About the Moira O’Donnell Emerging Leaders Award
The O’Donnell Award, given yearly, will honor one to three individuals ages 23-33 who have 1) received an undergraduate degree from a U.S. Jesuit university, and 2) demonstrated significant social justice leadership in their communities.
About Moira O’Donnell
Moira Erin O’Donnell, the late daughter of Bob and Jackie O’Donnell, and sister of Aimee and Matt, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 9, 2005. Moira was truly a loving and gifted young woman who lived her life with brilliance, generosity, compassion, and a commitment to social justice.
She graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara University in 1994 with a B.A. in English and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu societies. While at Santa Clara she earned a full scholarship to study at Oxford University for a year. Following Oxford she continued her studies at Boston College (M.A., English, 1996), and the University of London (M.A., Intellectual and Cultural History, 2002).
Moira spent a year following her college graduation as a member of the Vincentian Service Corps working as a teacher at St. Aloysius School in New York City. She then went to work for Catholic Charities of San Francisco at St. Joseph’s Village, a shelter for homeless families. From 1998 to 2004, Moira worked for Hamilton Family Center, another family shelter in San Francisco. In 2005, Moira accepted an offer to become the executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network and quickly began establishing ISN’s roots as a national social justice network inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.