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Loyola mourns the loss of former provost, social justice champion, the Rev. George Lundy, S.J., Ph.D

Loyola press release - December 20, 2011

The Loyola University New Orleans community mourns the passing of former provost and social justice activist the Rev. George Lundy, S.J., Ph.D. Lundy died early Tuesday morning at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans after suffering a stroke last weekend. Lundy had been with the Society of Jesus for 43 years and a priest for 33 years. He was 64 years old.

“We have lost an important member of the Loyola family,” said Loyola President the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. “He was an educator who lived out the Jesuit commitment to social justice as central to our educational mission. He will be missed.”

Lundy was a Chicago native who earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Loyola New Orleans in 1971, his master’s degree in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in 1979 and his doctorate in education from the University of Chicago in 1995.

He held several prominent academic positions throughout his career, including provost and vice president for academic affairs at Loyola from 1986 – 1992. After leaving Loyola, Lundy was named vice president at University of Detroit Mercy in 1995 and served as president of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W. Va. from 2000 – 2003.

It was clear to those who knew Lundy best that his real passion was his commitment to social justice. Loyola President Emeritus the Rev. James Carter, S.J., Ph.D. selected Lundy as provost while Lundy was serving as the director of Loyola’s Institute for Human Relations, now known as the Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice.

“He was a very hard worker with a great sense of humor and very insightful, but his real passion was social justice issues. He and Fr. Boileau ran the institute for quite a while,” Carter said. “Lundy was smart, had very high standards and a very strong commitment to justice which, at times, helped us keep our bearings.”

Twomey Center Director Ted Quant, recent recipient of the 2011 Integritas Vitae Award, the university’s highest honor, was hired by Lundy in the 1980s and said that the priest was not only passionate, but he was also very organized and understood the best ways to affect real social justice change.

“He created a labor school that trained labor leaders and shop stewards on how to be better leaders and organizers,” Quant said. “For one campaign, a local chemical plant was headquartered in Germany and he had a blueprint for social justice written in English and German sent to Germany as a way to organize support between the workers here and in Germany. He was an amazing man. I owe him a tremendous amount of gratitude for giving me the opportunity to do some of the things I’ve been able to accomplish in my life.”

Lundy returned to Loyola and the Twomey Center in February 2011 to be the director of the Moratorium Campaign, which focused on gaining support from the medical community in an effort to ban capital punishment.

Funeral arrangements are still being organized. Please check www.loyno.edu for updates on the memorial service.