Luke Hansen, S.J. '04

July 24, 2013

Political Science


Chicago, Illinois

Why did I choose SJC?
I wanted to play golf in college, and SJC offered that opportunity. Generous academic and athletic scholarships made it affordable. When I visited the campus, its beauty and simplicity impressed me. I knew that I wanted to study Political Science, so I was excited to have the opportunity to start my major immediately.

As a student, what were you involved in?
I played on the golf team and was very involved with campus ministry. I attended and helped lead Kairos Retreats, and I participated in many liturgies, prayer services, and faith sharing opportunities. I also wrote regular political and sports columns for The Observer.

What are you doing now?
When I graduated, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and served for one year as a legal advocate for mental health patients in San Jose, California. After this year of service, I joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Catholic religious order. Now I am continuing my Jesuit formation and studying for the priesthood at Loyola University Chicago - pursuing a master's degree in Social Philosophy. I am also a volunteer chaplain at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. Each week, along with two Precious Blood (C.PP.S.) priests, I meet with incarcerated teenaged boys.

How did SJC prepare you for the "real world"?
My engagement with the Core Curriculum transformed my life. Cores 3 and 4 helped me understand Jewish and Christian religious traditions within a historical and cultural context. "Science Core" helped me wrestle with the relationship between religion and science, faith and reason. Cores 7 and 8 provided a rigorous intercultural and interreligious education. I have lived in big cities and worked with a diverse population since graduating from SJC. This education has helped me to better understand others and their cultural and religious traditions. I have felt more equipped to enter into open and honest dialogue with them. In college, my professors always played "devil's advocate" and challenged me with tough questions. Now I am prepared to work through tough problems with others.

Who was your favorite SJC professor?
Dr. Michael Malone, professor of philosophy, was my favorite. He instilled in me a love of wisdom and a love for learning. He challenged each student to defend what he or she believed. This helped each of us to better know ourselves and what we believed. Sometimes, we would change our minds. Dr. Malone formed students who could think critically about a given issue, understanding that issue from various philosophical and religious perspectives.

What was your favorite Core book?
While I very much enjoyed entering into the spiritual journey of "Siddhartha" in Core 7, the most transformative book for me was Monika Hellwig's "The Eucharist and the Hunger of the World" in Core 9. Before reading this book, I had a primarily magical or philosophical understanding of the Holy Eucharist. This book enabled me to experience the Eucharist differently. In this meal, we are nourished by God's very self, reminded of our interdependence with others - compelling us to share with others - and formed into community as sisters and brothers.

What is your favorite SJC memory?
I cherish our experience of Senior Week. By the end of four years, we had formed deep and meaningful friendships with each other. In many ways, we had become like family. We had supported each other through thick and thin: tough classes, relationship issues, fun nights out, and everything else imaginable. So it was very meaningful to simply hang out, have fun, and share memories with each other in the final week before graduation.

What was your favorite Café food?
I always looked forward to a Sunday omelette.

What residence hall did you live in?
During freshman year, I lived with a football player in Seifert Hall. For the next five semesters, I served as a Resident Assistant in Merlini Hall. In my final semester, I lived in Schwietermann Hall.

When was your last visit to campus?
Now that I live in Chicago, I take advantage of any opportunity to visit campus, which included homecoming weekend in September 2008.

News More news

Explore the Core
  • Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Mentorship

    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Leadership

    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Mentorship

    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.


  • Leadership

    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.