The Rev. David J. Suwalsky, S.J. says he has been getting brought up to speed since he became ’s 12th president on July 1.
As the new school year begins Thursday for the all-boys college preparatory school in Carmichael, Suwalsky has been busy meeting with school faculty and staff, parents, students and members of the surrounding community.
"I was really taken by this place; the people here are great," Suwalsky said earlier this month. He replaces , who has been appointed as pastor of the Saint Ignatius Parish located on the University of San Francisco campus, effective in July 2012.
Suwalsky comes to Carmichael from St. Louis where he previously served as the treasurer and chief legal officer of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus and Minister of the Bellarmine House of Studies.
At Jesuit, Suwalsky takes over plans for a that school officials say will better serve the school community. Plans would call for a new traffic light on Fair Oaks Boulevard and there has been some opposition from neighborhood residents. The process has been tabled, pending an environmental impact report, Suwalsky said.
He said he has met with area Roman Catholic Church leaders as well as other local educators and people in the arts community.
Suwalsky said he is looking forward to celebrating Jesuit High's 50th anniversary in 2013.
"There's tremendous passion here," he said.
Suwalsky is a former member of the board of trustees and chairman of the finance committee at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, the board of trustees at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, the Board of Members of Loyola Academy in St. Louis and the Board of Directors of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley.
He holds a doctorate in American studies and a graduate degree in American history from St. Louis University as well as graduate degrees in theology and divinity from Harvard University and Weston Jesuit School of Theology, respectively.
"I'm just thrilled to be here," Suwalsky said about Jesuit. "It's really remarkable."