Ryan Masterson brings financial know-how to Econ class

by Patrick Millican ’15

Mr. Ryan Masterson, a Jesuit Scholastic and new member of the History Department, is the latest addition to the staff of Jesuits at Saint Ignatius.

Mr. Masterson attended Dublin-Scioto High School, a public secondary school north of Columbus, and then pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Chicago. He was an excellent singer specializing in opera, musicals, and Irish folk music, and planned to major in voice and natural science but changed both disciplines to minors after falling ill with a throat ailment.

Mr. Masterson received his MBA in finance and worked in public accounting before attending Xavier University in Cincinnati. While at Xavier, he first encountered the Jesuits working as on-campus educators and mentors, and was moved to pursue the priesthood after he attended a cookout at Xavier’s Jesuit Residence and was surprised by the Jesuits’ laidback and jocular demeanor.

Mr. Masterson had considered the priesthood as a vocation while in high school, but had never seriously considered joining the clergy.

What finally cemented his desire to become a priest, he said, was when he began to take the first hesitating steps towards the novitiate and received a fortune cookie with a fortune that read, “Now would be a good time to begin to think formally about helping others”–an example of what he said was “God’s sense of humor.”

Thirty minutes later, he received a call from the Jesuits accepting him into their order.

Since studying theology and philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago, Mr. Masterson has been putting his finance degree to use helping not-for-profit charities and other organizations that operate in the field of “social entrepreneurship” to balance their books. He said he sees his accounting skills as vital to successful charity work.

“Drive and vision are an important part of what makes an organization like that effective,” he said, “but you can’t do much good if you can’t keep the lights on.”

Mr. Masterson said that Saint Ignatius is more than living up to the hype from his classmates at Xavier who graduated in the Ignatius class of ‘03 (who, in typical Ignatian fashion, were easily identified as graduates by their bookstore-bought school-spirit paraphernalia that they wore everywhere). He will spend this and the next two school years at Saint Ignatius teaching World History to freshmen and Economics to juniors and seniors.