Support Launches Foglio Endowed Chair of Spirituality

A new endowed position has been created at MSU to focus on the holistic well-being of students through spiritual development. The Foglio Chair of Spirituality is one of 82 new endowed faculty positions established during MSU’s Empower Extraordinary campaign toward the goal of creating 100 new endowed faculty positions to provide critical resources for recruiting and retaining leading faculty members.


The Foglio Chair of Spirituality in the College of Arts & Letters honors Father Jake Foglio, an alumnus, former faculty member, longtime priest, and mentor to countless MSU student-athletes and coaches. Foglio also has been a longtime stalwart of medical ethics training for the College of Human Medicine.

After graduating from MSU in 1951, Foglio worked for WKAR before serving in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1961. He served St. John Student Parish (now St. John Church and Student Center) near MSU’s campus since 1970. Foglio joined the MSU Department of Family Medicine in 1986 to assist with medical behavioral science teaching and counseling and served as an Assistant Professor in the department until his retirement in 1997.

“As students move through the MSU curriculum, they have the opportunity to think about their values and explore how they might put them into practice to live a meaningful life,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “The Spirituality Chair will bring new research and scholarship to our commitment to help students understand more deeply what it means to be human and how to enact that humanity in whatever profession they undertake.”

For more than two years, the athletic department and the College of Arts & Letters worked with a committed group of donors to endow the Foglio Chair position to make the practice of spirituality more available to all MSU students. MSU alumnus Kellie Dean helped secure more than $600,000 in gifts for the position, which created the endowment with an additional $1.5 million from revenues. There is an ongoing fundraising campaign to secure an additional $900,000 to support the Spirituality Chair position, which created the endowment with an additional $1.5 million from a reinvestment of media revenues from the Big Ten Network. 

Originally published by Michigan State University's Alumni Association