Student Impressions of Father Fitzgerald

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Alex Leanse
Contributing Writer

Professor Teresa Moore’s Journalism 1 students are responsible for organizing the inaugural preview package. They were able to take half an hour out of the Rev. Paul Fitzgerald’s busy day for a question and answer session. The reporters-in-training asked about  Fitzgerald’s background and goals, educational philosophy, and discovery of Jesuit values. After the interview, a few of these students shared their impressions of the new president: 

“I was surprised when he said that he hopes we will leave USF feeling ‘ruined.’ This is a different goal of completing college than I’ve ever heard anyone say. Usually I hear that the point of higher education is to learn or prepare for the workforce. Surely that’s the case at USF, but clearly Fr. Fitzgerald sees our school as a place that motivates societal action in its graduates. It seems that he has really taken ‘change the world from here’ to heart and wants to make sure we do too.” Alex Leanse, senior media studies major

“I found it really interesting when Fr. Fitzgerald pointed out that only 1% of people our age  currently attend college, and called us ‘the important 1%.’ He said ‘you have the opportunity, but also the responsibility to be the ones that think about the rest of the world, and think about the 99%.'”Tory Wells, senior media studies major

“What interested me most about Fr. Fitzgerald’s interview was his candid admittance to beginning his journey as a Jesuit without being a very religious person. He had to go through a process of meditation and retreat to really find his spiritual side. I can see how this would make his primary goal promoting and spreading the word of social justice, not just religious values.”Mollie Leal, junior communications studies major

“Even before the interview started, Fr. Fitzgerald’s focus on students was apparent. He took initiative to go around the room and ask each of our names, years, and majors. He even chimed in a bit to some of us when he heard our responses. His answers to our questions seemed genuine and I got the sense that he really wants to implement change. I was surprised when he asked us if we thought his upcoming inauguration was actually important, which further emphasizes the fact he wants the event to celebrate USF students, not him.” Jennifer Lam, sophomore media studies major

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