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Campion College Hits The Ground Running

If we do say so ourselves, we found Michael Torre’s NOR article (Oct.) about the fall of the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco and the birth of Campion College most fascinating. The new Campion College of San Francisco was organized very quickly and is now in its first year of existence. How, we wondered, is it doing?

We couldn’t ask Prof. Torre, because he’s out of the country on sabbatical. It just so happens, however, that we have a couple of “spies” at Campion. So we have indeed found out. We thought we’d share the results of our espionage with you, our readers.

Before Campion College opened, it was hoping against hope to enroll 15 students in its first class. Lo and behold, the first class has 23 full-time students (13 boys and 10 girls), plus three part-time students, who come from across the U.S. and Canada.

We live in an era of downsizing, so why this unexpected upsizing? Maybe it has to do with persecution. The former Director of the St. Ignatius Institute (SII), John Galten, was summarily fired by the new President of the University of San Francisco, Fr. Stephen A. Privett, S.J., so that Privett could turn the SII to his own theologically liberal purposes. It was clearly a hostile takeover. Then Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., the inspiration behind the original SII and later the new Campion College, was exiled from San Francisco and forbidden to have any involvement with Campion College by his Jesuit Provincial. If the intent was to cripple Campion, it didn’t work.

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