The Catholic University of America

Oct. 3, 2006

CUA President to Receive NCEA Award

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award Honors 'Significant Support to Catholic Education'
Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, on Monday was presented with a St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award by the National Catholic Educational Association at its 16th annual awards dinner and ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Father O'Connell is one of five 2006 recipients to be awarded NCEA's highest honor, given in recognition of significant philanthropic or leadership contributions to Catholic education. The award is named in honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), who is regarded by many as the founder of the U.S. Catholic school network.

Father David O'Connell, a member of the Vincentian order, was elected president of CUA in 1998.

In announcing his award, the NCEA cited him as a "an articulate public champion of Catholic higher education" who has reinvigorated CUA's Catholic identity, in addition to overseeing the construction of a new university center and two student residence halls, a $6 million renovation of the university's main library and the acquisition of 50 acres of nearby property to secure the future expansion needs of the university."

The organization also praised his "invaluable role in articulating Catholicism to society at large," by conducting scores of on-air interviews on topics such as marriage annulment and the commonalities and differences among major faith groups. He has been a familiar television presence as a commentator on the legacy of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, and was recognized by the selection committee for using that historic time as a teaching moment, "explaining to a nationwide audience not only the papal transition but also the tenets of the Catholic faith."

As part of Father O'Connell's award, the NCEA will give a $1,000 Seton Scholarship to a student from the CUA community. Senior Ann Brozek, of Seminole, Fla., has been selected by the NCEA to receive the scholarship. Brozek is a superb student in the School of Architecture and Planning who is a member of the President's Society and has been active in community service and Campus Ministry.


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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,