The Catholic University of America

Aug. 11, 2008

Catholic University Back-to-School News

For the third year in a row, a record number of freshmen are expected for the start of classes at The Catholic University of America on Monday, Aug. 25, with more than 900 students from 38 states and 14 countries. In addition, CUA expects to enroll about 100 transfer students and more than 1,000 new full and part-time graduate and law school students.

Total undergraduate enrollment at CUA is expected to approach 3,500 students (full-time and part-time) in fall 2008, surpassing the previous high of 3,251 full-time and part-time undergraduates in 1988, according to W. Michael Hendricks, vice president for enrollment management.

There has been "huge growth over the past decade," says Hendricks, noting that enrollment in 1998 was 2,154 when the university's current president, Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., took the helm.

TV crews seeking B-roll footage of new students on campus can get video by attending CUA's new student orientation, to be held Thursday, Aug. 21, through Sunday, Aug. 24. More than 2,700 parents and new students are registered to attend educational sessions, mixers, skits and other events designed to help them make the high school-to-college transition. Students and their families will be able to learn more about the Brookland neighborhood, where CUA is located, by taking a trolley tour of the area. Families also will help students move into their residence halls during this time.

CUA admissions, housing, student life and orientation staff are available to comment for back-to-school stories. To arrange interviews or other coverage, call Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at 202-319-5600.

Photo/Video Opportunities

CUA New Student Orientation: Aug. 21-Aug. 24, 2008
Students Move into Residence Halls: Aug. 21 (new students)
Aug. 23-24 (returning students)
CUA First Day of Classes: Aug. 25, 2008

Additional back-to-school news at CUA includes:

CUA Implements New Safety Measures
The Department of Public Safety is overseeing the installation of an audible alert system in 23 key locations throughout campus. Installation will be complete by mid-September. The alert will consist of a brief message to communicate an emergency or danger on campus. CUA will be the first university in D.C. to employ this type of outdoor audible announcement.

Public Safety has recently opened a back-up center in the Columbus School of Law on the east side of campus. This location will enable the entire safety operation to relocate if the main office on the west side of campus is rendered inoperable in an emergency situation.

Five new cameras were installed recently to monitor key spots within campus as part of the campus's video surveillance coverage. Last year, cameras were installed around the perimeter of campus, enabling the public safety office to monitor outdoor activity by closed-circuit television 24 hours a day. Several new emergency phone stanchions were also installed over the summer and some of the older phones were replaced. There are now more than 120 emergency phones on CUA's campus.

University Unveils New Academic Programs
This fall CUA is unveiling the first of a dozen new master's degree programs that the university will be introducing over the course of the next few years. (See for more information.)

The first new programs include:

  • A Master of Science in Management through CUA's Metropolitan College
  • A Master of City and Regional Planning in CUA's School of Architecture and Planning
  • A Master of Science in Sustainable Design in the School of Architecture and Planning

In addition, the National Catholic School of Social Service is initiating a part-time Saturday-morning Master of Social Work program at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center. Following appropriate post-graduate supervision, graduates will be eligible for licensure in Maryland or other states as licensed clinical social workers.

Mass of the Conversion of St. Paul
In celebration of the Year of St. Paul, declared by Pope Benedict XVI, the university community will gather to celebrate the Mass of the Conversion of St. Paul at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Upper Church. Father O'Connell will serve as homilist. In June the pope declared a year dedicated to St. Paul, beginning on June 28, 2008, the eve of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The year marks the 2,000th anniversary of St. Paul's birth.

This traditional opening Mass of the academic year, in other years called the Mass of the Holy Spirit, regularly draws heavy attendance of students, faculty and staff. Following the Mass, CUA will hold its third annual University Picnic on the lawn and west patio of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. Classes will be cancelled between 12:10 and 3 p.m.

MEDIA: For additional information, to arrange interviews or to attend the events referenced above, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.