Christian Brothers National Conference Awards Lewis President

Theresa Marten, Religion Editor

President of Lewis University Brother James Gaffney, FSC, received the Brother John Johnston, FSC, Award at the Huether Lasallian Conference Thursday, Nov. 20 in Chicago. This award is the highest national recognition presented annually by the Christian Brothers National Conference. This award is given to an individual that continues to foster and demonstrate the zeal of service and faith-building within their community.

Over 300 representatives from six Lasallian universities, 55 Lasallian high schools, and from a large number of middle schools, retreat centers and several religious publishing firms within the national network of Lasallian ministries attended.

As president for 27 years, Gaffney was recognized for the momentous growth and developments at Lewis University during his Now in his 27th year as President of Lewis University, Gaffney was recognized for the significant growth and quality enhancements at Lewis University throughout his time here. In addition, the award recognizes the unrelenting and effective focus of the mission as a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition.

Throughout his tenure, Lewis has tripled its size to nearly 6,800 students while still receiving regional and national recognition for its academic quality. Expansions also include now more than 80 undergraduate programs, 30 graduate degrees and doctoral programs in education and nursing. The campus itself has been renovated and transformed with plans in the future to continue this legacy.

Gaffney has been a role model in his involvement and dedication for service. Beginning at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Gaffney has master’s degrees from St. Mary’s and Manhattan College along with a doctorate in pastoral theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake.

Today, Gaffney chairs the Community Foundation of Will County and serves as a member and former chair of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. A board member and former chairman for the South Metropolitan Regional Higher Education Consortium and for the Great Lakes Valley Athletic Conference, Brother James also chairs the Lasallian Association of College and University Presidents and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Justice Project.

Gaffney’s legacy at Lewis will never be forgotten even past his retirement in 2016. Many students, faculty, staff and the community are enormously grateful for his work in faith, service, and community. This award is just one example of how prized Gaffney is in all of our hearts. Congratulations Br. James!

Theresa Marten

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