For so many in the MSU family, Father Jake has been a gentle but firm guide and inspiration. He’s been a good friend to so many, and a wise man of letters. As a caring spiritual seeker and mentor, Father Jake embodies the wisdom that comes with his wide experience and deep love for humanity and the human quest for wholeness and healing. The College of Arts & Letters can think of no better person to honor with the naming of the first chair in spirituality at a public university in the United States than Father Jake Foglio, whose commitment to others, to the academic study of the human spirit, and to the Spartan family is surpassed by no one.

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 has served St. Johns Student Parish, near MSU’s campus, since 1970. Father Jake 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.

For Father Jake, religion is a spiritual matter, but spirituality encompasses more than religious belief and practice. It draws in the myriad ways humans seek meaning and define what matters most in their lives and to their communities.