January 3, 2019 — For the second consecutive session, Jesuit-educated alumni comprise ten percent of the United States Congress. Among the 535 members of the 116th Congress, 55 graduated from Jesuit institutions: 12 in the Senate and 43 in the House of Representatives. This includes seven members who are alumni of Jesuit universities in the Midwest Province: University of Detroit Mercy (2); Loyola University Chicago (2); Marquette University (2); and Creighton University (1).
Of the 55 alumni/ae in the 116th U.S. Congress, seven were elected in 2018: Representatives Gil Cisneros (D-CA, M.B.A. Regis University, 2002); Greg Pence (R-IN, B.A. Loyola University Chicago, 1979; M.B.A. Loyola University Chicago, 1983); Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ, J.D. Georgetown University, 2007); Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM, B.A. Georgetown University, 2007); Greg Stanton (D-AZ, B.A. Marquette University, 1992); Bryan Steil (R-WI, B.S. Georgetown University, 2003); and Lori Trahan (D-MA, B.A. Georgetown University, 1995).
Twelve Jesuit institutions are currently represented by alumni in the 116th U.S. Congress. Georgetown University has the most with a total of 28, followed by Boston College and Fordham University, each with 6 (note: Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY) is an alumnus of both Boston College and Fordham; Representative Rosa DeLauro is an alumna of Marymount College, which was later incorporated by Fordham University). The College of the Holy Cross has 3 alumni while Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University, Saint Peter’s University, Santa Clara University and the University of Detroit Mercy all have two alumni represented. The remaining schools with an alum in Congress are Creighton University, Gonzaga University and Regis University.
Jesuit-educated members are well-represented in leadership positions in both the Senate and the House. In the Senate, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY, Georgetown) serves as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, while Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL, Georgetown) serves as Minority Whip. In the House, Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD, Georgetown) serves as Majority Leader and Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY, Georgetown) serves as chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
In addition to the 55 alumni from Jesuit colleges and universities who are serving in the 116th Congress, there are many who are graduates of Jesuit high schools. And although not an elected member, Gonzaga University alumnus Rev. Patrick Conroy, S.J. continues his service as House Chaplain.
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities president Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, S.J. said, “A hallmark of Jesuit education is service to others, and we are proud to see that commitment represented by the alumni of Jesuit institutions who serve in the House and Senate. We appreciate their leadership and look forward to working with them during the 116th Congress.”