other people and a drive to want to be a man for others.”
After hearing three speakers, students were called back to their homerooms, where they reflected on the talks they had heard. At the end, each homeroom made a list of the understandings and actions that are necessary to serve the common good.
“It really made me think about how I don’t have to go into a certain field to help the common good,” said junior Niko Rodriguez. “I liked the event and speakers and having an open dialogue.”
- Denis Agniel '03
- Terry Bracy '60
- Fr. Brian Christopher, S.J. '93
- H. Eric Clark '83
- Dan Davis '84
- Jerry Dwyer, M.D. '75
- Daniel Ehlman '95
- Jim Godsil '63
- Karl Guenther '02
- Mike Hamm '70
- Gerard Hempstead '89
- Tom Hillmeyer '60
- Tim Huether '06
- Steven Hutchison '68
- Bryan Kujawa '07
- Mark LaBarge '70
- Rob Libera '72
- George Lieser '69
- Handy Lindsey, Jr. '71
- Bill McCalpin '75
- Max Magee '06
- Fr. Mark McKenzie, S.J. '56
- Fr. Gary Menard, S.J. '82
- Jason Purnell '95
- Jimmy Reddy '16
- Peter Sadlo '91
- Tom Santel '76
- Michael Scheer '81
- Francis Shen '96
- John Shen '98
- John Stephens '77
- Matt Stewart, S.J. '98
- Tom Voss '65
- Brian Wamhoff '92
- John Wunderlich '66
Denis Agniel '03 is an associate statistician at the RAND Corporation, a public policy firm in Santa Monica, CA. He works broadly in health policy, including active research in substance use and HIV. Recent projects include estimating the association between opioid misuse and post-surgical opioid prescriptions and personalizing treatment for adolescents with substance use problems. He received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School.
Want to influence the response to the opioid crisis? Want to make a difference in how sexual assault is handled in the military? Want to influence how the health care system functions? Or study the possible impact of autonomous vehicles? At the RAND Corporation, we do high-quality research and analysis that influences how laws and public policy get made. In this talk, I will highlight how my work and the work of others at RAND has sought to improve public welfare and in particular the most vulnerable members of society.
Terrence L. Bracy is a St. Louis native, and a leading expert on Congressional legislation.
He served as an aide to Congressman Morris Udall from 1966-1976. Bracy did crucial behind-the-scenes work on important reform measures, as well as numerous other bills dealing with parks and wilderness, clean energy technologies, and governmental reorganization. He convinced Congressman Udall to run for President in 1976 and conceived Udall's successful campaign strategy, at a time when very few Congressmen ran for President.
In January 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Terry Bracy Assistant Secretary of Transportation. From 1977-1979, Bracy was a major player in the advent of airbags in cars, and of the nation's first fuel economy standards. He was also the department's liaison to Congress, to the White House, to the nation's governors and mayors, and to the press.
In 1981, Bracy founded the consulting firm that is now Bracy Tucker Brown and Valanzano, and has directed that firm ever since. Bracy Tucker has had many Fortune 500 clients, as well as major U.S. cities, airports, Native American tribes, European and Asian concerns and the U.S. government.
In 1992, the Udall Foundation was established by the U.S. Congress to honor the 30-year legacy of public service by Congressman Mo Udall and enhanced in 2009 to honor Secretary Stewart Udall. In 1994, Terry Bracy was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of trustees of the Udall Foundation and subsequently elected the first chair. He was re-appointed by President Clinton in 1998, and by President George W. Bush in 2006. Bracy led the Foundation from its first class of Udall Scholars in 1995 and under his leadership, the Foundation also created the Native American Internship on Capitol Hill, co-founded the Native Nations Institute, and accepted from Congress the stewardship of the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.
On October 27, 2011, Bracy stepped down from his role as chair of the Udall Foundation board. Bracy is now "retired chair emeritus" of the Foundation. On the occasion of his retirement, an annual award was created in Bracy's honor. The Terrence L. Bracy Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes outstanding contributions from Udall alumni in four principal areas of public service: conflict resolution, environmental work, health care (including social services), and tribal public policy.
Bracy was married to Nancy Kay Muhlitner in 1966. They have two sons, Michael and Timothy, and three grandchildren.
I graduated from what we fondly call SLUH in 1960. For the most part, I was a mediocre student who began my high school career in section`1G and ended it in 4G. Until I reached my senior year, most of my studying was done in jug where I was a regular object of Jesuit penance. But then it happened, the moment and the teacher who would turn my life around. His name was Francis X. Cleary, a scholastic who was to become a noted Theologian, and the man who taught me how to write.
Six years later, I was writing speeches for five Members of Congress.
This is the story of what happened and how the acquisition of a single skill became the basis of a 50-year career on the front lines of politics and government. It is a story about how one thing leads to another. It is about the willingness to risk, to think big, and to excel.
I will make a short talk and then open the session up to questions. I can talk about Congressional and Presidential campaigns as one who has managed them. I can delve into all aspects of Congress, House and Senate. We can talk about my years helping run the U.S. Transportation and all other agencies of the Executive Branch, including the White House where I have been a regular visitor. We can discuss my 17 years chairing the Udall Foundation, one of four federal educational foundations. My special interest was teaching Native tribes how to be effective in Washington. Finally, we can talk about my lobbying practice. And hopefully we will have some laughs.
Fr. Brian Christopher (’93) grew up in the City of St. Louis and attended St. Roch primary school. He studied Philosophy and Russian at St. Louis University, and entered the Jesuits in 1997. Throughout his formation, Fr. Brian dedicated most of his ministry working with gang-involved youth, and, while studying theology in Boston, he became active in the field of Conflict Transformation. His first assignment after ordination in 2009 was working with gang-involved youth in Belize City, Belize, where he co-founded a non-profit organization to provide job training and job placement to young men and women, who had dropped out of school. In 2014, he returned to the U.S. to do the final stage of Jesuit formation (tertianship) and to work at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in San Antonio, TX. In August 2017, Brian was reassigned to Belize, where he continues to do mediation and facilitation in a variety of settings and to conduct workshops exploring the connections between Ignatian spirituality, trauma healing, and conflict transformation.
We live in an “age of rage.” Shifting social, economic, and religious paradigms seem to lead to deepening rifts and increased tribalism among persons and groups. It is even difficult to speak about the “common good” in a world where we seem to speak from such vastly different perspectives. In the midst of this, the Society of Jesus reaffirms its mission of “the service of faith and the promotion of justice” with a renewed emphasis on the need for reconciliation: reconciliation with God, with other people, and with creation.
But what could “reconciliation” possibly mean in the “age of rage”? How can we talk about reconciliation in a meaningful way when we all think and believe so differently? How can we commit ourselves to the Gospel demands of justice without worsening the bitter tribalism that tears the human community apart? The Spiritual Exercises, formulated as they were during the 16th century (another epoch of transitions and conflict) offer insights into how we might work for the common good in such a world.
This talk will be more of a workshop as we explore how to become ministers of reconciliation in a divided world. We will talk about some of the values at the heart of the Spiritual Exercises that may give us a richer understanding of reconciliation, and we will also talk about four shifts in thinking that will help us to live these values in our daily lives.
Dr. H. Eric Clark '83 was born and raised in St. Louis. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Clark has also earned a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University.
Dr. Clark began his career in Jesuit education in 1992 as an Assistant Principal at SLUH. He strongly believes in the Ignatian philosophy of seeking and finding God in all things, people and situations. Believing that God was “calling” him to be stretched and not to become complacent, Dr. Clark decided to leave SLUH and move to Loyola Academy of St. Louis in June of 2008 to become President. Dr. Clark believes that he is extremely blessed that he “gets” to go to work. “Working at Loyola Academy is a vocation, not a job!” Dr. Clark truly loves being able to assist in "breaking the cycle of poverty through education while molding boys into young men for others."
God has a plan laid out for each and every one of us, and it is not about us but all about God. He knows from where we start and where we will finish in life. In Psalms 139:16, David says “every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
My name is Dr. H Eric Clark, and my talk will take you on a journey of my life. I am currently doing God’s work by being the president of Loyola Academy of St. Louis. Loyola Academy is a Jesuit Nativity Middle School for boys who have the academic potential to succeed in any college preparatory high school, but because of socio-economic issues, they may be hindered from reaching their full God-given potential to succeed in their future endeavors. I will talk about how God had a plan for my life in me becoming a man for others! I am a proud U. High graduate of the class of 1983. God has blessed me with talents and abilities to work with and help those who are less fortunate. My high school experiences at the U High, marriage to my beautiful wife, the birth of my handsome son, my work at SLUH and Loyola Academy of St. Louis have all been inspired by my Jesuit foundation.
Dan works in the financial planning industry. He will speak about his journey from beginning his career focused on his success and making the most money and his transformation to living a life that is centered around his faith. Dan now focuses on being a man for others and living out the ideals of St. Ignatius.
A serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and physician whose passion is creating and growing new businesses and helping others to do the same, as well as mentoring young men and women in their pursuit of their career paths. Dr. Dwyer is a 1975 graduate of SLUH and was president of student government and senior class president. He was a recipient of the “Ed Hawk Memorial Award” in 1975. Founder and President of St. Louis Cardiology Center, PC, for the past twenty-four years. Dr. Dwyer has operated a private cardiology practice with the flagship office located at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, BJC Health System. Education includes an AB cum laude in Biology from Saint Louis University in 1979 and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1985. Dr. Dwyer completed Cardiology and Electrophysiology Fellowships at Washington University School of Medicine. He has participated in multiple clinical trials and been named in a published paper relating to pacemakers and defibrillators. He is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu. Dr. Dwyer is a longtime member of the American College of Cardiology as well as the Heart Rhythm Society and past President of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Heart Association. Dr. Dwyer has been a member of the White Coat Society at Saint Louis University School of Medicine helping to raise funds. Dr. Dwyer is a Board Advisor for MEDLaunch, a Saint Louis University incubator ecosystem which fosters start up within the Saint Louis University academic environment. Dr. Dwyer has volunteered on the Dance N Donate campaign, raising funds and awareness for the groundbreaking Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) research being conducted at the Center for World Health and Medicine.
Dr. Dwyer received his Masters of Business Administration from the Trulaske School of Business at the University of Missouri, Columbia in May of 2014. Given a wide-range of business experience, the last six years include working with a unique and innovative approach to monetization of intellectual property as well as an assessment process of corporate patents to determine value and suitability for future financial transactions. An expert in the medical silo of startup companies, Dr. Dwyer functions as a speaker, consultant, and advisor to a number of national and international medical related companies. Additional experience includes commercial real estate with developing and managing a medical office building as well as developing and managing a physician owned cardiac catheterization lab. Dr. Dwyer has maintained a leadership position on a bank advisory board. He holds a Missouri real estate salesperson license as well. Dr. Dwyer is a member of the Executive Advisory Board at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University. Dr. Dwyer is presently serving as chair of the LCME Steering Committee; his current role is to lead the LCME remediation process to obtain full accreditation of the School of Medicine.
