Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ (’77) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Father Greg Boyle hugs a man wearing a baseball cap
Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ ('77)

May 03, 2024
Gonzaga University News Service

On Friday, May 3, President Joe Biden named 19 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, and Gonzaga University graduate Father Greg Boyle, SJ, (’77) was among them.

The Medal of Freedom is presented to “individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” according to a statement from the White House.

Fr. Boyle is being recognized for his work as founder of Homeboy Industries, an innovative Los Angeles nonprofit that provides wraparound services for former gang members and ex-felons, providing life skills and jobs to thousands of people who have gone through the program.

The White House statement called Homeboy Industries “the world’s largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program.”

Fr. Boyle, his organization and Gonzaga remain tightly linked through the School of Leadership Studies, with regular student immersion trips for undergrads in the Comprehensive Leadership Program and podcasts on leadership with Dean Jeff Borden.

Fr. Boyle was the Commencement speaker in 2015, and is a regular visitor to the Spokane campus. As part of that 2015 Commencement address, Fr. Boyle illustrated the kinship with those he’s served.

“It’s the privilege of my life to have worked at Homeboy Industries and ... to have accompanied men and women, thousands upon thousands of gang members. The day won’t ever come when I have more courage or I am more noble or I am closer to God than these folks.”

Boyle truly exemplifies the Gonzaga University mission in service for the common good and its commitment to the dignity of the human person.

Congratulations to Father Greg from the entire Gonzaga community!

Learn about Boyle's incredible work with Homeboy Industries