William F. (Bill) Fitzgerald was a professor of political science at Loyola University and LMU from 1953 to 1991 and is now professor emeritus of political science. For 20 years, he was chair of the Political Science Department. A scholar of constitutional law, political theory, and practical politics, Professor Fitzgerald exemplified the University's commitment to the service of faith and promotion of justice both inside and outside of the classroom. His courses and research were marked by a strong commitment to social justice and dialogue. An early instructor in Loyola's Human Relations Workshop, later known as the Martin Gange Institute, Professor Fitzgerald later served as director of the program which sought to promote the interdisciplinary and comprehensive understanding of intergroup relations and racial cooperation in Southern California. For several summers, he co-directed a summer seminar on social justice with the local rabbi. Professor Fitzgerald was a founding member of the Catholic Human Relations Council and an organizing member of the California Task Force for Integration in Education. He has lectured throughout the country and world on issues of human rights and has represented the LMU faculty at a conference on human rights in El Salvador. At LMU, Professor Fitzgerald served as the faculty moderator for the Ignatians Service Organization for many years.
A veteran of World War II, Professor Fitzgerald earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Loyola University in 1948 and his Ph.D. from Georgetown University in 1954. Following his retirement from teaching, Professor Fitzgerald continued to serve the university in a number of capacities including as a member of the advisory board for the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Board of Trustees' Committee on Catholic Mission and Identity. In 1996, the William F. Fitzgerald Scholarship Fund was established for minority and women students, with preference toward liberal arts majors. Additionally, the Institute for Leadership Studies offers scholarships in Professor Fitzgerald's name to assist students participating in its study abroad, internship, and research programs. The William Fitzgerald Service in Action Summer Grant, also named in his honor, is an annual award to two undergraduate students who work at a nonprofit organization during the summer.