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JASPA was founded in 1954 by deans from six Jesuit colleges who attended the 1954 NASPA conference.  The six institutions that attended were:

  1. Canisius College
  2. Georgetown University
  3. Marquette University
  4. Loyola University New Orleans
  5. St. Peter’s College
  6. University of Detroit

At that meeting the deans agreed to meet again at NASPA in 1955, and to invite their fellow deans at Jesuit schools to attend both NASPA and their new organization, which they called the Conference of Student Personnel Administrators in Jesuit Colleges (CSPAJC).

In the meantime, Fr. Joseph Rock, S.J., dean of students at Georgetown University, agreed to conduct a survey of Jesuit institutions about their student personnel (as it was called) services and organization.

The organization was formalized the following year at the 1955 NASPA conference.  JASPA’s charter member institutions are:

  1. Canisius College (1954 + 1955)
  2. Fordham University (1955)
  3. Georgetown University (1954 + 1955)
  4. Loyola University New Orleans (1954 + 1955)
  5. Marquette University (1954 +1955)
  6. St. Peter’s College (1954)
  7. University of Detroit (1954)
  8. University of San Francisco (1955)
  9. University of Santa Clara (1955)
  10. Xavier University (1955)

These eight Jesuits attended the 1955 meeting. While the schools who attended in 1954 were identified, unfortunately, the individuals who represented the schools were not identified.

  1. Fr. Joseph Rock, S.J., Georgetown University, chair
  2. Fr. Anthony O’Flynn, S.J., Loyola University New Orleans, secretary
  3. Fr. Joseph Clark, S.J., Canisius College
  4. Fr. Raymond Kelley, S.J., University of Santa Clara
  5. Fr. Raymond McAuley, S.J., Marquette University
  6. Fr. Francis Moore, S.J., University of San Francisco
  7. Fr. P.H. Ratterman, S.J., Xavier University
  8. Fr. Victor Yanitelli, S.J., Fordham University

JASPA’s name has changed over the years.

  • In 1955 the new organization was named the Conference of Student Personnel Administrators in Jesuit Colleges (CSPAJC).
  • In 1959, they change the name to the Conference of Jesuit Student Personnel Administrators (CJSPA).
  • But in that same year, when the organization was formally recognized by the Jesuit Education Association (forerunner of AJCU), the name was changed again to the Jesuit Education Association Conference of Jesuit Student Personnel Administrators…although it was still known as CJSPA.
  •  The organization finally become the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA) in 1981.  

The organization met informally in 1957 and 1958.  A constitution and by-laws were accepted at the 1959 meeting and the first officers were formally elected. The first officers formally elected in 1959 were Victor Yanitelli, S.J. of Fordham, chairman (president), and Mr. Thomas Emmett of the University of Detroit, secretary.

JASPA has been connected to NASPA from its founding.

  • JASPA’s “founding fathers” were Jesuits who had attended NASPA’s conferences in the 1950s.
  • The 1954 and 1955 organizational meetings were held in conjunction with the NASPA conference…JASPA continues to meet annually in conjunction with the NASPA conference to this day.
  • Fr. Joseph Rock, S.J. served on the NASPA executive council in 1956.
  • In 1959, newly-elected president Fr. Victor Yanitelli, S.J. wrote to NASPA secretary/treasurer Fred Turner on June 28, 1959 with a resolution to “make an official declaration of our adherence to NASPA’s principles and all that NASPA stands for.”
  • Victor Yanitelli, S.J. served as NASPA president in 1964-65.


More on JASPA’s Pioneers

Fr. Joseph A. Rock, S.J., dean of students at Georgetown University, was JASPA’s first leader. Fr. Rock attended the 1954 meeting and chaired the 1955 meeting. In preparation for that 1955 meeting he conducted a survey of presidents, senior academic officers and senior student affairs officers at Jesuit colleges and universities. In 1956, Fr. Rock served on the NASPA executive board.

Fr. Anthony O’Flynn, S.J., dean of students at Loyola University New Orleans, attended the 1954 and 1955 meetings serving as the organization’s first secretary. He prepared the minutes of those meetings and invited colleagues to attend.

Fr. Victor Yanitelli, S. J., dean of students at Fordham University, was JASPA’s first elected president.  He and Thomas Emmett were elected in 1959, serving as the organization’s first elected officers.  Fr. Yanitelli served as the primary liaison between CJSPA, NASPA, and the Jesuit Education Association, developing CJSPA’s relationship with those organizations.  He served as the president of NASPA in 1964-65. JASPA’s highest award, the Yanitelli Award, was named in his honor. 

Thomas Emmett, University of Detroit, was elected secretary in 1959 and served in that role until 1967.  In 1959, he visited all but one of the Jesuit colleges and universities to discuss and promote the newly formed CJSPA using his vacation time and own money.  Emmett received the Yanitelli Award in 1989.

Wayne Tinkle, Loyola University Chicago, served as JASPA’s first lay president in 1966-1968. He served a second term as president in 1974-1976 after moving to Gonzaga University.

Dr. Patricia Rueckel, Georgetown University, served as JASPA’s first female president in 1970-1972.

Jacqueline Peterson, College of the Holy Cross, served as JASPA’s first African American president in 2006-2008.


JASPA Presidents

Click here to view a full list of past and current JASPA presidents.