Father John P. Schlegel, SJ, served humbly as president of Creighton from 2000-2011, and his leadership illuminated service and justice as inherent in the university mission. As Father Schlegel put it, “I truly believe that the essence of a Jesuit education is reaching out and making the world a better place.” He regularly participated in direct service, prayed with students, and initiated Project Homeless Connect.
In Winter of 2014, Father Schlegel was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Father Schlegel reported that he was at peace with his condition and had “discovered what true freedom is.” He spent the last few months visiting with the people he connected with throughout the years and holding “pre-wake parties.” Fr. Schlegel died on November 15, 2015 in Omaha at the age of 72. More about his life can be found here on the Creighton website.
Father Schlegel described a “spark of generosity” present within each of us that he exemplified in his immense generosity toward our office. He said he has “had a life that has been just incredibly rich.” Our lives are certainly rich in turn as a result of his generosity. In Spring of 2015, it only made sense for the Creighton Center for Service and Justice to become the Father John P. Schlegel, SJ, Center for Service and Justice. We could not be more honored to call Father Schlegel our namesake and look forward to living out his legacy of service and justice.
Watch our dedication ceremony featuring Father Schlegel: