News Detail
From left: Jesuit Father Michael Sheeran, with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
"Government and religion are both about lifting people up and giving them hope." — Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Harkin Receives AJCU Lifetime Achievement Award
February 17, 2014 — The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) awarded the AJCU Lifetime Achievement Award to Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa for his advocacy for Pell Grants and campus-based aid, as well as his support of Jesuit higher education.

Harkin received the award from AJCU President Jesuit Father Michael J. Sheeran at the annual AJCU board dinner in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 3.

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

Harkin also described his admiration of Pope Francis, whose commitment to helping the poor has deeply resonated with him. As the son of a Slovenian immigrant mother and an Irish coal miner father, Harkin saw his parents work tirelessly to provide for their six children in spite of their limited means and education.

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

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

AJCU has worked closely with Harkin for nearly two decades. He will retire at the end of his current term. At the end of his remarks at the AJCU dinner, Harkin joked, "I've always admired Jesuits and I've always said that they're so smart, I could never aspire to be one!" [Source: Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities]


Recent News

July 29, 2015 — Newly ordained Jesuit Father Timothy McCabe will serve the poor at the Warming Center at Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church in Detroit.

July 27, 2015 — Veritas Christi provides religious education for special needs students through the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy.

July 27, 2015 — Newly ordained priest Fr. Lukas Laniauskas, SJ, a Lithuanian-American born and raised in Cleveland, looks forward to serving the people of God.

July 24, 2015 — A newly digitized collection at Saint Louis University gives a glimpse into the daily lives of students and Jesuits there in the late 19th century.

July 22, 2015 — Students from Belen Jesuit Prep and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy built a bridge in the village of El Puerto.

July 20, 2015 — At Ignatius Cafe in Los Angeles, Jesuit Father Robert Dae-je Choi serves quality coffee to support St. Agnes Korean Catholic Church.

July 17, 2015 — Nearly 300 Jesuits met recently at Loyola Marymount University to discuss their role in the rapidly changing digital world.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 8/03/15

America - 7/20/15

America - 7/6/15



Creighton University Retreat Center
Located 45 miles east of Omaha, Neb., in rural Iowa, the Creighton University Retreat Center is situated on 154 wooded acres on the Nishnabotna River.