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Honorary Jesuit

By France Griggs Sloat

t was February 1956. Jack Eifert was a 24-year-old Xavier history graduate and former Army officer who was in love with a girl in Dallas—so in love that he moved to the city and took a job with Jesuit College Preparatory School just to be near her. Love’s a funny thing, though. The girl eventually left the picture, but Eifert never left the school. He fell in love with his job the day he started, and his feelings haven’t changed in the last 50 years.

 

To Eifert, it was like it all happened yesterday. As an icebreaker on his first day, he taught the boys what he learned in the Army: Captured soldiers give up only name, rank and serial number. They loved it—and him. So he stayed. He later married, raised three daughters and taught a lot of different subjects—world history, American history, economics, government, sociology, Latin and geography.

“People ask how I could last for 50 years,” he says. “I say, I haven’t done the same thing for 50 years. The changes are what kept me fresh.”

He’s been a teacher, coach, superintendent of buildings and grounds, and computer lab manager. He’s now responsible for the school’s 60 laser printers and is a substitute teacher, which puts him back in the classroom nearly every day. At age 75, Eifert is the oldest member of the staff and a virtual icon at the all-boys Jesuit high school. And he has no plans to retire.

“My wife, Judy, says I’ve been married to the Jesuits longer than I’ve been married to her,” he says.

Now, that’s true love.

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