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Jean Turgeon, S.J., is Loyola’s first Jesuit Chair

| By Nick Alexopulos

Rev. Jean Turgeon, S.J., honorary professor in the department of mathematics and statistics at the University of Montreal, has been named Loyola University Maryland’s first Jesuit Chair, an endowed position for a visiting Jesuit teaching scholar made possible by contributions from the Jesuit Community at Loyola.

A small percentage of the $1.5 million endowment will fund the chair in perpetuity and bring in a new Jesuit scholar from another institution for one semester each year. The chair will have the opportunity to do research, attend conferences, network with faculty across departments, and deliver a public lecture. The chair will also teach one course; for Fr. Turgeon, it’s a history of mathematics class in the Spring 2012 semester.

“Accomplished outside experts like Fr. Turgeon bring new perspectives, new ideas, new life to Loyola,” said Rev. James J. Miracky, S.J., dean of Loyola College, Loyola’s school of arts and sciences. “As a Jesuit, he understands our tradition and mission, and he’s rooted in our spirituality. I am confident he will make an immediate connection with our faculty and the rest of the Loyola community.”

Fr. Turgeon has taught at the University of Montreal since 1970. He received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Toronto and has published dozens of books, chapters, and articles in his career. Fr. Turgeon joined the Society of Jesus in 1956, was ordained in 1971, and took his last vows as a Jesuit in 1978. He is fluent in English and French.

Loyola actively recruits Jesuits who are in the early stages of their careers, and the chair, which reaches out to established professors, adds experience to that mix.

“While the Jesuit tradition at Loyola is still active and thriving within our teaching, scholarship, and conversations, we are constantly challenging ourselves to improve and we value having Jesuits on campus who have had the primary experience and learning associated with being a Jesuit,” said Timothy Snyder, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at Loyola. “With that experience, Fr. Turgeon will make vigorous contributions to conversations already taking place at Loyola.”

Snyder appoints the selection committee that chooses the Jesuit Chair. The committee has already sent out a call for nominations for 2012-13.

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