In Memoriam
Requiescat in Pace: Fr. Gerald L. McKevitt, SJ

Father Gerald L. McKevitt, SJ, professor emeritus of history at Santa Clara University, entered into God’s peace September 18 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He was 76.

Fr. McKevitt was born in Longview, Wash., July 3, 1939. His family relocated to Quincy (Plumas County), Calif., and he later graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1961 with a history major and philosophy minor and began graduate studies in history at the University of Southern California, earning an MA. In 1963, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos to begin training for the priesthood. His studies took him to Gonzaga University, and in 1967 he started doctoral studies in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received his Ph.D. in 1972. Theological studies were taken in Rome, where he received his degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Fr. McKevitt was ordained a priest in San Francisco in June 1975 and began a lifetime association with Santa Clara University. As research professor and archivist, he was given the task of writing the history of the university. Based on his doctoral dissertation, his The University of Santa Clara, a History, 1851-1977, was published by Stanford University Press in 1979.

Through the years he rose to the rank of full professor, serving as department chair, university archivist, university historian, and rector of the Jesuit Community. In 2004, he was named the Ignacio Ellacuria University Professor for Jesuit Studies at Santa Clara. In addition to teaching a variety of courses, he continued his research in Jesuit history in the U.S. and published numerous articles and book reviews in scholarly journals. He also contributed to scholarly reference works. His award winning book, Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919, was published by Stanford University Press in 2007.

His other academic experiences included visiting professorships at Fordham University and Seattle University, memberships on the editorial board of Studies in Jesuit Spirituality, and board membership on the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara and Gonzaga universities and was active in professional organizations. He curated an extensive collection of Jesuits in fiction, now part of Santa Clara University’s special collections, and cultivated his hobby of watercolor painting.

After his retirement from the classroom, he continued his research and gave a number of lectures to a wide variety of audiences. At the time of his death, he was working on a book length history of Jesuit higher education in the United States.

Fr. McKevitt is survived by his sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews, and nieces: Patricia and Tim Johnson and their sons Patrick and Nicholas; Janice McKevitt and her children Mark and Angela; Karen Dusa and her children Ryan and Erika; Michael and Barbara Price and their sons Christopher and Danny; and Carol McKevitt.

Friends and family are cordially invited to call on September 29 from 2-5 p.m. at Mission Santa Clara on the campus of Santa Clara University. There will be a vigil prayer service at 5 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. in the Mission Church. Interment will take place on September 30 at 10 a.m. at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara.

Contributions in Fr. McKevitt’s memory may be made to the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.





Recent News

Gonzaga University has hired Jacob H. Rooksby, JD, PhD, as the new dean of Gonzaga University School of Law. He will start his term on June 1. Rooksby succeeds Dean Jane Korn, who began her tenure in 2011.

Brother Richard J. Devine, SJ, longtime missionary to Japan, entered into God’s peace in Tokyo April 10. He was 83. Originally a member of the California Province, he transferred to the Province of Japan.

Father Francis “Frank” Goodman Hernandez, SJ, longtime teacher of physics and computer science at Jesuit High School, Carmichael, Calif., entered into God’s peace April 11 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos.

Kate Hannick, a Seattle University junior and economics and public affairs double major, has been named a 2018 Truman Scholar, one of only 59 selected this year by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Santa Clara University Law School alumna Lizbeth Mateo, JD, ’16 has reached another milestone: She’s the first undocumented immigrant named to statewide post in California.

Psychology doctoral student Liliana Campos Ramales won’t graduate for another two years, but she already knows the types of patients she wants to work with as a psychologist – undocumented residents who face constant fear of being discovered and deported.

Gonzaga University will welcome eight new Act Six Scholars to the incoming class of 2022. The urban and community leaders from Spokane and the Tacoma-Seattle area will receive full-tuition, full-need, four-year scholarships as members of the latest Act Six cohort.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016


Companions
Fall, 2017

Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 2017


Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.