Father Donald Highberger, SJ, this year celebrates his 50th Jubilee as a member of the Society of Jesus.
Born in Garnett, Kansas, Fr. Highberger entered the Jesuits in 1969 at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., and pronounced first vows two years later. He was ordained a priest June 18, 1981, at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis.
Since 2013, he has served in various roles at the Jesuit Hall Community in St. Louis. Prior to this assignment, he taught at four universities across the United States and in China.
He began his teaching career at St. Louis University High School, St. Louis, where he taught mathematics and communication arts from 1974 to 1977. He then served for one year at Ministry Training Services in Denver. While studying theology in Chicago, he also worked as a producer for the Catholic Television Network, where he wrote and produced religious educational videos, 1979-1981.
Following his ordination, he served as associate pastor at St. Patrick’s Parish in Mississauga, Ontario, 1981-82. From 1982 to 1984, he was a story editor and producer at the TV and radio station WWL in New Orleans. He then served as professor of communication arts at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash., 1984-2001. During that time, he also worked as a photojournalist for KHQ-TV in Spokane (1987-89).
From 2002 to 2007, he taught communications and coordinated video productions for online courses at Regis University in Denver. He returned to Regis as associate professor from 2009 to 2011. While in Denver, he also served as a volunteer prison chaplain.
In between his assignments at Regis, Fr. Highberger taught English in at Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China, 2007-09.
From 2010 to 2013, he was an online instructor for the Jesuit Commons program, offering higher education courses to two African refugee camps. He also served as special assistant for mission programs in the Campus Ministry office and as a special advisor to international students at Saint Louis University, 2011-13. He has served at Jesuit Hall since 2013.
Father Highberger earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University. He completed a master’s in TV and radio at Syracuse University. His theology studies included a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago and a master’s in divinity from Loyola University, Chicago.