Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop Borys Gudziak received the 2019 Notre Dame Award on Saturday (June 29) for his work for religious and academic freedom, and for his courageous and visionary leadership of the first Catholic university established in the territory of the former Soviet Union.
Welcome to the University of Notre Dame, where scholars across the generations have labored to realize our founding institutional vision to become a wellspring of hearts and minds devoted to the common good.
A Notre Dame education forms the whole person. As president, I have the pleasure of seeing this happen every day in our classrooms, laboratories, studios and recital halls. Our abiding commitment to undergraduate education and world-class research grow together out of this lively pursuit of knowledge and truth, this abundant experience of community, friendship and service to humanity.
Notre Dame is a place where matters of faith are addressed with respect; where the wisdom of religious tradition sheds new light upon the most pressing concerns of our own time. It is a Catholic university where tomorrow’s leaders in the arts and letters, in the sciences, the professions and civil society cultivate both technical proficiency and an ethical, moral and spiritual integrity that lasts a lifetime.
This is the Notre Dame I came to love while living in Grace Hall and studying philosophy in the 1970s. It’s the Notre Dame where I returned to teach philosophy and serve the students as a priest of Notre Dame’s founding order, the Congregation of Holy Cross. It’s the Notre Dame that later called me to further service as its 17th president. I hope your visit to our website encourages you to visit us in person soon.
In Notre Dame,
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
May 18, 2019
Tomorrow’s commencement, at which I will award you graduates your degrees, will not be the first Notre Dame commencement of the spring of 2019, nor will you be the first in your class to receive your degree. The first occurred a week ago Friday in a hospital room in town, where I, accompanied by our provost, Tom Burish; the dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Sarah Mustillo; and our vice president for student affairs, Erin Hoffman Harding, conferred a degree on Chris Westdyk, a classmate of you seniors. You see, Chris has been struggling with cancer. His health had deteriorated, and it was unlikely that he would be able to join you at tomorrow’s ceremony. He became, then, the first Notre Dame graduate of 2019.…