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The 28 institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities share a strong heritage dating back to the founding of the first Jesuit institution in Messina, Sicily, in 1548, by Ignatius of Loyola and the newly founded Society of Jesus. Though formally independent of the Catholic Church, this Jesuit tradition is a core value of these institutions, and their presidents came together to articulate this value through The Jesuit, Catholic Mission of U.S. Jesuit Colleges and Universities. In this consensus statement, there is a rich sense of saga and socialization. The consensus statement is used to demonstrate elements of initiation and fulfillment that support the creation of an organizational saga, including the manner in which current members of the Society of Jesus residing on each campus provide a unique, lived representation of the Society’s founder, Ignatius of Loyola. The president’s statement, the work of the AJCU, and the efforts of the individual schools, clearly articulate efforts to maintain the Jesuit tradition through the socialization of laypersons. These efforts seek to overcome the challenges of a declining representation of the Society of Jesus on their campuses. The experience of these institutions, both individually and collectively, raises interesting questions for further study, such as the level and impact of cultural strength on these institutions, and may provide insight into how other colleges and universities may effectively socialize their academic and administrative staff to carry on the educational traditions unique to their institutions.



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