The Catholic University of America

Inside CUA Nameplate

From the President's Desk


  Admitted students and their families will visit campus on Odyssey Day on April 11.

It is finally starting to look like spring. I hope you will get outside and enjoy it. We have earned it. 

Students admitted to the Class of 2018 will be joining us on campus on April 11. I am always thrilled to meet the prospective incoming class and their families. One of the things I hear most frequently from the parents and prospective students who visit is how friendly and welcoming our current students are. It’s something I learned firsthand when I arrived on campus almost four years ago. I hope you will welcome our visitors with warmth and friendliness as you always have done. 

Congratulations to our women’s basketball team for winning the 2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Women's South Basketball Championship Tournament on March 9. It was a fitting conclusion to a great season. I am always impressed by the achievements of our student athletes. In addition to the accomplishments of women’s basketball, many of the athletes on our fall and winter sports teams hit new milestones this year. I want to single out a few. Megan Comunale, a nursing major on our field hockey team, led the nation with a .86 save percentage and was named 2013 Synapse Sports First Team All-American. Emily Grabiak, captain of our women’s basketball team, was named 2014 Landmark Player of the Year. Joanna Ladas from our swimming team was named 2014 Landmark Swimmer of the Year, her second time receiving the honor. Kevin Romano from our men’s soccer team received First Team All-Landmark honors for the third consecutive year. Congratulations to these students and to the many others who had fine fall and spring seasons. Good luck to our spring sports teams as your seasons get under way.

Last summer the law school accepted its first students into the new Columbus School of Law Immigration Litigation Clinic. On March 7, the clinic won its first case with a decision from the Baltimore Immigration Court in favor of its client. I look forward to following future successes as this new law school initiative continues to grow.

Speaking of the law school, I am pleased to highlight two new master’s programs that have been launched recently. One is the Master of Legal Studies degree, offered by the law school, for people who don’t wish to become lawyers but do have a need to obtain a foundational knowledge in the law for their careers. It’s the first master’s degree of its kind in the greater Washington area. The second degree comes from the School of Theology and Religious Studies. It’s the Master of Catechesis degree, which aims to prepare men and women for ministerial roles in the Church. It’s a timely offering, given the great emphasis that the Catholic Church is placing on the New Evangelization.

April 4 marks the 33rd Karl Herzfeld Memorial Lecture, which will take place in the Karl Herzfeld Auditorium in Hannan Hall. John C. Mather, 2006 laureate in physics and project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center will give a lecture titled “From New Jersey to Stockholm and the Beginning of the Universe.”

On March 26, Dean Andrew Abela of our School of Business and Economics and Associate Professor Joseph Capizzi of our School of Theology and Religious Studies launched A Catechism for Business: Tough Ethical Questions and Insights from Catholic Teaching, published by our own CUA Press. The book makes an important contribution to the field of business ethics, and speaks to the unique mission of the business school: to provide an education in sound business principles and to form a new generation of business leaders in the principles of Catholic moral teaching.

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music suffered a great loss during the month of March. Amy Antonelli, assistant dean at the music school and member of the Catholic University community for the past 26 years, passed away after a battle with cancer. Dean Grayson Wagstaff and former Dean Elaine Walter penned a beautiful obituary sent out via email to the community, which I hope you all read. Our hearts go out to Amy’s family, and we offer our prayers for the repose of her soul.


In last month’s column I previewed the School of Music’s production of Don Giovanni. The performance was fantastic. This month the Department of Drama performs another classic, The Merchant of Venice. Performances take place on April 24, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m., and April 26 and 27 at 2 p.m. in Hartke Theatre. In connection with these performances, two panels will take place. On April 23, a panel of CUA faculty experts will discuss Shakespeare’s Shylock and Usury in Renaissance Europe, and on April 26, the Department of Drama will host a special dress rehearsal of the play preceded by a second panel which will discuss History, Poetry, and Law: Examining the Merchant of Venice.

The Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies will host its 8th Annual Graduate Student Conference on April 3-4. This year’s papers will explore topics related to medieval objects. Catholic University is known internationally for the study of the medieval world. This annual conference is one of the many ways in which we support young scholars doing work in this important field.

I wish everyone a holy conclusion to Lent, and a very Happy Easter.