John Lo Schiavo
|Rev. John Lo Schiavo, S.J.|
|25th President of the University of San Francisco|
|Term||1977 – 1991|
|Predecessor||William C. McInnes, S.J.|
San Francisco, California
|Alma mater||Gonzaga University (B.A.)
Gonzaga University (M.A.)
A lifelong resident of San Francisco, Lo Schiavo earned bachelor's and master's degrees in philosophy from Gonzaga University, and a licentiate in sacred theology from Alma College. He came to USF in 1950 as a philosophy instructor. In 1958, he became vice principal of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix. He returned to USF in 1962 as dean of students, becoming vice president of student affairs in 1966. In 1968, he became president of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, at the same time becoming a member of USF's board of trustees. He became board chairman from 1970 to 1973, and rector of the USF Jesuit community in 1975. Finally, in 1977 he was elected to the first of three five-year terms as president. During his tenure, he oversaw several major capital campaigns, including expansions to the law school and the building of a new campus recreation center. He was named chancellor in 1991, a post he still holds today.
Outside of USF, Lo Schiavo is best known for his decision to shut down the school's powerful men's basketball program in 1982. The program had two NCAA titles and three Final Fours to its credit, but had been under nearly constant scrutiny from the NCAA for most of the second half of the 1970s. In 1980, Lo Schiavo gave new coach Pete Barry an ultimatum—unless he ran a clean program, it would be shut down. However, in 1982, All-American Quintin Dailey was arrested for sexually assaulting a female resident assistant. During the investigation, he admitted taking a no-show job from a USF donor. Lo Schiavo had seen enough, and on July 26 announced that the men's basketball program would be shut down. In his view, this step was necessary to repair the damage to USF's reputation. The Dons would not return to the court until 1985.
Lo Schiavo, or "Father Lo," as he is popularly known, is still a much-beloved figure at USF. In 2010, USF broke ground on a new science building and named it the John Lo Schiavo Center for Science and innovation in Lo Schiavo's honor.
- Muyo, Jim. The Fr. Lo Effect. USF Magazine, Summer 2011.
- Boyle, Robert; and Roger Jackson.Bringing Down the Curtain. Sports Illustrated, 1982-08-09.