Fr. Michael Garanzini Receives Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award

BY ISN STAFF | May 3, 2016

CHICAGO, IL – The Ignatian Solidarity Network honored Father Michael Garanzini, S.J., former president and current chancellor of Loyola University Chicago, Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at Loyola’s Water Tower Campus.

Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., [center right] with Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J., ISN Board Chair; Loretta Holstein, wife of the late Robert Holstein; and Christopher Kerr, ISN executive director (Photo: Ian Frendreis)

Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., [center right] with Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J., ISN Board Chair; Loretta Holstein, wife of the late Robert Holstein; and Christopher Kerr, ISN executive director
(Photo: Ian Frendreis)

A celebrated university administrator, professor, and author, Fr. Garanzini has a long history of bringing together higher education and social justice. Over his career, Fr. Garanzini has modeled a commitment to making Jesuit education accessible to underserved populations.

During his 14-year tenure as the 23rd president of Loyola University Chicago, Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine became the first medical school in the U.S. to admit undocumented immigrant students. Fr. Garanzini’s passion for a just model of education can also be seen in Arrupe College, which opened its doors in August 2015 as the world’s first Jesuit community college. As president and chancellor, Garanzini has played a key role in creating Arrupe’s revolutionary model of education in which students from challenging socio-economic backgrounds can attend college on a work-study basis and graduate debt-free in two years.  He also helped to shape the International Jesuit Ecology Project, an online e-textbook examining the major care for creation issues from the perspectives of science, spirituality, and ethics.

In June 2011, he was appointed by Father Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the Superior General of the Jesuits, to serve as their international secretary for higher education, championing Jesuit higher-education issues around the world.

The Holstein Award honors individuals nationally each year who have demonstrated a significant commitment to leadership for social justice grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. The award’s namesake, the late Robert M. Holstein, was a former Jesuit, labor lawyer, fierce advocate for social justice, and one of the founders of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice—the precursor to the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Members of the Loyola Chicago community shared reflections on Fr. Garanzini’s leadership at Loyola. “In his fourteen years at the helm of Loyola, Father Garanzini’s vision and herculean efforts have really transformed all four of Loyola’s campuses,” said Dr. Nancy Tuchman, director of Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability.  

“His faith and his motivation are always grounded in the art of the possible, “He has an uncanny sense of when to make the next move to further the mission,” said Father Mark Bosco, S.J., director of Loyola Chicago’s Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage. Fr. Bosco, continued, “whether it is to encourage a new program or solve a problem.”

“At Loyola it is easy to do this work,” said Father Garanzini in his acceptance speech, as he described the joy of working with many passionate lay and Jesuit partners at Loyola University Chicago. He went on to describe Loyola as a place where “you meet people every day who are totally committed to the mission of social justice. They see Loyola as a force in the city, the country, the world that is going to change the world.”

Lisa Reiter, Loyola’s director of campus ministry, offered a closing reflection and invited award reception attendees to lift their hands in a special blessing for Fr. Garanzini, as the night came to a close.

“Throughout his career, Fr. Garanzini has been a fierce advocate for social justice,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “This passion for justice has been embodied in initiatives started at Loyola Chicago during his tenure as president, including Arrupe College and Loyola’s public commitment to accept undocumented medical school students, and Loyola’s robust commitment to environmental sustainability,” noted Kerr.


Charlie Currie, S.J. (2009); Fr. Steve Privett, S.J. (2010); Fr. Michael Garanzini (2016); and Fr. Don MacMillan, S.J. (2012) [PHOTO: Ian Frendreis]

Fr. Garanzini joins Fr. Charlie Currie, S.J., and Fr. Steve Privett, S.J., as former Jesuit university presidents to receive the Holstein award. Other awardees have included Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.; Sr. Carol Keehan, D.C.; Fr. Jim Connor, S.J.; and Fr. Don MacMillan, S.J.

The event was supported by a wide range of sponsors in Chicago and across the country:

Loyola Level Sponsors: Robyn and Vince Caponi; Dr. John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University; The Holstein Family; Col. Jennifer N. Pritzker, Illinois Army National Guard (Retired), Tawani Foundation; Mary Tolan and Edward Grzelakowski

Xavier Level Sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Parkinson, Jr.

Arrupe Level Sponsors: Brandon Beavers and Family; Bill Brandt; Donna M. Carroll, President, Dominican University; Very Rev. John J. Cecero, S.J., Provincial, USA Northeast Province, Society of Jesus; Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., President, Regis University; Rev. Michael Graham, S.J., President, Xavier University; Dr. Louis J. Glunz; Very Rev. Robert M. Hussey, S.J., Provincial, Maryland Province, Society of Jesus; Board of Directors, Ignatian Solidarity Network; William G. and Joan A. Kistner; Rev. Joseph P. Lacey, Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez Parish, Woodstock, Maryland; Dr. Linda LeMura, President, Le Moyne College; Rocco and Roxanne Martino; Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President, Fordham University; Dr. Fred Pestello, President, Saint Louis University; Rev. Kevin Quinn, S.J., President, University of Scranton; Dr. Mark C. Reed, President, Saint Joseph’s University; Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, President, Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities; Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., President, Fairfield University

Award Event videos:

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