Growing up in Webster Groves in the Holy Redeemer Parrish, I was one of four boys (John ’61, Joe ’63, Jim ’71). It was just natural that I would be a ’75 graduate of “The High School”. SLUH and the Jesuits have this uncanny knack of training young boys, and turn them into ‘A Man for Others’. Those four years at SLUH made me realize my love of math and science, as well as my natural leadership ability. During my high school years I was able to visit some of the poorest countries in Central and South America. That experience helped me to solidify my goal to help the sick as a doctor and desire for mentoring others in their pursuit of their career path. My senior year I was President of Student Government and Senior Class President, and was the recipient of the “Ed Hawk Memorial Award” in 1975. Upon graduation I went to SLU as a pre-med to start my amazing journey that SLUH helped me to lay down the foundation to a lifetime of adventure and service to others for the “Common Good”.
Global Health as a Common Good: An enriching career, a rewarding vocation, and lots of fun! A SLUH Honduras trip in 1994 put Dan on the path to a career in global health. Since graduating from SLUH, Dan has spent much of his time living, studying and working outside of the United States, including 3+ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. Join Dan as he shares his experiences from Latin America, Asia and Africa, working in different areas of global health, including water and sanitation and childhood vaccination.
Father of 4 children & 4 grandchildren; Founder and President of Community Roofing & Restoration, 1975-2015; Founder of Milwaukee Renaissance On Line Magazine, 2005-current; Co Founder of the Sweet Water Foundation and Board President, 2010-current; Co Founder Milwaukee Preservation Alliance 2003; Co Founder Board President, ESHAC Inc., a community development enterprise, 1979; President of St. Louis U. Great Issues Series & co-founder of St. Louis U. Action Committee 1966-67; Field Marshall and Freedom School Teacher, Dr. MLK's SCLC Freedom Summer and Open Housing Marches, Chicago 1966; Fulbright Fellow 1971, National Science Fellow, 1970, University Fellow, St. Louis U. Center for Urban Programs; Co-captain SLUH Basketball team, 1962/63. B.A. and M.A. Saint Louis University, 1963-69. All but dissertation (ABD) University of Wisconsin Political Science Dept. 1972 and 1992.
My current position today, at 72, is essentially as assistant to the hero quests of brilliant young(anyone under 50) "ecopreneurs" in the fields of racial healing, old city renaissance, peace movements, and urban agriculture and aquaponics. I am also a "connector" of engaged elders, especially those of the Catholic culture and ecology movement, who are" change agents" across the world, advancing various projects integrating the vision and lessons of Pope Francis' Laudato Si encyclical into our daily lives.
My parents, Mary and Joseph, and SLUH profoundly influenced my efforts and experiments to advance the common good these past 50+ years. My mom and dad were 8th grade educated(formally speaking), working class, Irish Catholics, who gave their all to support my 2 sisters and I obtaining college degrees. My mother literally cleaned floors and collected rent in Mary Godsil's Rooming House in North St. Louis. My father was a tool and die maker, Machinist Union member, and philomath, i.e. life long learner. They, and the nuns of St. Joan of Arc grade shool, inspired my dreams of winning a place at "The High." From 5th grade on I was told that the Jesuits were the most intelligent and compassionate priests of the world, and that hard work in grade school could win me a place at St. Louis' most renown high school. I also attended just about all of SLUH basketball games from 5th grade on, deeply impressed with the quality of the team, but especially by the incredible spirit manifest by the students in the stands.
As imagined, the Jesuit and lay teachers of SLUH, the students, and the very wide and resourced SLUH and SLU community gave me great gifts and fields of opportunity to develop mind, body, and soul. Our Ignatian community comes from every social class, and increasingly identity groups. This diversity and the Jesuit ethos embodied by AMDG, the Beatitudes, and the emerging Spirit of Vatican II, were of great consequence inspiring me to judge all of God's children by their character, to cultivate my competences, and strive to live a life of service. The Ignatian fame for rigorous, classic training, ecumenism, and service to the "least of us," provided me with great blessings supporting work and life as sacred calling.
Each of my fields of endeavor could not have become my daily rounds without this Ignatian foundation.
My peace movement work is rooted in the "golden rule," beatitudes, and my openness to research and action outside the impulse to objectify or demonize "the other." The Jesuit scholastics at St. Louis U. introduced me to Dorothy Day's pacifist Catholic Workers, my theology class to ecumenism. I was also deeply moved by an African American classmate and the civil rights work presented at all school assemblies. My work with Dr. King's SCLC in Chicago was dependent upon introductions by a St. Louis U. student and encouragement by progressive faculty members and fellow students. My masters degree from the St. Louis U. Center for Urban Programs provided me with skills to support my efforts to renew the old cities of the Great Midwest The SLU Great Issues position exposed me to some of the nation's leading civil rights and peace movement "stars." A Jesuit priest named Father Lakas was critical to my inspiration to begin a roofing and restoration company despite considerable criticism from many who thought this below my stature. Upon choosing in 1998 a young man to train for 20 years to lead the company I founded in 1975, I gave him a biography of Ignatius Loyola and told him this would be our business model. Finally, my co-founding of the Sweet Water Foundation and my "new story work" to spread the good news of Laudato Si can be traced to the Jesuit's integration of science and religion, revelation with evolution, especially the Fr. Teilhardian, SJ synthesis found in a book I will be studying for years to come, "The Phenomenon of Man."
Karl Guenther '02 is a Community Development Specialist at the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL). Karl staffed the formation and management of the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis. The Network is a professional association of nonprofit community building organizations whose goal is to build vibrant neighborhoods where people want – and can afford – to live, creating a stronger and more competitive regional economy. In addition, Karl staff’s the Creating Whole Communities initiative at UMSL, a partnership between UMSL, University of Missouri Extension and the St. Louis Region’s neighborhoods. In this role, Karl helps to advance research and data driven decision making related to the region’s community development sector by participating in research and connecting people and organizations to best practices from around the country. This work has led to his management of UMSL’s Anchor Institution Committee which seeks to leverage the University’s economic and human capital for the benefit of improving neighboring communities.
Karl is also a co-founder of Invest STL, a fund at the Saint Louis Community Foundation dedicated to supporting great neighborhood development in the St. Louis region. This fund builds community capacity, invests in resident engaged revitalization planning and implementation of community improvement projects.
Previously Karl was a Program Associate at the Incarnate Word Foundation where he helped organize the first Marketplace of Ideas to attract funders to community projects on the city’s northside; coordinated a funders circle to learn lessons from experts in collective impact; and maintained relationships with grantees from across the region.
Karl holds a Masters Degree from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis focused on social & economic development and research, and was named one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 under 30 in 2013.
Home. Home is both the roof over your head and the community around it. Why do you live where you do? How has where you lived shaped you and the opportunities you will have? What can we do about places that create barriers for people to thrive? Karl Guenther, Community Development Specialist at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, will discuss his work to strengthen the region’s ability to build communities where all people can access the opportunities and resources necessary for a good life. His work has focused on how non-profit organizations and institutions, for-profit businesses, and the public sector can improve communities that have seen decades of disinvestment.
Mr. Guenther will also explore how his time at St. Louis University High School and lessons of the Catholic faith have shaped and motivated him to work in the field of community economic development. Come explore the ways in which communities affect us, why we should care about our neighbor next door and our neighbor on the other side of town, and how community economic development practice and policy plays a role in building a better world for all.
Since Jan. 2003 Mike has been the C. S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University. He was also the founding Director of the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and is now its Senior Fellow. He has a B.A. in Biology from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition from the University of Minnesota. Mike then spent four years as a research fellow at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition. Prior to moving to MSU he spent nineteen years on the Nutritional Sciences faculty of Rutgers University. He was co-founder and director of the New Jersey Urban Ecology Program and founding director of the Cook Student Organic Farm at Rutgers. Over the years Mike’s research interests have shifted from nutritional biochemistry to sustainability in the food system. Mike’s primary research area encompasses regional and sustainable food systems. He teaches Introduction to Sustainability in his home department – the Department of Community Sustainability. Mike was a consultant on sustainability to the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and works with a program of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) focused on sustainable and nourishing food systems globally.
Sustainability and Our Food Systems – Can We Improve the Situation of this Wicked Problem?
Wicked problems are those that have no simple solution because they are compounded by the values, norms, and biases individuals bring to the table. Rather we seek strategies to continually improve the situation. This session will be a discussion and exploration of the wicked problem of food system sustainability in the U.S. and globally – can the world generate food security for 9.4 billion people and not worsen our burden on the environment. I will present some basic concepts of food, sustainability, and global food security from my work and others. This will be in the context of the Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, the UN’s sustainable development goals, dietary patterns and health, planetary boundaries and environmental stressors, and the food-energy-water nexus. The intention is for this to be exploratory: how can we approach a wicked problem such as global food security and sustainability? What do we think are potential strategies for ensuring global food and nutrition security? What assumptions do we make about different proffered strategies to improve the situation and how do they stack up to analysis? If I want to pursue something in this realm as a career what are various options? What are things I can do as an individual, as a Catholic, as a member of U.S. society, as a global citizen?
Gerard grew up in Creve Coeur and graduated from SLUH in 1989. He enjoyed his four years at SLUH and played varsity hockey all four years. He went on to get an accounting degree from Indiana University’s School of Business in Bloomington, Indiana. Due to the 1818 and AP credits offered by SLUH, Gerard was able to take an entire semester off during his junior year to intern during a busy season at KPMG – one of the largest international accounting firms in the world and still graduate on time. Upon graduation, Gerard passed the CPA exam on the first try and spent 2½ years of his career with KPMG as an auditor. In September of 1995, at the age of 24, Gerard left his safe, secure job with a steady paycheck and changed careers entirely starting his own financial planning practice from scratch – all commission - with Northwestern Mutual.
Over his 16-year production career with Northwestern Mutual, Gerard helped over 2,200 people put plans in place to become more financially secure. Gerard’s production qualified him to be in the top 4% of all financial advisors in the world, all companies. His professional efforts ranked him 124th in overall career production in the history of the company before giving up his financial planning practice to serve in another way by becoming the Managing Partner of Northwestern Mutual in November of 2011 at the age of 41. A role he currently serves in today.
Gerard is a catalyst empowering people to achieve their dreams and become the best version of themselves. Actively involved in the community, Gerard has served on SLUH’s board for 9 years, The Covenant House Advancement Committee for 15 years, and has served on the United Way Allocation Committee. Gerard enjoys working out, golf, praying, public speaking, ice hockey and spending as much time as possible with his beautiful wife of 22 years, Jen, and their wonderful children Peter (age 18 and a 2017 graduate of SLUH), Lauren (age 14 – who will be attending Viz next year) and Matthew (age 13 – perhaps a future Jr. Bill).
