William J. Loschert, GABELLI ’61, has received no shortage of honors for his business acumen and generosity, but on March 19, he received an award perhaps more exalted—and holy—than any other bestowed on him. In a post-Mass ceremony livestreamed from London’s Oratory Church, Loschert was knighted by the Vatican.

The papal honor—investiture as a knight in the Order of St. Gregory the Great—was bestowed on him by Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, for his longtime support for the church, including helping make possible the canonization of Saint John Henry Newman in 2019, as well as his support for Fordham.

Loschert’s gifts to Fordham established an endowed chair in entrepreneurship and have funded scholarships, construction at the Rose Hill campus, and a lecture series at Fordham’s London campus. Loschert served for six years on the Fordham University Board of Trustees and has hosted more than 1,000 Fordham students at his home in London.

For his contributions to the University, Loschert received an honorary degree from Fordham in 2015 and the Founder’s Award in 2018. In 2009, Rose Hill’s Loschert Hall, formerly known as Alumni Court North, was named in his honor.

Loschert grew up in Queens and paid for his education by working part time at an insurance company. After graduating, he began a career in the insurance industry. In the mid-1980s, he helped launch ACE Limited, which has since become one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the world. He served in the company’s Bermuda office before going to London as chairman of ACE UK Limited in 1996. In London, Loschert became the first American to sit on the council of Lloyd’s. His appreciation for what his Jesuit education brought to his business career was clear from a quip he made prior to being honored at the 2018 Fordham Founder’s Dinner: “I studied accounting and philosophy. I never practice accounting; I practice philosophy all the time.”

At the dinner, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, called Loschert “an extraordinary presence for Fordham in London,” and at the dedication ceremony for Loschert Hall in 2009, Father McShane referred to him as “a man who has a love of learning and devotion to the cause of education.”

During that same 2009 ceremony, Loschert told attendees, “We all have the means to give—and not just money, but time and effort. It is our duty to help others and future generations.”