SJU to Present von Eschenbach with Shield of Loyola

FDA Commissioner, former National Cancer Institute Director, captures University's top honor

Thursday, October 23, 2008

PHILADELPHIA (October 23, 2008) – Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. '63, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be honored with the Saint Joseph's University Alumni Association's most prestigious honor, the Shield of Loyola Award, on Friday, November 7, at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.

The Shield of Loyola Award is given annually to a Saint Joseph's graduate with distinguished accomplishments in his or her chosen field, demonstrated loyalty to the alma mater, and whose life reflects the values of St. Ignatius Loyola.

"Dr. von Eschenbach embodies the Jesuit ideal of serving as a man for others," said University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J. "As FDA Commissioner, Dr. von Eschenbach leads an agency which works, each and every day, to protect and promote the health and safety of the American public. We know that he is guided in the fulfillment of that important duty by the core values and principles he learned as a student here at Saint Joseph's."

Sworn in as the 20th Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 13, 2006, Dr. von Eschenbach leads the nation's premier consumer protection and health agency. The FDA regulates products that account for more than 20 percent of consumer spending. A nationally recognized urologic surgeon and oncologist whose distinguished career as a key leader in the fight against cancer spans nearly three decades, he previously served as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In 2006, Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people to shape the world. He also has been included in "The Best Doctors in America" publications.

"The Shield of Loyola Award is a reminder of the great privilege of my Jesuit education," Dr. von Eschenbach said. "During my career, I have been continuously aware that any accomplishments were built on the foundations established at St. Joe's."

Dr. von Eschenbach, himself a cancer survivor, has had a significant impact on the fight against cancer. He is a founding member of C-Change and was president-elect of the American Cancer Society at the time of his appointment to the NCI. In addition, he has made significant contributions to the scientific literature -- more than 200 articles, books, and book chapters. Dr. von Eschenbach has also served as an editorial board member of several leading journals and on several organizational boards.

Prior to being named to lead the NCI in 2002, he worked for more than a quarter century at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston--most recently as executive vice president and chief academic officer—where he was instrumental in fostering integrated cancer research programs.

"Dr. von Eschenbach's accomplishments as a leader in the medical community serve as a shining example of why the world needs Saint Joseph's University," added Fr. Lannon. "He is a true example of the Ignatian ideal of a man with and for others. It is evident that his Jesuit education has had a profound impact on his life and is an important part of who he is today."

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. von Eschenbach earned a B.S. in biology from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 1963 and his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1967. Dr. von Eschenbach completed his internship at Philadelphia General Hospital and his residency in urologic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, then was an instructor in urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps.

Media Contact

 Phil Denne,
 Associate Director of Development and Alumni Communications, 610-660-3262,

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