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Fr. Stephen Privett, SJ, Receives Leo T. McCarthy Award for Public Service from the University of San Francisco

March 27, 2019 — On March 14, Fr. Stephen Privett was presented with the 2019 Award for Public Service from the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco (USF).

Fr. Privett, who served as president and chancellor of USF and co-founded the center, is currently president of Verbum Dei High School in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles and president emeritus of USF. The award is given annually to someone who has inspired others to lead, devoted their energy to equity and justice and maintained the highest ethical standards in their personal and professional lives.

During his 18 years as president and chancellor of USF, Fr. Privett was dedicated to the purpose of educating students for the common good.

“As one of the founders of the McCarthy Center, he helped establish an institution that continues to prepare USF students for community and political engagement and that leads in shaping the entire field of civic engagement in higher education with a vision of social justice,” said David Donahue, director of the Leo T. McCarthy Center.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leo T. McCarthy’s wife, Jacqueline McCarthy, presented the award to Fr. Privett, who said, “I am honored to accept an award named for Leo T. McCarthy, whose lifelong efforts on behalf of farm workers, children, working mothers and other vulnerable populations bent the arc of history toward justice to an extraordinary degree and inspires us still.”


Nancy Pelosi, Fr. Stephen Privett and Jacqueline McCarthy

Leo T. McCarthy was Lieutenant Governor of California from 1983 to 1995. He began his career in the 1960s on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was instrumental in establishing the city’s Human Rights Commission and was a champion of people pushed to the margins.

“Verbum Dei students and USF students — particularly those who participate in McCarthy Center programs — are a pledge and a promise that bending history’s arc toward justice will continue long after many of us have stepped off of history’s stage,” Fr. Privett said. “To support the McCarthy Center and Verbum Dei is to help bend the arc of history towards justice.” [Source: USF]





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