In this presentation, I am honored and privileged to share my story with you: the good, the bad, and the ugly, on my journey to become the best version of myself and have an impact on the Common Good worldwide. My goal, as an alumnus of SLUH, is to be inspirational to students of SLUH in becoming instrumental in also serving the Common Good.
I will describe the journey that brought me to where I am today, the Managing Partner at Northwestern Mutual. I want you to know I am walking the growth journey EVERYDAY to become the best friend, husband, father, partner, and leader I can be.
I have failed a few times in my young life and learned by trial and error. I have made mistakes and learned many valuable lessons along the way. Learning is one of the things I love about serving in a leadership role - the never ending journey of becoming the person you need to become and to be good at it. My mom had always taught me that anything is possible if you have a goal and you do not give up until you achieve that goal.
I consider ALL of the events that took place in my life to be learned from, and I would like to share them. What has happened to me over the years, leads me to believe that God has put a lot of “opportunities” in my life to become a better leader, and a better person through all the things that have happened – both good and bad, and all for the Common Good.
Tom Hillmeyer '60, Saint Louis University Class of 1964, Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Accounting Major. I began working at a small meat company which my father and a partner owned that supplied hamburger patties to McDonalds Restaurants during my senior year at SLUH and through my four years at SLU.
I was married a week after graduation in June 1964 to my wife Charlotte. Together we raised 6 children, two of which were SLUH graduates , Pat '83 & John '87, who will be joining this conversation from Brussels Belgium and 3 grandsons, Tom III, Joe, a current Senior & Danny who enters in August to class of 2022.
While working for Black Angus Meat Co, the two partners who opened the first McDonalds in Missouri in 1958, asked me to join them as a partner in their third restaurant in 1967. From 1965 until I retired and sold the last of the restaurants in 2015, I was responsible for every aspect of the business which included 21 restaurants at one time and employing about 34,000 men and women over the 50 years. I was also involved with the Ronald McDonald Houses in St Louis since 1981 and served on their Board of Directors for 9 years, serving as Chairman for 2 years.
I started learning the business as a crew person, then assistant manager, then store manager so that I knew how to handle our mostly first job employees. The majority of my time was spent with people and how to treat them as I would want to be treated. I often told people that you have a job forever if you do three things: Show up on time, be Friendly, and be Honest. My store managers were with me over 30 years and we had one employee for 51 years, probably the longest McDonalds employee in the world as he began in 1959.
Most of my discussion will be about incidents that happened along the way involving employees, customers, McD conventions, and Ronald McDonald Houses.
My son Jack, who used to be John before he joined the Peace Corps,will be speaking to us via FaceTime from his home in Brussels. He is in the State Department and currently the Public Affairs Advisor, US Mission to NATO. His job is a lot more exciting and will stir up more questions than from a retired hamburger mogul.
Tim Huether grew up in Brentwood and attended Immacolata School before beginning at SLUH. While at SLUH, Tim studied Russian and developed a deep interest in foreign affairs, and also served as Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Prep News. Tim graduated in 2006. He then majored in Science, Technology, and International Affairs at Georgetown University and continued with Russian language, studying abroad at St. Petersburg State University in fall 2008. While in college, Tim interned at the U.S. Department of State and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
After graduating from Georgetown, Tim returned to SLUH through the Alum Service Corps. Tim taught Junior English, coached the ultimate Frisbee team, and led White House and Kairos Retreats. After his year at SLUH, Tim returned to Georgetown as the Special Assistant to President Jack DeGioia. In that role, Tim prepared briefings, managed logistics and accompanied President DeGioia on domestic and international trips.
After two years as Special Assistant, Tim began a role as Program Coordinator of continuing legal education at Georgetown Law, while also attending the law school as an evening student. While there, Tim studied in the Community Justice Project clinic, successfully arguing on behalf of a client seeking unemployment benefits and developing a proposal for DC to form a Clemency Board to evaluate clemency and pardon application. Tim also worked as a law clerk at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, representing juvenile clients that had been charged with minor crimes.
Tim graduated from Georgetown Law with a J.D. in May 2017 and now works as an Associate at the law firm Jones Day in Washington, DC. Tim works on complex civil litigation matters, and also makes time for pro bono work. He currently represents a family that is seeking asylum in the United States after fleeing gang violence in Honduras, and represents a mother in a child custody dispute.
“Seek beauty, seek the truth, seek goodness. No matter what kind of faith - people get all tangled up in their faith. The one great duty in life is to seek the truth. And what is true will be beautiful and what is beautiful will be good.” –Fr. Martin Hagan. “If nothing else, value the truth.” –Prep News motto. Tim will use these two quotes as jumping off points to discuss his path in working to advance the common good, from Mr. Sciuto’s junior year religion class on Faith and Reason to his ongoing pro bono legal work and activities in his community in Washington, DC. Tim will encourage students to pay attention to the truth within themselves in their studies, service to their community, relationships with family and friends, and in matters of faith. Tim will work with students to reflect on their values, and encourage them to consider how they might best impact their community positively through actions small and large.
In 1998 Steve Hutchison founded Revitalization 2000, Inc. ("R2K") and continues to serve as its president. He plays a principal role in defining, fundraising, and overseeing collaborative programs in the Ville neighborhood of north St. Louis. Steve is the primary coordinator for R2K beautification, gardening, youth education, and youth earned-income program activities. In 2014 he co-founded the Ville Collaborative, a partnership of neighborhood churches and organizations in which R2K serves as the backbone organization.
Steve is also an engineer and experienced project manager. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BSEE, 1972) and Illinois Institute of Technology (MSEE, 1978). In 1985 Steve cofounded System Integrators, Inc. where he served as president until its sale in 2001.
Steve is a native of and presently lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He is married with two children.
In speaking to young people, I find that they seem surprised that at my age the issues with which I still wrestle overlap with theirs. We are at different parts in the journey, but the journey to truth never ends, not even after death. There is anticipation and joy in that awareness. Life is about becoming. We are all becoming, broken but becoming…or at least we should be. As an engineer my formal education includes a heavy dose of science, but I have been fortunate that my Catholic education also emphasized and offered tools to question and to think critically. Both help me see the beauty of God through His creation. They give me a profound sense of His invitation to co-create with Him - and to see and feel His boundless and loving goodness. They instill in me a desire to please Him, and they direct me to places where I can find Him. Personally I find Him most present at the margins and in the frequent moments of kinship that I find there.
Our journeys are full of stumbling. Like Christ’s followers in the gospel stories, our lives are full of missing the mark and wandering from the path, about trying to walk on choppy waters but often instead all but drowning in them. Yet the stumbling and drowning can teach us to reach for the hand of God that He may raise us up. Allow me to share the parts of my journey that might help you at this point in your journey.
Bryan Kujawa ‘07 manages the finances and operations of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church within the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S.B.A. from Southeast Missouri State University (‘11), double-majoring in finance and international business. After spending one year in commercial banking, Bryan joined the Alum Service Corps and was placed at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado, where he spent two years teaching freshman and sophomore math and English as well as coaching boys and girls soccer. Upon returning to St. Louis, Bryan worked for two years at Scottrade Bank Equipment Finance before joining St. Margaret of Scotland in 2016. At SLUH, Bryan was involved in football, Yearbook, and Fine Arts.
Max Magee '06 has been around Jesuit education for many years, including participation in the Alum Service Corps Program at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City and a year at Loyola Academy in St. Louis from 2010 to 2012. From 2012 to 2015, Max worked at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, CO. Arrupe Jesuit High School is a very unique Jesuit school as it is part of the Cristo Rey Network. The Cristo Rey Network include 32 schools around the United States that provide a four year college preparatory education with a corporate work study program. Currently, Max works in the Ignatian Service Office at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City.
During the presentation, we will reflect on the gifts on the gifts our schools have provided for each of us and analyze different forms of text regarding inequalities in education system both locally and nationally and discuss how the common good can be promoted through education and through each of us beyond our time at St. Louis University High School.
- Saint Louis U. High School, Class of 1970
- Loyola University, New Orleans, BBA Class of 1974
- LaBarge, Inc., Communications Assistant, 1974 – 1978
- Mangelsdorf Seed Co., President, 1985 – 1997
- SFP Landscaping, Inc., President, 1985 – present
- Native Landscape Solutions, Inc., Director, 2010 – present
- St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church, North Saint Louis
- Director of Revitalization 2000, 1990 – 2005
- Christmas Food Drive, 1985 – present
- Teatro la Fragua, Honduras
- Fundraising and organizational work, 2010 – present
- St. Martin de Porres, Saint John’s College, Belize City, Belize
- Core Team USA, 2012 – present
- Married to my high school sweetheart since 1975
- Two children, Eric (wife Lisa) and Ryan – one grandson
Why I decided to be a Man for Others?
How many of you would consider yourselves privileged? It’s an interesting question and one you probably haven’t thought about much.
How many of you play or attend sporting events at SLUH? How about any other activity here? It’s pretty cool, isn’t it? The opportunities at SLUH are incredible. The vast majority of young adults your age – across the globe – don’t have anywhere near the opportunity that you have.
- 62 million young people around the globe do not attend high school – many of those don’t even attend middle school
- Did most of you have something to eat this morning? 795 million people around the world are undernourished
- There are over 150 million orphans in the world
- Only 5% of people living in India have air conditioning. 5% in Africa. 13% in Mexico. Not one building, including the Jesuit residence, at the Jesuit parish in Belize City is air conditioned. It is a very hot tropical climate. We complain when a storm knocks out our AC for one or two days.
- It is not just air conditioning that is a problem, electricity is a problem. 600 million people in Africa do not have power. In 2010, 1.2 billion (with a B) people don’t have electricity. So, of course they don’t have AC – they also don’t have a way to charge a cell phone, which they don’t have either. How do you think learning and socializing would work for you without computers and cell phones?
- One third of the children at the Jesuit primary school in Belize City cannot read. What do you think the future holds for these kids? By the way, their parents can’t read either.
- The world’s problems are not just everywhere else in the world – the US has 4.4% of the world’s population but 22% of the world’s prisoners. We don’t necessarily have to travel the world to find people to help and things to do.
Do you enjoy the theater productions put on here at SLUH? Or maybe you attend the Fox, or Muni, or the Rep? What a treat. In Honduras, a Jesuit friend of mine travels the country to bring plays to all of the small villages. Most of the roads are unpaved. Most of the plays are Holy Day plays.
The fact is – if you are in this room, you are privileged. You are bright. You have great, dedicated teachers who care a great deal about you. You are the beneficiary of Jesuit spirituality – I hope you never underestimate the value of this. You are in a position to grow intellectually, physically and spiritually. I am not telling you about privilege to make you feel bad – I am telling you because it offers you a whole world of opportunity.
I am here today to ask you what you are going to do with all of the benefits you are blessed with? Are you going to share your talents? Are you going to make a difference for those who are less fortunate than you? You should consider dedicating some of your time to being a Man for Others.
- You can live a great life, maybe getting married and having children
- You can enjoy a full social calendar, watching sporting events, theater – anything you enjoy
- You can have a fulfilling spiritual life
- You can enjoy long term friendships with your SLUH buddies – and you will remember high school as a very special time in your life
- But there is more to life than just NORMAL
Being a Man for Others doesn’t mean that you will be the GIVER and someone else will be the TAKER. You likely won’t go out and save the world. But every one of us can make a difference.
I am privileged
I want to tell you that I am privileged. My time at SLUH is forever etched in my mind. The Jesuits set an incredible example for us. They taught us that we should be available to help others in need. From my experiences, I usually come out the big winner. The relationships developed in my service activities have been an incredible blessing for me. I have met so many people over the years, have developed so many friendships, and been inspired by people who don’t possess a fraction of what I have. These people teach me things I never learned at SLUH. They teach me things I could have never learned through a book. They have made me understand how privileged I am – yet also how much I have to learn.
My first real service opportunity
I graduated from Loyola Univ New Orleans – a Jesuit administered school. Fraternities at Loyola were small but important part of the school. During my sophomore year, my fraternity set up a day to pick up orphans from a local orphanage – take them to a park and just spend the day playing with them and having hot dogs for lunch. When the day was over, these great kids didn’t want to go back. They hugged us like we were lifelong friends. It was quite an emotional and impactful time for me. I was the fraternity president the following year and we scheduled these orphan outings for every 4 weeks. My fraternity brothers – on a Saturday morning (after partying half the night) – almost never missed. We played soccer or baseball, visited the zoo and many times just sat and talked with the kids. The resulting hugs never stopped. The orphans loved our outings and they benefited from them – but so did I. It made me realize how lucky I was. If you asked me today for my most memorable events in college, I would tell you that our orphanage days will never be forgotten.
St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church
I spent over 35 years helping the Jesuit parish in North St. Louis, St. Matthew the Apostle. It is a tough challenged parish in The Ville neighborhood of north Saint Louis. Unfortunately, it is a violent and crime ridden area.
After college, I wanted to find a close Jesuit friend – Fr. Ed O’Brien, our SLUH senior advisor. He was compassionate and focused – and he inspired me
- I found that he was Pastor at St. Matthews’s parish. I called and asked if I could stop by for a visit. I got to the church and was afraid to get out of the car – I was way out of my comfort zone.
- Once I was inside the rectory, Fr. O’Brien proceeded to tell me that his parishioners were among the most wonderful people he had ever met. How could this be? He told me the only reason people lived in this violent neighborhood was because they didn’t have the resources to move out. They were terrorized every day of their life. He had just visited a family whose heat had been turned off and the family slept together when it was cold, using plastic tablecloths as blankets – they didn’t have money to buy nice heavy cotton blankets. I asked Fr. Ed – how could I help? He said come to church on Sundays and get to know the parishioners.
My family attended weekly Sunday mass at St. Matts for over 20 years
- My kids were probably like many of you – mass wasn’t the most important thing for them – but they always asked what was wrong if we didn’t go there for a Sunday. We got more hugs on Sunday than you could count.
We started buying Christmas gifts for families (we were anonymous) – 30 years ago
- We asked my extended family if they could get involved so we could buy for more families
- This turned this into a Christmas Food Drive
- Now my home parish pitches in – we have 75 people come to St. Matthews to donate and pack fresh food for over 100 families plus over 700 blankets
- Why blankets? I will never forget Fr. Ed’s story of the plastic tablecloths
- Now my home parish pitches in – we have 75 people come to St. Matthews to donate and pack fresh food for over 100 families plus over 700 blankets
- After many meetings with the parishioners, we set goals on how to improve the parish and its neighborhood. We set up a non-profit corporation called Revitalization 2000, which is still operating today. Our general goals was to help make this one church and the block it sat on a place of peace in a turbulent neighborhood.
- We bought abandoned houses
- created an outdoor play area
- created a children’s neighborhood garden (staffed by volunteers from SLU)
- developed the Claver House where recent SLU graduates could spend time helping the neighborhood)
- rebuilt and expanded the parish center
- helped start De La Salle Middle School for community kids.
- If you would like an inspirational mass, I would encourage you to attend St. Matthews on Sunday morning – the choir is amazing – the parishioners are even better.
Teatro la Fragua, El Progresso, Honduras
I have spent the past 8 years helping Fr. Jack Warner with fund raising and organizational assistance for his Teatro La Fragua in Honduras. Fr. Jack was a teacher at SLUH and very active in theater and choral groups. By the way, he married my wife and me.
- He writes and produces plays for small villages in Honduras
- He trained musicians for 20 years and now uploads music via satellite for his shows
- Half of his shows are Holy Day productions – Easter, Christmas – to bring the good word to people who unfortunately don’t have weekly mass
- About 5 years ago, I helped organize my SLUH class to raise $40,000.00 so they could purchase a large van to transport the troupe to their performances
- Fr. Jack – a great SLUH alumni – has been doing this for 35 years
- Our efforts are modest but important – we are raising $225,000 over three years for him to continue his work
- Last year we hosted a Fr Jack Roast at SLUH as part this fund raising
- Several years ago he brought his troupe to SLUH for performances
This is the only service work I am involved with, where money is a primary focus
Belize 2020, An Ignatian Partnership
6 years ago I was one of a small group who founded a program in Belize City, Belize – a small Caribbean country south of the Yucatan peninsula – called Belize 2020, An Ignatian Partnership. The Jesuits have been in Belize since 1851. While it is a beautiful country right on the Caribbean Sea, Belize has the third highest murder rate per capita in the entire world
- St. Martin de Porres is the Jesuit parish with a parish school with 800 students
- They have ONE teacher with a 4-year college degree
- More than half of the students suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- 1/3 to ½ of the students can’t read
- More than half of the students have severe nutritional deficiencies
- Of the graduating 8th graders, about half will not go to high school
- There are no counsellors in Belize
- There are no special school trained teachers
- St. John’s College is a Jesuit high school and 2 year community college
- We have engaged SLU to assist with building up educational assets to help both the grade school and SJC
- SLU is providing scholarships to teachers to earn graduate degrees in Early Childhood Development and Counselling
- SLU has used graduate students to conduct professional studies to objective data to help understand statistically what we are up against
- Our program started Project Heal, an after school project similar to Loyola Academy
- It provides long days and long weeks of tutoring and extra academic care
- It provides attention to help moderate the effects of PTSD
- We contribute to a nutrition program that provides free breakfast and lunch to parish and neighborhood children
- We started a program to help transition kids from grade school into SJC high school
- We are attempting to start a health screening program with volunteer doctors from SLU
- We just completed building a multi-purpose facility on the parish campus for school functions and parish and community events
- You are likely aware of the Clavius Robotics program here at SLUH? We are introducing it to Belize
- The list goes on, including hosting an annual retreat in Belize to foster relationship
- In January, SLU sent their Provost, 5 deans and one Vice President
By the way, going to Belize is a trip of 100 hugs from people who just want to be our friends and who appreciate anything we can do to assist
- The Belizeans never demand more from us and we never demand what a program should look like – it is amazingly collaborative and this is why it is successful
Rob has almost 40 years of domestic and international management experience in pharmaceutical, consumer products and Packaging companies with Rexall Drug Company, TUMS, and GlaxoSmithKline, where he was Senior Director of Operations in Pittsburgh, and then Director and Vice-President of Packaging and Process Technology in London and Philadelphia, responsible for World-Wide Engineering, Packaging, and cost improvement. Rob returned to St. Louis in 1999 and was Chief Operating Officer for a major plastic bottle manufacturer before joining Lafayette Industries in 2004. SLUH class of 1972, Rob was educated at Indiana University and St. Louis University in Business Administration and is an alumnus of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Rob also holds a MBA in non-profit Management from the University of St. Thomas.
As CEO & Executive Director of Lafayette Industries—a not-for-profit social enterprise--- Rob has overseen the growth in employment from 185 employees to over 430 including 390 Adults with developmental disabilities at two locations, Manchester, MO and Berkeley MO, performing contract packaging for private industries. Lafayette is now the largest full time employer of Adults with Developmental Disabilities in the State of Missouri.
Rob has 3 sons including one that served in the United States Marine Corp., serves as an advisory board director for Enterprise Bank, and is Vice President of the Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers. Rob also serves on the board of a packaging supply company, a mutual insurance company, is an officer and treasurer of a homeowner’s association, the Grand Knight for his parish’s Knights of Columbus Council, and is the past President of the St. Louis Coalition of Service Providers which serves over 8,000 people with disabilities in the St. Louis region.
Lafayette Industries was named the 2015 Special Ambassador by the St. Louis County Special School District, their highest award, and was a finalist for the St. Louis Regional Chamber Arcus Awards and Ladue News Charity Awards, and a winner of Monsanto’s 2014 Grow St. Louis.
This presentation examines the impact of one “common man” and his impact on the Common Good, rooted in his Jesuit education at SLUH. The experience results in the transformation he undergoes at this “Uncommon” institution that he carries forward as he progresses through college and into his career, all the while carrying a men-for-others raison d'etre deep inside. The desire to make a lasting difference to those less fortunate and his success record in business leads to a second career at a Social Enterprise where opportunities for employment and skills training are created for a population that most have ignored.
The time period covers five decades of experiences, includes international experiences, leading to his current position as CEO and Executive Director of Lafayette industries which employs over 390 individuals with developmental disabilities, the largest single full-time employer of its kind in the State of Missouri. The presentation will show an organization that delivers measurable results that improve the Quality and Dignity of people’s lives and the impact that has in the communities that they live in and work in; and the culmination of the presenter’s desire to have a fulfilling, enjoyable, and rewarding career in making a difference for the Common Good.
- St. Louis University High School, Class of 1969
- Boston College 1969-72, St. Louis University B.A. Sociology 1974
- St. Louis University Center for Urban Affairs, M.A. 1975
- Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Master of Theology 2009
- Pantheon Corporation, St. Louis, Mo. 1975 to 1977; Real estate development and management
- Mercantile Mortgage, GMAC Mortgage; 1978 to 1988, Affordable Housing and healthcare finance
- Reinlein, Lieser, McGee, 1988 to 1992, Affordable housing and healthcare financing
- Rockport Mortgage Corporation 1992 to present, (Founded company in 1992)
- Cape Ann and North Shore YMCA Board member 20 years
- Leadership Team of Holy Family Mission (2002 to present)
- Married to Kathleen Lieser for 42 years
- Two Sons, Jeffrey and Joseph
- Five Grandchildren, Shaya, Elle, Elias, Benjamin and Owen
What does it means to follow Jesus? Do you know from your own experiences what Pope Francis means when he says that reality is more important than ideas? Do you believe that the poor can teach us worthwhile lessons?
For the past 16 years, I have traveled twice a year as a Catholic missionary to a poor town in the Dominican Republic called Cevicos. I will share with you some of what I have learned from the experiences of providing medical care, funding home repairs, scholarships and small business loans for poor families.
