The Catholic University of America

Inside CUA Nameplate

From the President's Desk


  Global Fest, which featured the sounds and tastes of the cultures of the CUA international community, was part of International Week.

Winter put on a good show in February. The arrival of nice weather still appears to be a few weeks off, but the signs of early spring are just around the corner. In the meantime, I hope you are staying warm.

Speaking of spring, Spring Break begins on Monday, March 10. I hope you will use the time to catch up on your studies and get ahead on your end-of-semester projects. If you do travel, please stay safe. Each year CUAlternative sponsors an ‘I Promise’ campaign that encourages students to make good decisions, and to look out for the well-being of friends during spring break. I hope you’ll participate.

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music will perform one of my favorite operas this season, Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Performances will take place on March 20 to 23 in Hartke Theatre. We are blessed with many fine musicians in our student body and a wonderful cohort of talented instructors who train them. I encourage everyone on campus to come and see what is sure to be an outstanding performance, and to take advantage of the many other superb music and theater performances we have on campus this spring. In case you missed it, the just-ended production of Godspell was a wonderful show. I always come away from our musical theatre presentations marveling at the quality of singing and dancing.

On February 3, we were proud to learn that 11 students and alumni from the School of Music and the Department of Drama have been nominated to receive Helen Hayes Awards for performances and work in Washington, D.C. area productions. Winners will be announced on April 8 at a ceremony at the National Building Museum. I want to extend warm congratulations to all the nominees and the excellent cadre of professors and instructors who trained them in drama and music.

On February 11 we announced that this year’s Commencement speaker will be Philip Rivers, Pro Bowl quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. Rivers is a highly successful athlete, a devout Catholic, and a popular speaker. We are delighted to have such an exemplary role model speak to our graduates. Rivers will be awarded an honorary degree along with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle at commencement, on Saturday, May 17. Cardinal Tagle, who is a double alumnus of The Catholic University of America, will be the principal presider and homilist for the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 16.

We concluded the month of February with an International Week sponsored by our Center for Global Education. The week, which ran from February 24 to March 1, included daily events celebrating a variety of cultures. From Brazilian dancing to Middle Eastern Cuisine, scheduled events allowed students to connect with a variety of cultures right here on campus. Gaining insight into other cultures and learning about perspectives from around the globe is an important part of the education we offer.

Lent begins a bit later than usual this year. Ash Wednesday is on March 5. Lent is a great opportunity to clear your life of distractions and to focus on God. The Catholic practice of giving something up for Lent deepens our appreciation of the wonderful things God has provided. Take advantage of this wonderful and important liturgical season. I hope it will be a time of prayer and reflection for you.