Thank You, Speaker Pelosi!

Thank You, Speaker Pelosi!

Today, standing in the well of the United States House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Trinity ’62) announced that she would not pursue re-election to Democratic leadership in the new Congress, but she will continue as a member of Congress representing her beloved San Francisco.  Widely acclaimed and respected as one of the greatest Speakers ever (some of us prefer to say THE greatest!), Speaker Pelosi’s example will be widely emulated, but her achievements will be hard to surpass.

Amid all of the countless stories and words of praise for Speaker Pelosi that will fill the days to come, let the pride of alma mater show through by saying simply this:  Nancy Pelosi lives Trinity’s ideals each day, pursuing public service vigorously, advocating for human rights and civil rights, extending her powerful voice and legislative prowess to enact better laws and public policies rooted in justice to give greater hope help those on the margins.  She is a woman of faith, of deep commitment to social justice.  She is courageous and resilient, but warm and loving at the same time.  Her devotion to her family is evident every day, and her life’s work as a mother and wife also clearly informs her work as a great legislative leader.

Nancy Pelosi’s devotion to Trinity is also amazing — during her years as Speaker and as a member of Congress, she has come to campus often, and always remembers to invite students to events on the Hill, especially those honoring women’s achievements.  She is an icon for our students, a woman whose achievements inspire young women to think that they, too, can be purposeful and powerful in pursuing their most cherished causes.

Three weeks ago, we had hoped to welcome Speaker Pelosi back to Trinity for her 60th Reunion and to participate in our 125th Anniversary celebration — and, also, to announce the inauguration of the Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi Chair in Global Affairs and Politics, funded with an extraordinary gift from Speaker Pelosi and her husband Paul.  Sadly, as recounted on my prior blog, Mr. Pelosi suffered a horrific attack in his home the night before the reunion, and she rushed back to San Francisco to be with him.  But even in a time of tragic crisis, she did not forget Trinity, sending the beautiful letter that readers can see in the blog before this one.

We will look for an occasion to welcome our Trinity sister and great alumna Nancy Pelosi back to campus in the months to come, a time when we can celebrate her achievements in leadership and service to our nation, and a time when we can thank her for making alma mater so proud.  We send our gratitude and congratulations to her today, and prayers for Paul’s continuing recovery.

Congratulations and thank you, Speaker Pelosi!