This work has deepened my faith in God and the human spirit. It has made me more grateful for my many blessings and given me many moments of joy, love and laughter. However, real suffering always accompanies poverty. Parents suffer when their children are sick and hungry, and they do not have money for medicine or food. Children suffer with stomach aches, diarrhea, and lethargy from recurring parasitic illnesses from contaminated water. Elderly suffer, often dying without dignity.
These realities incite frustration, anger, and sadness. Yet, I have come to believe that when we place ourselves in the intimate presence of the poor, look into their eyes, touch them, empathize with their tears… those close encounters transform us. Jesus taught us this lesson. He always sought out those who suffered the most.
My best moments on mission trips were accompanied by an awareness that my capacity to love had grown, my heart had actually expanded.
I no longer go on missions expecting to feel good. Rather, because I have come to know that serving the poor is what Jesus did, and wants us to do. We leave our comfortable homes and surroundings to meet them, up close and personal. Over time our thirst for justice deepens, their good becomes our good, our transformation, the world’s transformation…. “the common good.”
Handy has 30+ years of leadership experience in professional philanthropy. He joined the staff of The Ruth Mott Foundation of Flint Michigan in September 2014 as its President. In the interim between that post and his retirement as President of the Cameron Foundation of Petersburg, Virginia in 2012, he managed an independent consulting practice that focused on executive effectiveness and advising foundations in organizational development, program planning and strategy and capacity building for nonprofit excellence. He led the Field Foundation of Illinois in Chicago from 1988 until 2003. Between 1980 and 1988 he served the Chicago Community Trust in several positions including Assistant Director, Staff Associate, Senior Staff Associate and Executive Director of the Chicago Area Foundation for Legal Services, a supporting organization. He has also worked as a consultant to the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and in Corporate Contributions with the local telephone company. Handy was instrumental in the development of the East St. Louis Community Foundation, where he served as interim Executive Director in 1985-6. Handy has extensive nonprofit governance experience having served on the board of directors of more than two dozen civic organizations, policy institutes, and professional associations of philanthropy, most in leadership roles such as member of the executive or management committee or chairman. Immediate past experience includes four years as a member of the executive committee of the Southeastern Council of Foundations and two years as chairman of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Handy studied at the University of Chicago where he earned an M.B.A. from the Booth School of Business, an M.A. from the School of Social Services Administration (SSA), and an undergraduate degree in Sociology. Between 1997 and 2000 he completed all required course work, but withdrew prior to completing the dissertation toward a PhD at SSA.
Growing up poor as the oldest child of two Mississippi sharecroppers, Handy Lindsey Jr. knew focusing on his education would be his pathway out of poverty. After moving to an impoverished neighborhood in north St. Louis, Mr. Lindsey earned a scholarship and graduated from St. Louis University High School – a triumph that altered the course of his life. Since then, he has dedicated his life to working in philanthropy, a profession that gives him the opportunity to help improve the quality of life for other families in need. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is president of the Ruth Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, which is still recovering from a water crisis that exposed thousands of vulnerable residents to unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water. In addition to the Ruth Mott Foundation’s work around the water crisis, Mr. Lindsey led the implementation of the Foundation’s new strategy that focuses grantmaking in the areas of youth, public safety, economic opportunity, and neighborhoods. To this day, Mr. Lindsey credits his preparatory education – especially the Jesuit-run environment at SLUH – with saving his life. Now, he endeavors to give others the tools they need to do the same for themselves.
William F. McCalpin is Managing Partner, Impact Investments at Athena Capital Advisors, a privately owned, independent registered investment adviser (RIA) based in Boston. Founded in 1993, Athena Capital builds and manages customized, multi-asset class portfolios for taxable private investors and tax-exempt institutions. Bill leads the firm’s impact investing practice, which works with clients who want to align their investments with their values or social change objectives.
Prior to joining Athena, he was Chief Executive Officer of Imprint Capital Advisors, an impact investing firm that Goldman Sachs Asset Management acquired in 2015. Through a period of over 20 years, Bill served in several different capacities in two private grantmaking foundations: the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Bill is the independent chairman of the board of trustees of the JanusHenderson funds, a family of more than 60 mutual funds with approximately $135 billion in assets, that are offered to retail and institutional investors in the U.S. He is also the independent chairman of the mutual funds, with assets totaling $4 billion, that are offered by The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF) Investment Program. Investors in the TIFF funds, which Bill helped found in the early 1990s, are exclusively foundations and other nonprofit organizations.
Bill has been a director of the F.B. Heron Foundation and the Mutual Fund Directors Forum. He received a B.A. in economics from Williams College and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.
In his frequently quoted 2005 commencement address to the graduating class at Stanford University, Steve Jobs said, “…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
As an 18-year old high school senior more than 40 years ago, I didn’t have the vocabulary or the life experience to express it, but at some level, I knew I wanted what I acquired at SLUH to be at the center of my adult professional life. Not the content of what I learned but the values that shaped me. Curiosity. Creativity. Drive. Intellectual honesty. Personal improvement. Faith. And especially, an interest in making a positive contribution to the world. Looking backwards, for me, these connect the dots.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to have the Common Good integrated into each of my professional dots. Teaching in a Chinese school in Hong Kong immediately after college. Managing a program of philanthropic grants to support economic development and environmental protection in Southeast Asia after law school. Investing a foundation’s endowment for financial return and positive social impact. And in recent years, working with private individuals and institutions to address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges with market-based strategies and solutions.
How does one get so lucky as to have a career that aligns with his values? You have to trust in something. For me, the something was a lot about what I took away from my four years at SLUH.
Max Magee '06 has been around Jesuit education for many years, including participation in the Alum Service Corps Program at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City and a year at Loyola Academy in St. Louis from 2010 to 2012. From 2012 to 2015, Max worked at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, CO. Arrupe Jesuit High School is a very unique Jesuit school as it is part of the Cristo Rey Network. The Cristo Rey Network include 32 schools around the United States that provide a four year college preparatory education with a corporate work study program. Currently, Max works in the Ignatian Service Office at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City.Bryan Kujawa ‘07 manages the finances and operations of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church within the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S.B.A. from Southeast Missouri State University (‘11), double-majoring in finance and international business. After spending one year in commercial banking, Bryan joined the Alum Service Corps and was placed at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado, where he spent two years teaching freshman and sophomore math and English as well as coaching boys and girls soccer. Upon returning to St. Louis, Bryan worked for two years at Scottrade Bank Equipment Finance before joining St. Margaret of Scotland in 2016. At SLUH, Bryan was involved in football, Yearbook, and Fine Arts.
During the presentation, we will reflect on the gifts on the gifts our schools have provided for each of us and analyze different forms of text regarding inequalities in education system both locally and nationally and discuss how the common good can be promoted through education and through each of us beyond our time at St. Louis University High School.
- 1956 Graduated from SLUH
- 1956 Entered Society of Jesus
- 1956 – 1960 Studies at Florissant, MO
- 1960 – 1963 Studies at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO; completed Licentiate in Philosophy
- 1963 – 1966 Taught at Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, MO
- 1966 Completed Master’s Degree in Mathematics
- 1966 – 1970 Theology Studies, St. Mary’s Kansas and SLU; completed Master’s Degree in Religious Ed
- 1969 Ordained to Priesthood
- 1970 – 1975 Mathematics teacher, Pastoral Director, Upward Bound, SLUH
- 1975 – 1984 Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Denver, Colorado
- 1984 – 1989 Mathematics teacher, Superior of Jesuit Community, Rockhurst High School, KCMO
- 1989 – 1990 Sabbatical
- 1990 – 2000 Pastor, Trinidad Area Catholic Community, Trinidad, CO
- 2000 – 2001 Sabbatical
- 2001 – 2013 Pastor, St. Matthew Church, St. Louis, MO
- 2013 – Present Assistant for Pastoral and Spiritual Ministries, Central & Southern Province, S. J.
I graduated from SLUH in 1956, which is 17 years before July 31, 1973, when Fr. Pedro Arrupe coined the phrase, “men (& women) for others.” It was a time of generosity, but the seeds of discord had already sown: Vietnam, 1950s; Civil Rights Movement, 1950s; Ayn Rand, 1950s. etc. We had mostly Jesuit teachers, very impressive men. Both my family background and the learning environment at SLUH prepared me to choose to work on the side of justice.
In the Jesuits, we learned early that serving God and others was at the core of our lives. In the early years, I volunteered to teach catechism in a parish near the seminary. In the early years of study on the SLU campus, there were sit-ins at the nearby Woolworth lunch counter, and tutoring at St. Bridget Church near Pruitt-Igoe Projects (occupied, 1954). We were all aware of the Vietnam War protests. Then in 1967, since I had learned to play the guitar, I had the opportunity to work with liturgical music at St. Barbara Parish, near Wellston, MO, and that brought me to a deeper level in my relationship with the struggle for justice. Since that time, and after my ordination in 1969, I have served the People of God in the Black Community, the Hispanic Community, and among those recently released from prison.
The personal rewards have been overwhelming at times, and the wonderful people I have been privileged to accompany on their journey have been a source of rich blessings to me.
Fr. Menard grew up in St. Louis and is a graduate of several Jesuit schools including SLUH (1982), Saint Louis University, the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Louis University with double majors in Mathematical Computer Science and Psychology and a minor in Scientific Russian Translation. He earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in Computer Science, a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and a Master of Arts in Private School Administration from the University of San Francisco.
After joining the Jesuits in 1988, he taught math and computer literacy at Regis Jesuit High School from 1992-95. He was ordained in 1999 and then served six years at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City as a math teacher and Pastoral Director (student retreats, school liturgies, and community service projects).
He served the Missouri Province Jesuits as a province consultant and as Provincial Delegate for Secondary Education, helping to oversee the high schools sponsored by the province.
Following six months working in a parish in El Salvador, Fr. Menard joined the staff of Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver in 2006. He was Assistant Principal at Arrupe for eleven years and served on the Board of Regis Jesuit High School.
Beginning in July 2017, Fr. Menard is the Dean of Academics for Student Support at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston.
About me: SLUH ’82, Pre-Med at Saint Louis University, Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin, Jesuit Formation (astronomy at the Vatican Observatory, Jesuit Refugee Service in East Africa, chaplain to the Berkeley Fire Dept), Rockhurst High School Pastoral Director & Math teacher, Arrupe Jesuit (Assistant Principal, 11 years), Cristo Rey Jesuit (Academic Dean)
Common Good: Cristo Rey High Schools
a. Arrupe Jesuit (Denver) & Cristo Rey Jesuit (Houston)
b. Jesuit Education for students from economically disadvantaged families. Many are the first in their family to finish high school and the first to attend college.
c. Corporate Work-Study Program: paid internships in professional offices
d. Why I love it: good friends, meaningful work, Ignatian Spirituality
Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, MPH is a member of SLUH Class of 1995 and was STUCO president in his senior year. After graduating from SLUH, Purnell went on to receive a bachelor's degree in Government and Philosophy from Harvard University; a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the Ohio State University; and a master's in public health from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. Dr. Purnell is an associate professor in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, where he has worked for nearly 9 years to advance health equity and social justice. For the past 5 years he has led a project called For the Sake of All, which aims to build awareness and spur action to improve the health and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region. This work has been influential in community response to the unrest that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson only a few months after the For the Sake of All report was released. Dr. Purnell remains active in the St. Louis community beyond his work at Washington University. He currently serves on the SLUH Board of Trustees as well as on the boards of the American Youth Foundation and Beyond Housing, Inc. He and his wife, Amanda, have two children.
