The Catholic University of America

Oct. 9, 2009

Life Cycle Institute to Be Renamed the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies

The Life Cycle Institute at The Catholic University of America will be renamed the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at an Oct. 19 ceremony at 4 p.m. in the Vincent P. Walter Jr. Board Room of Curley Hall.

Originally created in 1974, the academic think tank is composed of 40 fellows, most of them faculty members of the university. They are experts in areas including Catholic studies, religion, Catholic politics, the policy process, life issues, the economy, poverty, health, housing, social justice, peace, the environment and education.

"I am happy to approve the new name of the institute and hope that it will be a valuable resource for the Church," says Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president. Father O'Connell will speak at the ceremony.

"Any name change goes to the heart of mission, and I have been gratified to observe the deliberations that went into the choice of the new name for the institute, since the process itself serves to clarify the mission and the research agenda," says Provost James Brennan. "I look forward to working with the leadership and the fellows of the institute in the months and years ahead."

"The institute's new name underscores its great work and research since 1974," says Stephen Schneck, director of the institute and associate professor of politics. "What we have been about for 35 years has always been research in service to policy, research in service to our academic disciplines, and research in service to the university's religious mission. Our new name - Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies - crystallizes the institute's long history and conveys our mission now and for the future."

As part of its name change, the institute has adopted the following mission statement:

"The Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America is a community of scholars and researchers engaged in the analysis of public policy issues related to Catholic social thought. The work of the institute serves and speaks to the university, the Church, the country, and the disciplines of its fellows."

In its history, the institute has sponsored and organized research, analyzed public policy, published national studies, worked closely with lawmakers and policymakers, and promoted and developed its own cadre of students and young researchers.

A number of symposia, conferences, debates and lectures have been hosted by the institute. Some of the most recent symposia have been on topics such as "The Catholic Vote" and "Torture, Conscience and the Catholic Moral Tradition."

The institute has received many grants to fund its research. Most recently the institute received a $450,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment to study the changing religiosity of young adults.

MEDIA: For more information, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in Catholic University's Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.