PHOTOS | VIDEO | MEDIA COVERAGE
When Cardinal John P. Foley ’57 passed away in December, Michael J. Morris ’56 knew the perfect way to honor one of Saint Joseph’s University’s most accomplished alumni: name the new student campus center on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus after him.
After all, Morris said at the April 16 Cardinal John P. Foley Campus Center Dedication, “the building is at the head of Cardinal Ave.”
So after Cardinal Foley’s passing, Morris, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Saint Joseph’s and a member of the Business Policy Faculty at the University, made a generous gift to name the Campus Center after Cardinal Foley.
The dedication ceremony brought together generations of Saint Joseph’s distinguished community. Family, classmates and friends of both Cardinal Foley and Michael Morris joined students, faculty, staff and members of the Board of Trustees to honor Cardinal Foley’s legacy and recognize Morris for his generosity.
The ceremony kicked off with an inspiring homily at a Mass of Celebration by Rev. Nicholas S. Rashford, S.J., the University’s 25th President.
“True to his name, [Cardinal John P. Foley] pointed the way and withdrew,” Rashford said. “...He is one of us that points to a Pentecost when the Spirit comes and the world shakes. We, like Cardinal Foley, are gentle witnesses coming to understand a risen Christ and the Spirit yet to come.”
Interim President John W. Smithson ’68, ’82 (M.B.A.) shared those sentiments at the dedication, calling the Campus Center a “beacon of inspiration that’s a fitting tribute of its namesake.”
Student Body President George Tsoflias ’13 provided inspiring words on just what the Cardinal Foley Campus Center means to the students at Saint Joseph’s. Tsoflias talked about how as a Business Major in the Erivan K. Haub School of Business, students are taught the importance and lasting impact of first impressions. As a Hawk Host in the Admissions Office, Tsoflias has witnessed firsthand the type of remarkable first impression the Campus Center leaves on prospective students, “giving them a glimpse into what their experience will be like on Hawk Hill.”
He added that the Cardinal Foley Campus Center allows students to take full advantage of all that a Saint Joseph’s education has to offer, whether it be attending an insightful lecture or meeting with alumni.
“As the newly elected Student Body President, a position which Cardinal John P. Foley also held during his days at Saint Joseph’s, I can’t help but be inspired by alumni like Mr. Morris, Cardinal John Foley and Mr. Jim Maguire,” Tsoflias said. “These alumni each went on to achieve great success in their chosen fields. Their life example is proof to our students and prospective students of the true meaning of being a Hawk and striving for the magis.”
Tsoflias’ words were reinforced by Cardinal Foley’s cousin, Eileen Guest, who received her teaching certification at Saint Joseph’s College. Guest shared about the love Cardinal Foley had for Saint Joseph’s, saying he “was happy to tell everyone what an outstanding education he got here.”
Morris pointed out that two of the closest buildings to the Cardinal John P. Foley Campus Center are named after Sen. Michael A. O’Pake ’61 and Henry A. Quinn ’56, both of whom were friends with Cardinal Foley.
“What better example than to have three lives so well-lived setting a challenge for those students of the future of Saint Joseph’s University,” Morris said. “Cardinal Foley on his birthday in the last year of his life said he was grateful to God for a wonderful life. We at Saint Joseph’s are grateful for the wonderful life that he led.”
The dedication ceremony culminated with the blessing by President-Elect C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72, his inaugural blessing at Saint Joseph’s, and Morris cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Gillespie shared his encounter with Cardinal Foley in his last hours, in which Foley asked Gillespie to convey his love for the family of Saint Joseph’s University.
“It was a moment in my life that I will never forget and always treasure,” Gillespie said. He added that it is a fitting tribute to Cardinal Foley that the Campus Center should be named in his honor.
Following the blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony, Morris was recognized for his generosity, an ideal he learned as a student at Saint Joseph’s to work for the greater good, which was embodied by Cardinal Foley – an ideal that the new Cardinal John P. Foley Campus Center will continue to help students uphold for generations to come.