Dr. Purnell will discuss efforts to improve community health and reduce inequities by address what are called the "social determinants of health." He will share some of the findings of the For the Sake of All report and discuss the ways in which the project has begun implementation strategies in line with its recommendations. Dr. Purnell will also discuss the ways in which his faith and the critical formative experience of his education at SLUH informs and influences his life and work.
Jimmy Reddy (’16) is currently a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis. There, he studies economics and social entrepreneurship. He is an active member of the Catholic Student Community on campus and the Vice President of WashU’s Club Triathlon team. At SLUH he performed with the Circus Club, participated in Campus Ministry, played golf, and made a lot of great friends. His senior year, as a member of the Ignatian Business Leaders, he led a group of SLUH students in developing a rainwater collection technology for the developing world. This idea evolved into the nonprofit Skydration Systems, which takes on the goal of making a dent in the world’s water crisis.
The Skydration Systems story is one that is borne of a combination of persistence, creativity, and a little bit of SLUH networking. Frankly, though, the success of the project is much more a testament to the SLUH community at large than to my own ability. I'll tell the story, and end with the theme of Luke 12:28, and the idea that "ambition" can actually just be understood as taking advantage of the privileges that come with being a SLUH student. Aside from Skydration, I would like to talk a little about what my full time job is these days: being a college student. I go to class, do homework, eat in the dining hall, and otherwise carry out my life in this spectacular in-between world where everyone is just almost an adult, and everyone is trying to figure out exactly what that might mean. I would like to talk about how my faith and my SLUH formation impact this area of my life.
Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2005, Peter acquired his significant investment knowledge from his previous 11 years at A.G. Edwards and the Heitner Corporation. Peter holds his Series 6, 7, 31, 63, & 65 licenses; is a member of the National Futures Association, a Government Entity Specialist, and a Municipal Finance Professional. Providing proper asset allocation and risk management for the families and institutions that he advises is instrumental to the process. Many of the families he advises include their kids and grandchildren for an all-encompassing multigenerational relationship. As a SrVP and Sr. Portfolio Manager, he believes using Modern Portfolio Theory and Efficient Frontier analysis are the primary ways of achieving this in an fiduciary structure.
Peter has lived in the St. Louis area his whole life; growing up in Glendale, and currently lives in Webster Groves. He attended St. Louis University High School (SLUH) and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from St. Louis University (SLU). Peter paid for both schools entirely by himself, which is a reflection of his strong work ethic. He is on the alumni board at SLUH and has served as a Financial Educator for Youth in Need. He supports In His Hands Orphanage through the sponsorship of a child. Peter currently serves as president of the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association Educational Foundation and is a board member for Angel Flight Central.
When out of the office, Peter has several hobbies. They include flying, sailing, scuba diving, photography, and woodworking; but most importantly, spending time with his wife, Kelly, and his daughters, Lilly, Maizy, Amelia, and Charlotte.
I grew up in Mary Queen of Peace Parish. My mother was a single mom raising 5 children as a secretary at Webster Groves High School. When my father passed at 8 years old, Fr. Leykam told my mom not to worry about tuition for her children. It was the responsibility of the church and the community. My mother was very proud and never took any kind of government assistance despite qualifying. She did take accept the help on tuition and some other financial aid that was provided by the parish. My oldest brother Ken applied to SLUH in 8th grade. SLUH provided a full scholarship. A year later my brother John applied and received work study to fulfill his tuition obligations. At an orientation, I overheard Fr. Sheridan speaking with my mother. He said “Mary, as many as your boys that want to go here, we will make sure it will happen”. I completed the required hours and worked later in the evenings painting houses and working as a laborer for a construction company to pay for books, clothing and to have money to go out. Working on the school with others, some that had it better and some that had it worse than me, really helped appreciate the socioeconomic diversity of SLUH. At my orientation, Art Zinslemeyer, then the Vice Principal of Academic Discipline, spoke. He said that as a parent you didn’t want to know him on a first name basis. Later in the evening after the presentations were complete, Mr. Zinslemeyer came up to my mom with his hand extended, “Hey Mary, it is great to see you”. That let me know that my two older brothers were less than angels. The Catholic Church teaches the principle of Common Good. I lived and learned Common Good by the time I was at school. Life is a team sport. We are meant to use our treasures to help out others. If it is practiced well, there are no givers or receivers; leaners or lifters. We all benefit from helping each other grow in Christ. I think I’ve become a better listener & learn well from others. A couple of examples; I would walk ¾ of a mile from my car to work early in my career. Iw would take a short cut under the highway. There was a homeless person living under the highway 40 onramp. He clearly had mental issues. I didn’t think of myself as having much of a future and really concentrated on each day. I’d later appreciate living in the moment. We saw each other twice a day and I think we both looked forward to the encounter. His name is Michael. I’ll omit his last name for privacy. When I asked him if he needed anything, he would often say money. One day he said, water. I filled an old milk jug with water and left it near him as he slept the next day. That afternoon, as I walked back to my car. He was grateful, so grateful, for what cost me literally a penny. As the days, weeks and months go by; my wife, Kelly, is preparing Michael meal many evenings. I would drop them off in the morning. My wife mentions this to my sister-in-law, who at the time was a social worker at St. Patrick’s Center. She informs us that Michael is a client and therefore cannot give specifics. She did warn us that Michael was extremely dangerous. I could tell Michael was schizophrenic, but I didn’t see the danger. He didn’t want a social worker, he wanted someone that just valued him as a person. We talked over the months about what family support he might have, access to mental health and the trap of feeling well and ceasing further medication. It was going very well until one day Michael was not there. Many months go by. One Saturday I washed and waxed up the Camry that I was proud to finally be able to afford and took Kelly to Broadway Oyster Bar (SLU High boy owned). I park in front and walk around to the other side to open the door for my wife. In front of the car I’m greeted by a man that compliments me on the car. It is Michael. He is on meds and living with extended family and doing much better. Kelly gets out of the car and gets to meet him as well. He didn’t want someone from the government or even St. Patrick’s. He wanted just another human being to take an interest in him. I now feel inadequate when I pass someone that is on the fringe of society. This notion of Common Good is innate. Societal norms cause us to suppress our natural tendency to want to help others. My new motto when someone shows gratitude for an action I have done which is merely how I should treat another child of God, a brother of mine; we are all in this together and no one gets out alive. Fr. Boyle or “G” lives this. We can, too.
Tom Santel ’76 is a former senior executive at Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. who subsequently spent a year at Harvard University as a 2011 Fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative and then launched an early childhood program serving low-income families in St. Louis, MO
In 2012, Santel joined BJC HealthCare, a large regional health center affiliated with Washington University, where he led the design, development, and successful launch of an innovative early childhood program called Raising St. Louis. Raising St. Louis partners with families in low-income zip codes from pregnancy to 3rd grade to improve their child’s health outcomes and maximize their social, emotional and cognitive development so they can succeed in school and in life. The program was successfully transitioned into St. Louis Children's Hospital at the end of 2016.
At Anheuser-Busch Companies, Santel was CEO of its international business unit and led it to record profitability. He was also the Vice President of Corporate Planning and a member of the Strategy Committee, the company’s highest executive policy body. Prior to joining Anheuser-Busch in 1983, Santel worked as a CPA for Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young), a major international accounting firm.
Santel currently serves as board chair of St. Louis University High School, and is a member of the boards of Boys’ Hope Girls’ Hope International, Grace Hill Settlement House and HomeWorks! He is a past board member of Grupo Modelo, S.A.B. de C.V., Mexico’s leading brewer, the St. Louis chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and KETC Channel 9, the St. Louis public television station.
Santel graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Louis University in 1980 and received a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 1987.
From 2012 through 2016 I worked at BJC HealthCare to design and successfully launch an early childhood home visit program for low-income families called Raising St. Louis. The program is designed to focus on a child's health and social, emotional and cognitive development from pregnancy until 3rd grade entry. Research has shown that development during pregnancy and the first years of life are critical in determining a person's health and success later in life. My talk will focus on the program we developed and I will put it in the context of health disparities and determinants of health in St. Louis and the United States. I will also try to tie in how my Jesuit education helped influence me in this work.
1981 graduate of SLUH and a member of the soccer team that took 3rd place in state that year. Attended Creighton University on a soccer scholarship and graduated cum laude after 3.5 years with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Made possible through AP credits earned at the U-High. While at Creighton played soccer for four years and was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Accepted to Creighton Medical School after graduating in December of 1984, I attended medical school from 1985-1989. Played soccer for the Nebraska State Cup Soccer team for two years. Coached club soccer for two years. Married my wife, Sheila, also a Creighton graduate (1986, BA in education) in 1988.
After graduation from Medical School completed a general surgery residency at the University of Missouri and a fellowship in Surgical Critical Care from 1989-1995. Three of my four children were born in Columbia.
Upon completion of my residency and fellowship we moved to the north suburbs of Chicago to be closer to Sheila's family. I have been in the practice of general surgery in the same location since 1995 first as an employee of my future partner, then as a solo general surgeon when he was forced to retire due to illness, and since 2004 as president of my own corporation, Surgeons of Northern Illinois, which includes two junior partners.
It has been my great pleasure to utilize my God-given talents to help others. I was blessed with a combination of talents that made surgery a natural fit for me. Although it was my desire as early as grade school to become a doctor, it was my time at SLUH that provided me with the tools and discipline that I needed to turn that desire into a reality. I was not even supposed to attend SLUH initially. I had planned to attend the other Jesuit school in west county which was close to my father's place of employment at Monsanto. As an athlete, the plan was for him to drop me off in the morning and pick me up in the afternoon after work, but when I visited both schools I was immediately drawn to SLUH and was determined to attend despite any hardship in doing so. As the only attendee from my grade school it was necessary for me to take public transportation every day until I turned 16 and was able to drive occasionally and carpool with several freshmen including my younger brother, Marty.
It was absolutely imperative that I develop an educational discipline along with the athletic discipline as I played three sports (almost four) during high school. It was that discipline instilled while I was at SLUH that allowed me to enter college with enough AP credits to be a sophomore and to obtain my degree in Chemistry in three years while playing Division I soccer. I utilized my Chemistry degree to work as a chemist for the Army Corps of Engineers during the semester after graduation and again between my first two years of medical school.
