Alumni in Mexico Give USD’s President Harris a Warm Welcome.

Pope Francis said during his February 13, 2016, trip to Mexico City that he came as a son who wished to pay homage to his mother, the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe. The same week, James T. Harris III, DEd, made his inaugural trip to visit Torero alumni, parents and friends in Mexico City as president of the University of San Diego. He was also welcomed like a son at the beautiful Torre Mayor, once the tallest skyscrapers in Mexico, on the bustling Paseo Reforma in the heart of Mexico City. Harris, who took the helm as USD’s president in August 2015, delighted in the coincidence.

The pope spoke to the Mexican people of the Catholic Church’s willingness to build a civilization of love.

“I am ready to travel around this beautiful and wide country as a missionary and as a pilgrim who wishes to renew with all of you the experience of mercy as a new horizon of opportunity, which inevitably brings peace and justice,” said Pope Francis.

In his own remarks, President Harris touched on accomplishments made through USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, as well as endeavors in the San Diego neighborhood known as Barrio Logan and on the U.S.-Mexico border through our Trans-Border Institute.

He hoped the university’s tireless work in these areas and its ever-growing network of alumni and friends in Mexico demonstrated USD’s deep and lasting commitment to people on both sides of the border.

“We believe there is an opportunity for USD to be the institution of first choice for Mexican families and their children when they decide where they are going to go to college,” he said.

The trip to Mexico City was part of a series of stops on Dr. Harris’s inaugural international tour, visiting alumni in other cities around the world, including Hong Kong, Tokyo and Lisbon. He also embarked on a national Torero Tour this spring, which brought him to 11 cities across the United States, including Denver, Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Phoenix, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego. The next alumni reunion in Mexico City will be held in March 2017.