Fairfield’s Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. Honored
A leader of community engagement throughout his higher education career, Father Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. concluded his term as the president of Fairfield University on December 31, 2016 and continued his mission of community engagement when he began a new appointment in January as the Superior of the LaFarge House Jesuit Community in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
After service learning emerged as a top priority for Fairfield University following the 2005 Justice in Jesuit Higher Education conference, Fairfield University assembled a team to learn how other schools were engaging in service-learning practices and returned with the recommendation that Fairfield University develop institutional support for service learning. Fr. von Arx expressed his strong support for service, and within a year, key elements were put into place including an advisory committee, a budget, staff, and a home for service learning within the Center for Faith & Public Life. In doing so, Fr. von Arx has raised the profile of community engagement and social justice at Fairfield University considerably while simultaneously establishing Fairfield as a partner and leader within the community.
Melissa Quan, Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life said, “What I have appreciated most has been his [von Arx’s] willingness to be hands on and to be in the work with us. He has responded to every email and every phone call. He has been there to introduce every speaker and offered support to every event. He has served on boards and written op-eds and leveraged his networks as a leader in higher education to advance community engagement and social justice in important ways.”
In recognition of and gratitude for his transformative leadership in the area of community engagement at Fairfield University, the Center for Faith & Public Life announced the creation of — The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx S.J. Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. Complementing existing awards for students and community partners, this award will be presented to a faculty member annually at our spring celebration of service learning and it will be accompanied by a $1,000 gift to support the awardee’s work.
Read more in the Connecticut Campus Compact press release: Fairfield’s Fr. von Arx Honored.