I credit SLUH with teaching me the importance of discipline when it comes to study. It made college fairly easy and medical school manageable enough so that I was matched with my first choice for general surgery residency at Mizzou.
General Surgery residency provides very little time for extracurriculars but I have always maintained my Catholic faith wherever I have been. And now in private practice for 23 years I have more time to dedicate to my faith and to serve others.
In 2008, my wife and I took our entire family (four children) to Moshi, Tanzania on a mission trip through our local parish in Libertyville, Illinois, St. Joseph. Our associate pastor was born in Tanzania and his brother was the pastor in a parish six miles from Moshi called Mailisita, which means six miles in Swahili, that ministered to a large group of children, many orphans and most very poor who had limited access to education. They were in need of help and a group of my fellow parishioners studied the situation and recommended that we not just provide funds for the education of these young people in Tanzania but we also provide a means for the education to be subsidized. Since Moshi is very near Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti it is frequented by hikers and those going on safari and they had limited options for lodging in Moshi and the surrounding areas. And since the lodging was of low quality it was felt that a higher quality hotel or motor lodge could be a revenue source for the school which was named Stella Maris.
Funds were solicited, 100% being used directly for purchase of materials and the necessary permits, and construction of the school was started in 2007. When we made our mission trip as a family in 2008 we were helping to build the Stella Maris Executive Lodge. Almost all the work was done by hand. The cement blocks were made by hand and were heavy and solid. We also purchased shrubbery and school supplies such as desks to outfit the four classrooms that had been built. At that time we were constructing the walls of the first floor of the Lodge. As a surgeon I also had the opportunity to volunteer at the local hospital, Kibosho Catholic Hospital, which is in the Mt. Kilimanjaro foothills. It has been run for many years by my friend, Dr. Allan Minja. It is an acute care hospital that provides medical treatment for many of the locals. They do the best with what they have which is not much. It is a 10 room hospital with 300 patients so perhaps you can imagine the crowding that takes place. I was able help out several times during that first trip.
That mission trip was also quite life-changing for my children, ages 10 to 17. My son was 13 at the time and he and I were able to return to Mailisita in 2012 for a second mission trip lasting 9 days. At that visit we were able to stay in the lodge that we had helped to construct. It was now three floors with the second floor complete and ready for lodgers. Our room on the second floor overlooked the one floor school with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance! We were constructing the sixth and seventh schoolrooms and we graded the school grounds so that the students could play soccer. The highlight of that trip was playing soccer with the kids. My son was especially well liked as he was an excellent soccer player too. I again spent time at the Kibosho Catholic Hospital volunteering in Dr. Minja's clinic and in surgery.
I am pleased to report that both the school and the lodge are ranked near the top for education and for lodging. Visitors to the lodge are moved by the story of the lodge and the school and the income from the lodge is now supporting the school completely. Soon the first graduates of the elementary school will take their proficiency test for secondary school (high school). It will be interesting to see how these students fare. Well we hope.
Francis X. Shen ’96, whose father Jerome is SLUH Class of 1958, was named was after the Jesuit priest Francis Xavier. At SLUH, Francis graduated first in his class, was awarded the JSEA Service Award, and was 2nd in the State Meet in the 110 Hurdles his senior year. He was also named one of USA Today’s 20 High School Academic All-Americans. After SLUH, Francis attended the University of Chicago, where he was a double major in English and in Economics. He competed in the hurdles at UChicago, competing in the NCAA Div. III National Championships. After college, Francis trained for a year as a hurdler, and then entered a joint JD/PhD program at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He published his first of three books, The Education Mayor, while in graduate school. He also had a spiritual director during this time, and was discerning the Jesuit priesthood (ultimately finding a calling as husband and father). Francis was also competing in the hurdles in this time, and ran on a winning Shuttle Hurdle Relay Team at the renowned Penn Relays Meet. After completing graduate school in 2008, Francis taught for a year at Harvard and then moved to Santa Barbara, California (2009-10) to join the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project as a post-doc. At this time, he also published his second book, The Casualty Gap: The Causes and Consequences of American Wartime Inequality. The post-doc continued at Vanderbilt Law School (2010-11), and Francis then taught married and taught in 2011-12 at Tulane Law School in New Orleans, LA (his favorite city in the world.) In 2012, Francis joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School, where he is now an Associate Professor of Law, McKnight Presidential Fellow, and Faculty Member in the Graduate Program on Neuroscience. At the University of Minnesota Law School, he teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, Law and Neuroscience, Law and Artificial Intelligence, Education Law, and the undergraduate course Introduction to American Law. Dr. Shen conducts empirical and legal research at the intersection of law and neuroscience. He has co-authored 3 books, including the first Law and Neuroscience casebook (Aspen, 800 pages). He has also published articles on a range of neurolaw topics, including criminal law, tort law, mental health, legislation, dementia, and evidence. He is also the Senior Fellow in Law and Neuroscience in the Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience, a collaboration between the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Petrie-Flom Center. Francis also serves as Executive Director of Education and Outreach for the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience. At the University of Minnesota, Dr. Shen is a faculty affiliate of Anselm House, which fosters Christian community for students and faculty, and he also serves as the faculty advisor for the St. Thomas More Catholic Students Association. He also coaches the UMN Running Club sprinters, and competes for the Twin Cities Track Club in the hurdles. Francis is married to Professor Sophia Beal, an expert on Brazilian literature, and they have two children, Gabriel (age 6) and Simone (age 4). They attend St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in Minneapolis, MN.
Dr. Francis Shen, JD, PhD '96 is a law professor leading a revolution—a neurolaw revolution. Rapid advances in the brain sciences offer both promise and peril for the law. In light of these developments, Dr. Shen co-authored the first Law and Neuroscience textbook, teaches Law and Neuroscience at Harvard Law School, and directs the Shen Neurolaw Lab, whose motto is “Every Story is a Brain Story.” The Lab explores a diverse array of topics, including: lie detection, the criminal brain, brain death, pain, addiction, dementia, cognitive enhancement, and sports concussions. But there’s more. Neuroscience raises foundational questions about the human condition, and Dr. Shen will discuss his research on the Sacred Brain: How brain science both challenges and deepens our Catholic Faith. In addition to his roles as academic and father, Dr. Shen will discuss the important role that athletics has played in his life. Dr. Shen has competed for 26 consecutive years in the 110m and 400m hurdles. He still holds the SLUH record in the 110 Hurdles, and is the three-time defending champion in the USA Track and Field National Champion for his age group in the 400m Hurdles. He will represent the Team USA in international masters competition in Spain in September 2018.
John Paul Shen, MD, is a physician-scientist with a scientific background in chemical biology and cancer genomics and is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology. Currently holding the title Clinical Instructor, Shen has been a member of Trey Ideker’s lab at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) since 2011. He holds clinic one day a week specializing in treating patients with tumors of the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract such as colon, pancreas, and gastric cancer. His research is focused on the application of both experimental and computational systems biology techniques, in particular genetic interaction networks, to investigate cancer biology. The ultimate goal of this work is to translate new knowledge of the cancer cell into improved outcomes in clinical oncology. In particular, Dr. Shen is working to personalize chemotherapy selection, meaning to match a patient’s chemotherapy to the specific mutations found in their unique tumor.
Following his graduation from SLUH in 1998 Dr. Shen pursued his undergraduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) with a major in Chemistry and minor in Political Science. He was captain of the M.I.T. rugby team, president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and selected to the Phi Beta Kappa honors society. He returned to SLUH for the 2002-2003 academic year to teach physics and geometry as part of the Alumni Service Corp, also coaching the St. Louis Druids rugby team and helping to found the SLUH robotics team. After receiving his medical degree from Washington University in 2008 Dr. Shen matched to UCSD where he completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology & Oncology.
Dr. Shen’s work has been published in leading journals including Cell, Nature Genetics, Nature Methods, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and was also featured in the San Diego Union Tribune (http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/biote...). His research has been funded by the National Institute of Health, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer research as well as the Tower Cancer Foundation, and he has received numerous awards including ASCO’s Young Investigator Award and selection as one of the American Association of Cancer Research’s NextGen Stars.
Advancing the Common Good as an Oncologist and Scientist
Cancer is a frighteningly common and deadly disease. Statistically it is estimated that in 2018 alone there will be over 1.7 million new cancer cases diagnosed and over 600,000 people will die of cancer in the United States. Put into perspective, that is approximately equal to the number of soldiers killed in the Civil War – Union and Confederate. In human terms this means that essentially everyone has or has had a friend or relative with cancer. Cancer afflicts people of all races, the rich and the poor, although unfortunately the treatment options are sometimes limited for people without means, in particular undocumented immigrants.
Working in the cancer field is a very humbling experience, as someone who specializes in cancers of the gastrointestinal tract the vast majority, ~75% of the patients I see will die of their cancer. One is forced to essentially use a guess and check approach to find a chemotherapy regimen that will be effective, and in many cases a tumor will be refractory to all treatments. One must strike a difficult balance between giving a patient hope but also getting them prepared for the fact that they will likely not be the person to defy statistics and have a miraculous response.
In sharp contrast to the bleak picture of cancer treatment today, the future of cancer treatment looks bright. Already many blood cancers, like CML and pediatric leukemia, which were once nearly 100% lethal, are now cured nearly 90% of the time. Solid tumors are more complex and intrinsically harder to treat, but advances are coming, and coming at an accelerated pace.As a physician-scientist I feel that my contribution to the common good is to provide the best care (which includes empathy) possible to my patients, and to use my clinical insight to direct scientific research in way that will have the greatest chance of producing meaningful improvements in patient care.
My years at SLUH were wonderful - great education, close friendships that have lasted 40+ years and a foundation for the type of person I wanted to be for the rest of my life. Through college, law school and my career the excellent educational foundation that was built at SLUH has proved invaluable. But the foundation, the commitment to be a "man for others" - has even more importantly impacted my personal, professional and community life. Whether its been raising a family, leading a very big corporation or working with numerous social service organizations, the privilege of a Jesuit, of a SLUH education continues to benefit me every day and for that I will always be thankful.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Matthew Stewart, SJ (‘98) is a Jesuit scholastic currently studying theology at Boston College in preparation for ordination to the priesthood. As a Jesuit, Matt has lived in rural Louisiana, the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Managua, Nicaragua, New York City, Denver, and Boston and worked in a variety of ministries including prisons, hospitals, teaching theology, and even having his own radio show. In addition to theology, Matt has graduate degrees in Philosophy (Fordham) and Music (University of Denver). When not studying theology, Matt directs the choir at the BC School of Theology and Ministry. Prior to entering the Jesuits, Matt taught theology and worked in Campus Ministry at SLUH for six years.
