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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington April 5, 2020. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)

Dr. Anthony Fauci is headed back to school with the Jesuits.

Georgetown University announced Monday that it has appointed Dr. Fauci the Distinguished University Professor in the School of Medicine’s department of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Calling him “a dedicated public servant,” Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said in a statement that Dr. Fauci “has embodied the Jesuit value of being in service to others throughout his career, and we are grateful to have his expertise, strong leadership and commitment to guiding the next generation of leaders to meet the pressing issues of our time.”

The appointment begins July 1, and he will hold an additional role at the McCourt School of Public Policy. The press release notes that the rank of university professor is the university’s “highest professional honor that recognizes extraordinary achievement in scholarship, teaching and service.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci is headed back to school with the Jesuits.

Dr. Fauci became a household name during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, advising two presidents over the course of the public health emergency and serving as a constant source in the media about precautions Americans could take to protect themselves. Later, he became a target of anti-vaccine activists, who spread misinformation about his career and affiliations, and critics of public health provisions that they said were too strict.

He retired last year as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, where he worked for more than five decades. He also served as the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

A 1958 graduate of Regis High School in New York, Dr. Fauci graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1962. Dr. Fauci has spoken occasionally about his Catholic upbringing and his admiration for the Jesuits.

“I am delighted to join the Georgetown family, an institution steeped in clinical and academic excellence with an emphasis on the Jesuit tradition of public service,” Dr. Fauci said in a press statement. “This is a natural extension of my scientific, clinical and public health career, which was initially grounded from my high school and college days where I was exposed to intellectual rigor, integrity and service-mindedness of Jesuit institutions.”

Dr. Fauci first rose to prominence during the H.I.V. and AIDS crisis in the 1980s and ’90s, when he was targeted by gay activists who said that governmental and public health organizations were not listening to communities most affected by the virus. Reflecting back on that time, he said that the lessons he learned from his Catholic parents and through his Jesuit education helped him resist becoming defensive and instead engage with the L.G.B.T. community.

“I am delighted to join the Georgetown family, an institution steeped in clinical and academic excellence with an emphasis on the Jesuit tradition of public service,” Dr. Fauci said in a press statement.

“Once they gained our attention, the idea that I learned from the training I had was to be open-minded, fair, precise and analytical in what you’re listening to,” Dr. Fauci said in the Georgetown announcement. “And when I listened to what they were saying, they were making perfect sense.… What was starting off as a confrontational relationship turned into a major collaboration that very likely saved a lot of lives.”

Several Jesuit institutions and organizations have recognized Dr. Fauci in recent years. He was awarded the Deo et Patriae Award for distinguished service by Regis High School in 2020, given the Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award for Exemplary Public Service from the Ignatian Volunteer Corps of the National Capital Area in 2022, and his alma mater announced that a new science complex would be named after him.

“Dr. Fauci vividly personifies the distinctive characteristics of a Holy Cross education, and we know his life and work are already inspiring the next generation of empathetic servant leaders,” Holy Cross President Vincent D. Rougeau said in a 2022 press release.

In 2021, Dr. Fauci spoke at a conference hosted by the Vatican about the pandemic, in which he said clergy had an important role in encouraging their flocks to get vaccinated.

While Dr. Fauci did not attend Georgetown, he was married in the school’s chapel. His wife, Dr. Christine Grady, holds two degrees from the university, and the couple’s three children were born in the university’s hospital.

Dr. Fauci, who is working on a memoir, said that following his retirement, he wanted to work in a university setting in both medicine and public health. His new role at Georgetown “essentially filled all of those criteria,” he said. “I feel like I’m coming home.”

[Read next: Dr. Fauci’s Catholic upbringing prepared him to fight against the AIDS crisis]

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