William Brandt wins award for civic achievement

September 7, 2020

William Brandt, Chair Emeritus of IGS’s National Advisory Council, was awarded the Magis Medal for civic achievement by the National Jesuit Honor Society.

The Magis Medal is given annually by Alpha Sigma Nu, the Honor Society of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, to members who have demonstrated scholarship, loyalty and service in their work. It was established in 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Society.

“Mr. Brandt, a graduate of Saint Louis University and the University of Chicago, has a  longstanding commitment to higher education, seen in his service as chair of the National Advisory Council for the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Loyola University Chicago from 2007 to 2016.  It is the confluence of Mr. Brandt’s work at the IFA and as a Loyola Trustee which makes him a worthy nominee for the Magis Medal. In 2013, a presentation by the dean of Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine focused on the fact that a number of Dreamers [those covered under DACA] had recently applied to the medical school. Because Dreamers are not U.S. citizens, the usual avenues of obtaining tuition loans were closed to them.  After extensive consultations with the governor and senior senator of Illinois, Mr. Brandt created a program at the IFA which would offer Dreamers full tuition to medical school through an innovative loan structure and advocated that Dreamers be granted licenses to practice medicine in Illinois.  The students could garner a loan for the full cost of tuition to medical school, and have the entire interest on the loan forgiven thereafter on one condition: following graduation and residency, they would come back to Illinois and practice for three years in a medically-underserved area of the state. The program was confirmed at an IFA meeting in July 2013.   All medical and dental schools in Illinois were authorized to accept Dreamer students under this program and were assured of funding, with Loyola being the first to adopt the program. Thanks to Mr. Brandt’s efforts, seven years later, the first group of Dreamers has already graduated and gone on to serve needy patients.” 

Read more about William Brandt and this distinguished award.