Joe Jedlicka ’80 feels a deep sense of gratitude for the sacrifices his parents made to send him and his brother, Frank ’84, to SLUH.
“The foundation SLUH provided us continues to expand as we grow older, and my appreciation for the school’s mission grows as well,” says Jedlicka. “In some ways, SLUH was more challenging than college or law school—that’s an indication of the quality of the education and the teachers at SLUH.”
Among the teachers who had the greatest impact on Jedlicka—Dick Keefe.
“He was the dean of students, the disciplinarian, at that time. I tended to see him regularly,” says Jedlicka. The two still keep in touch to this day, more than 35 years later.
Jedlicka majored in Latin in college, largely due to the influence of Mary Lee McConaghy, but perhaps his most influential teacher was his soccer coach, Ebbie Dunn. “Coach Dunn was a great coach and a great man. He taught us so much both on and off the field.”
The Jesuit education with its emphasis on dedication, service to others, and seeing God in all things has impacted Jedlicka ever since he first walked SLUH’s hallways as a freshman. “SLUH taught how to write clearly, how to digest difficult reading material, and how to give presentations,” he says. These skills helped him to double-major in college, earning degrees in history and Latin, and continued to serve him in his career as a corporate attorney.
“I entered college with a large number of credits and tuition mostly covered by scholarships,” says JedIicka. “I was so fortunate and thankful for SLUH.”
SLUH has become an important part of life for the Jedlicka family. His twin sons, John and Joe IV, graduated from SLUH in 2012. During the boys’ time at SLUH, Joe’s wife Melissa became deeply involved in the life of the school. She co-chaired the Cashbah auction in 2011 and continues to be a volunteer at SLUH events and activities. Joe continues his service to SLUH as a member of the board of trustees and through his leadership of the Scholarship Golf Classic.
It was a deep sense of gratitude, combined with a desire to provide this life-changing experience to others, that motivated Joe and Melissa to provide a gift to SLUH in their estate.
“As Melissa and I made our estate plans,” he says, “we wanted to ensure a SLUH education was available to those who deserve to be Jr. Bills, but who cannot afford it. This is important to them, and to us.”