A Dying Nun, English as a Second Language, and Urinetown the Musical: A Jesuit Vocation and the Common Good
To work for the common good is to help create a world where all people can reach their fulfillment. Yet the question remains: what does it mean to be fulfilled? The world around us tells us what it means to be fulfilled. We know what this world, when run by human beings, looks like. We see how we create structures that use people and love things. But what would fulfillment look like if God were in charge? Do we know what this world looks like? In the Gospels, Jesus calls this world the “Kingdom of God.” To work for the common good is simply to labor alongside God as God brings about the Kingdom.
My presentation is not about my career but about my vocation as a Jesuit. In my nine years as a Jesuit, I have found myself in so many different places among so many different kinds of people doing so many different kinds of work. In this presentation, I will focus on the three moments identified in the title and other moments from my life to help show how a Jesuit might work for the common good. In the end, we will see that to labor alongside God in the work of Kingdom-building rests on one’s initial “yes.”
Voss was elected to the position of Executive Chairman of Smart Wires in 2014 after retiring as Chairman, President and CEO of Ameren Corporation, a Fortune 500 company.
He began his career with Union Electric (now doing business as Ameren Missouri) in 1969 as an engineer, after earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, now Missouri University of Science and Technology. During his 45-year career with Ameren, he held numerous positions including distribution operating manager, vice president for AmerenCIPS, senior vice president for energy delivery and customer services, senior vice president for generation, executive vice president and chief operating officer before landing the role as chairman, president and chief executive officer in 2009.
While employed, Voss joined the U.S. Air Force serving on active duty from 1969-1973. As a distinguished graduate of Officer Training School he became a commissioned officer. He held various engineering positions at the Aerospace Guidance and Metrology Center in Newark, Ohio, including liaison project manager between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the USAF on an inertial guidance gyro improvement program. In addition, he managed an engineering laboratory during his service.
Voss is a registered professional engineer in Missouri and Illinois, as well as a licensed electrical contractor in St. Louis City and County. Voss has been a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers for more than 45 years. In 2011, he was selected by the National Society of Professional Engineers for national recognition as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. He has also earned a US Air Force Commendation Medal.
In addition to his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T, formerly UMR, Voss holds a professional degree in electrical engineering from S&T. He completed the Public Utility Executive Program at the University of Michigan Business School, the Westinghouse Advanced School in Power Systems Engineering accredited by Penn State University and Nuclear Reactor Training at MIT. Voss serves on the S&T board of Trustees and the Engineering and Computer Advisory Board.
Voss was appointed by Governor Nixon to a six-month term of the University of Missouri Board of Curators in June 2016. Also, in 2017 he was appointed to the Transformational Advisory Council by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.
Voss serves on several St. Louis area civic and arts organizations and currently serves as Chairman of Grand Center, Inc, Chairman of the Chamber Music Society, and as a director for the MUNY and St. Louis Ballet. He has been a champion of safety and diversity both within and outside Ameren Corporation. Voss graduated from St. Louis University High School in 1965.
Voss married Carol June Kuehn in 1970. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
I thought I would talk about the many positive things that have happened in my life including going to SLUH. I grew up in Affton in a lower middle-class family. I had two older sisters and we had a great family life. I went to grade school at St. George in Affton and was able to skip fourth grade. When it came time to choose a high school, I wanted to go to the best, SLUH. My parents agreed with one condition. I had to make my own travel arrangements to and from school which usually meant hitch hiking. This stipulation did significantly limit my extracurricular activities. But I did learn how to study and apply myself and to trust in my faith. After high school I went to Missouri S&T and became an electrical engineer. I graduated with honors because of the strong study habits I developed at SLUH. I accepted an engineering position at Ameren but since there was a war and a draft, I decided to join the Air Force. They immediately sent me to Officer Training School where after 90 days I was a distinguished graduate and an officer. While in the Air Force I married my wife Carol whom I had known since we were ten. We raised three children and now have four granddaughters having been married for 48 years. After my four years I returned to Ameren and spent the next forty years working there. At SLUH we were told they were teaching us to be leaders in our community and that not only allowed me to advance through ever higher positions at Ameren but also to assume challenging roles in the community. I ended my career with Ameren being the CEO for the last five years. I think I took it from an average performing company to now a best in class utility. My community involvement had my wife and I chairing over 50 nonprofit galas. We are still doing two this Spring. I have been on the board of directors for several community agencies including the Regional Chamber-chair, Dance St. Louis-chair, Grand Center-chair, Chamber Music-chair, MUNY, St. Louis Ballet and Civic Progress. I am also involved in various advisory boards at Missouri S&T and briefly served as a curator for the University of Missouri system. I currently serve in an advisory capacity for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and serve as Executive Chairman of a new company called Smart Wires. In May I will be given an Honorary Doctor of Engineering. I have had a wonderful life by all accounts and credit much of that success to the life skills I learned at SLUH.
Dr. Wamhoff serves as HemoShear Therapeutics' Head of Innovation and is a company founder. He is responsible for development and management of strategic team initiatives to ensure a robust pipeline of disease models to advance our drug discovery platform and early stage therapeutic programs. Dr. Wamhoff has led teams to oversee the successful development of human vascular and liver disease models, as well as ongoing development of a tumor microenvironment system. These advancements have been built in part by his role in securing significant NIH Small Business Innovation Research funding from five different NIH institutes. Additional activities include scientific publication strategy and activities, thought leader development and engagement activities, and intellectual property and patent strategy. Dr. Wamhoff, former Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, has co-founded multiple medical device and therapeutics companies. He obtained a B.S. in biology with a minor in business administration from Rhodes College, where he was the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus; he received his Ph.D. in medical physiology from the University of Missouri.
There are over 7,000 rare diseases, the majority of which have no treatment, nonetheless a cure. At HemoShear Therapeutics, it is our mission to discover treatments for these diseases. We are focussed on a group of rare disorders called organic acidemias that are detected at birth. Organic acidemias are devastating disorders and few children will survive to attend high school. By combining cutting edge biomedical engineering and computational science, we hope to discover lifesaving treatments for these children. I will take you through my journey from SLUH senior project in 1992 to starting one of the most innovative biotechnology companies in the world. Our industry is one that is fraught with great failure where brief moments of hope keep us pushing forward. Our industry is also a hot button of global discussion as developing treatments for rare diseases come at a cost and some of these drugs are the most expensive drugs in the world.
One of four children, two brothers and a sister. Grew up in Glendale, went to Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves. Graduated from St. Louis U. High in 1966. Graduated from St. Louis University in 1970 with an undergraduate degree in Accounting with a minor in Business Law.
Went to work right after graduation at the St. Louis office of Deloitte, and international accounting firm. I married my first wife, Patty, about three years later. I had become a tax specialist, and had an overseas assignment in Brussels, Belgium in my ninth year with Deloitte. Shortly after that assignment was over, I would have been transferred to another city in the US in order to become a partner in the firm.
Because of very strong ties to my family, I left Deloitte to become a partner in a local CPA firm. After about two years my wife and I divorced. One of the problems was that I wanted to have children, and she did not. Because of that, I was able to obtain an annulment from the Church. As a partner in a local CPA firm, I was asked to serve on the Board of a charitable foundation. Over the years I served on many more charitable boards.
About seven years later I married my second wife, Jeanne. She was also able to obtain an annulment from the Church for her first marriage. About a year after marrying Jeanne, I accepted a position as Executive Vice President/CFO for Fred Weber, Inc. in Maryland Heights.
I took early retirement from Fred Weber in 2010 after having worked there for 10 years. I was in the process of building a house, acting as my own general contractor, on 14 acres my wife and I had acquired in Chesterfield, for the purpose of having our two horses on our own property.
I started doing consulting work as a business consultant the next year, after the house and horse barn were completed. I continue to do some consulting, although I may decide to end that entirely after this year, when I turn 70 in October. I currently am very active at St. Louis U. High where I serve on the Board of Trustees. I also serve on the International Board of Boys Hope Girls Hope as its Treasurer.
Background on my decision to go to SLUH. My father graduated in the early 1930’s. What was remarkable was that he grew up on a farm on the Bourbeous river outside of Union, Missouri. My oldest brother Charles was Class of ’60.
What I was involved with at SLUH, how I felt it formed me – and how a Jesuit helped me with a very difficult home situation – my father was an alcoholic.
My time at SLU – when I entered I had no idea of what I wanted to become – how that developed.
My time at Deloitte – for several years there I served as a “Loaned Executive” to the United Way in St. Louis, which was a start to my service activities.
How a wonderful woman in St. Charles got me to give back to the community by becoming involved in a not-for-profit organization serving the mentally disabled. How that led to my involvement with many other charities over the years.
How the blessings I have received from those commitments of time have far exceeded the “cost” of my time and yes, financial contributions.
How I have grown closer to God as I spend more free time out of doors, working on our 14-acre “ranch” and interacting with our horses. Specifically, how I pray on a daily basis and the main focus of those prayers.
My thoughts on what the students of St. Louis U. High ought to be doing, before they graduate, to further their intent of becoming “Men for Others.”
Common goods are human goods that exist only insofar as they are shared. Common goods exist in the community first (the whole), and then with the individuals (the parts). They are of a higher order than private goods, because they benefit more people. By virtue of one’s membership in a community or society, a person has a responsibility to serve the common good.
There are two types of common goods.
- There are some goods that only exist in a human being when they are shared with other human beings. For example, friendship is a common good because it only exists when two people are friends with each other.
- There are other humans goods that become common by their shared use or distribution. Communities tend to pool resources in order to increase the overall benefit of various goods for everyone. For example, a reservoir is a common good because the water is shared within the community.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, offers a wonderful summary of the place that the common good should have for Christians living in society:
“Another important consideration is the common good. To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: the common good. It is the good of “all of us”, made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society (Gaudium et Spes, 26). It is a good that is sought not for its own sake, but for the people who belong to the social community and who can only really and effectively pursue their good within it. To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. To take a stand for the common good is on the one hand to be solicitous for, and on the other hand to avail oneself of, that complex of institutions that give structure to the life of society, juridically, civilly, politically and culturally, making it thepolis, or “city”. The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to practice this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the polis. This is the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbour directly, outside the institutional mediation of the polis. When animated by charity, commitment to the common good has greater worth than a merely secular and political stand would have. Like all commitment to justice, it has a place within the testimony of divine charity that paves the way for eternity through temporal action. Man’s earthly activity, when inspired and sustained by charity, contributes to the building of the universal city of God, which is the goal of the history of the human family. In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations (Pacem in Terris, 268-270) in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God.” (Caritas in Veritate, no. 7)
Mike Hamm '70
Mike Hamm, Ph.D. '70 is the C.S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture. He founded the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University in 2003 and was founding director of the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems from 2011-2015. Prior to moving to MSU, he was Dean of Academic and Student Programs for Cook College, Rutgers University. As a faculty member at Rutgers, he was co-founder and director of the New Jersey Urban Ecology Program and founding director of the Cook Student Organic Farm. He was also facilitator for the New Jersey Cooperative Gleaning Network and a board member/board president of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey.