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BY John Lilly
Catholic Group Shunned
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 23 — Officials at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison have refused to recognize or fund the UW Roman
Catholic Foundation as a registered student organization.
The foundation’s application for
recognition was rejected last month because only three of the foundation’s 12
board members are students. An aide to UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley said
Sept. 23 that the group could be recognized if it restructures its board, the
Associated Press reported.
In a move that the Roman Catholic
Foundation said was initiated prior to the university’s decision to deny it
application, the foundation has filed a complaint with the civil rights
decision of the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that the university has
discriminated against the Catholic student group.
Foundation spokesman Tim Kruse
said, “To us, this is just the latest in a series of disingenuous attempts by
the university to hide under policy and procedures that were only intended so
that they could discriminate against a religious viewpoint.”
A ‘Great’ Start
Sept. 22 — What’s the best way to launch a new
Catholic college? Pray the Rosary.
That’s the way students and
instructors kicked off the first day of classes Sept. 21 at newly opened John
Paul the Great Catholic
University in San Diego.
According to the Union-Tribune, the new college has “a
commitment to orthodox Church teachings and the
mission of taking their faith into business and media — the two inaugural
Currently, classes are held at a
local church and students are living in an apartment complex, with plans for a
campus to be built eventually.
But Derry Connolly, John Paul the Great’s president, said the university’s bottom line won’t
be the grandeur of its buildings or even the quality of its degrees.
Said Connolly, “I think the
measure of our success is how well our students will know the Lord.”
UNIVERSITY HATCHET, Sept. 25 — Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington was the featured speaker at a Sept. 21
Theology on Tap session at George
who spoke to a packed audience at the Alumni House on the university’s Washington campus,
discussed Church teachings about stem-cell research, war and Islam with
University President Stephen Joel
Trachtenberg attended the event and said it demonstrated that religion is
flourishing on campus, the Hatchet
“It is interesting that people
think that this is a secular time,” Trachtenberg said. “But, if they take time
to check it out, there is more participation in the different faiths.”
College Founder Lauded
GAINESVILLE TIMES, Sept. 21 — Southern Catholic
College founder Tom Clements has been honored twice in recent weeks.
On Sept. 13, Georgia Gov. Sonny
Perdue issued a proclamation commending Clements’ contribution to founding the
one-year-old institution, which is the state’s first residential Catholic
college, according to the Georgia
Clements was also named last month
as the recipient of the National Catholic Educational Association’s St.
Elizabeth Ann Seton Award. The award, the association’s highest honor,
recognizes significant philanthropic or leadership contributions to Catholic
BY Jim Cosgrove
Villanova Blocks ACLU
LIFENEWS.COM, Nov. 8 — Villanova University has blocked a student chapter of the pro-abor tion American Civil Liber ties Union in what the pro-life Internet news site believes may be an effor t to ensure that the Augustinian university “is not linked with pro-abor tion activists and groups.”
While a speaking appearance on campus by pro-abortion Jesuit Father Rober t Drinan in September seems to send an opposite signal, Law School Dean Mark Sargent has argued, a Villanova program “obviously cannot be associated with advocacy for abor tion rights.”
Sargent made his comment last year as he announced that students competing for research fellowships and summer internships would not be permitted to work on pro-abortion issues or for groups supporting abortion.
Ivy League Vocations
ST. THOMAS MORE CATHOLIC CHAPEL, Nov. 10 — In perhaps the first event of its kind on an Ivy League campus, the Catholic ministr y at Yale University has sponsored a vocation night.
The event drew more than 50 students for a dinner and a panel discussion. Speakers included representatives from the Legionaries of Christ, the Sisters of Life, the Dominicans, Mar yknoll Missionaries and the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculata.
In a separate development, the St. Thomas facilities will be getting a $50 million 30,000-square-foot addition to better accommodate the university's 1,250 Catholic students and the numerous activities sponsored by the ministry.
BENEDICTINE COLLEGE, Nov. 8 — Larr y Wilcox, who has not missed a single Benedictine football game since he first wore Raven red as a student athlete in the late 1960s, is working this year without pay as the head football coach and athletic director at the Atchinson, Kansas, college.
The funds are being used to help expand the Amino Center, a classroom building.
“I couldn't have had a more enjoyable life or career,” said Wilcox, who hopes the gesture will inspire other alumni to go beyond the typical financial gift. “I'm happy and I have faith that this is right.”
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Nov. 6 — A sur vey of 3,680 college juniors on 46 varied campuses shows that those with active religious involvement are less likely to experience the psychological problems of the sor t researchers say have risen to epidemic propor tions on college campuses.
The report from UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute found that religiously inactive students were more than twice as likely — 13% to religious students' 6% — to say they frequently felt depressed.
Religious activity was also associated with lower alcohol abuse, another serious campus problem.
SUN-SENTINEL, Nov. 13 — As the newly installed president of Barr y University, Dominican Sister Linda Bevilacqua can “look to her own family for examples of religious commitment,” according to the Miami daily.
Sister Linda is the niece of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Philadelphia's retired archbishop.
The new president, 63, graduated from Barr y in 1962 and was inspired to enter the Adrian Dominicans, who founded the university in 1940.
BY Jim Cosgrove
CATHOLIC STANDARD & TIMES, Nov. 4 — St. Joseph University's fourth annual diversity week elicited outrage from parents, students and alumni, including Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Joseph McFadden, who heads the archdiocesan education office.
Based on interviews with students who participated in “Rainbow Week,” the Philadelphia archdiocesan newspaper found that many came away with an incomplete understanding or outright misunderstanding of the Church's teaching on homosexuality.
Bishop McFadden said that “lack of understanding” indicates “it's St. Joseph's responsibility to look at their work.”
Ex Corde Canada
LIFESITENEWS, Oct. 29 — The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has received Vatican approval for ordinances to implement the 1990 document on Catholic higher education, Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
“This is the first time the Canadian bishops have responded to the problem of widespread, entrenched rejection of Catholic moral teaching” at Catholic colleges, said the Canadian pro-life news site.
Following publication of the ordinances, the colleges and universities will have until August 2005 to put them into effect.
THE NEW YORK POST, Nov. 1 — Authorities issued “a staggering 1,042 state liquor-law violations on Fordham University's Bronx campus — by far the most issued at area colleges,” reported the New York tabloid in a story on crime at the area's colleges and universities.
It also reported that dorm-room burglaries at St. John's University in Queens shot up 85% over the prior year. The annual publication of crime data is required by federal law.
ETRUTH, Oct. 31 — “You've got the two Catholic schools, and there are bragging rights that run awful deep,” said Fighting Irish football player Tyrone Willingham after Notre Dame's recent loss to Boston College, the fourth in as many years.
According to media coverage, the increasingly fierce rivalry is rooted in their shared quest for informal recognition as America's premier Catholic college football program.
For the storied Irish, the recent dominance by Boston College has caused something of an existential crisis. The recent loss, Willingham said, was like “somebody just stabbed you in your heart.”
DAILY NEWS, Nov. 1 — The Brooklyn Diocese could shutter as many as 25 schools next year due to an enrollment decline of 6% — some 3,000 students — in the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
Nationally, from 2000 to 2003, enrollment in Catholic elementary schools dropped from 2,013,084 to 1,842,918 — a decline of 8.5%, nearly 3% a year, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate recently reported.
The Great Lakes region and the East saw declines that were offset by growth in the Southeast and Far West and in suburban areas.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Nov. 4 — Two new Catholic college presidents were formally installed in October.
Francis Lazarus, the former provost of San Diego University, was inaugurated as the seventh president of the University of Dallas.
Jesuit Father Joseph Hacala took the helm as president of Wheeling Jesuit University after heading Wheeling's office of university mission and identity.
BY Jim Cosgrove
NEWMAN SOCIETY, Oct. 25 — Employees at 10 leading Catholic universities gave $196,025 to suppor t Sen. John Kerr y, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
That's more than nine times the amount given to President George W. Bush's bid for re-election — a total of $21,200, the Cardinal Newman Society reported.
A press release from the society said “the over whelming support for Kerr y among Catholic university employees stands in contrast” to pre-election polls showing the candidates splitting the Catholic vote, with Bush leading among practicing Catholics.
SMU or SCU?
TEXAS CATHOLIC, Oct. 25 — Catholics now form the largest faith group at Southern Methodist University, according to sur veys by the school.
Catholics represent 21.2% of the student population, compared to 16.4% for Methodists.
A similar trend of higher Catholic enrollment is being seen at other denominational universities in Texas, including Baylor University in Waco, where Catholics comprise the second-largest group after Baptists.
House of Studies
THE CATHOLIC SENTINEL, Oct. 20 — The Carmelite friars have broken ground on a new house of studies for their 13 seminarians at Mount Angel Seminar y of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore.
The friars transferred their house of studies from Berkeley, Calif., to Mount Angel in 1999, reported the archdiocesan newspaper.
Due in large measure to the Carmelites’ strong contemplative dimension, said Father Donald Kinney, student master, the 50-man Western province is attracting vocations, including four new postulants this year. New Job
THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, Oct. 27 — George Tenet, who stepped down as director of the Central Intelligence Agency in July, has been hired by Georgetown University.
Tenet, 51, now works for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Ser vice and will begin teaching next fall.
In the meantime, he is lecturing and writing a book about his tenure at the CIA.
NHL.COM, Oct. 27 — The leading scorer on the Providence University hockey team is sophomore left-winger Bill McCreary, whose father and grandfather, both Bills, played in the National Hockey League.
McCrear y is one of six sons of former NHL players now playing for the Friars in what the NHL's website calls a “recruiting fluke.”
The other Friars and their NHL dads include freshmen Colin McDonald (Gerr y), Vince Goulet (Michel), goalie Tyler Sims (Al), Trevor Ludwig (Craig) and sophomore Chase Watson (Jim).
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 29 — The student-led Christian Legal Society has sued the University of California's Hastings College of the Law in federal court in San Francisco for not recognizing it as an official campus organization.
The society says it should be eligible for campus funding and other benefits, and should not be required to open its membership to homosexuals and nonbelievers as required by the school.
An attorney for the group cited the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Boy Scouts of America had the right to deny membership to homosexuals.
BY Joe Cullen
THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, Oct. 22 — For decades, American scholars assumed society was becoming more secular and “badly missed” the profound significance of “the religious revival that seemed to take on new life in the 1990s.”
That is the conclusion of an essay by Alan Wolfe, director of Boston College's Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life.
He says that, while higher education “has a lot of catching up to do,” he is encouraged that the revival in spiritual belief is sparking new scholarship.
Politics for Rent
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE, Oct. 19 — Minnesota Artists for Kerr y have rented space for a rally at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn.
St. Catherine's, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, said the event on behalf of Sen. John Kerr y's presidential candidacy was a rental and did not imply college endorsement.
Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, said the event compromised the Catholic mission of the college, especially as it had “nothing to do with academics and ever ything to do with politics.”
A Praying Pitcher
THE TIDINGS, Oct. 18 — World Series pitcher Jeff Suppan of the St. Louis Cardinals was a “very focused, very mature” student-athlete at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif.
Suppan regularly visits the school, Crespi baseball coach Craig Sher wood told the newspaper of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
According to another school official, Suppan carries on the prayer ful spirit of the Carmelites who staff Crespi by praying before each game.
CATHOLIC NEW YORK, October — Catholic college students in the Middle East tend to be poor and, as members of a religious minority, they can often feel isolated, said Kevin Ahern, president of the International Movement of Catholic Students.
But Ahern repor ted that his Vatican-sponsored organization, comprised of 75 autonomous national student federations, is designed to assist Catholic students in remote areas.
During a recent gathering of students in Sarajevo, Ahern found that young Catholics in such straits “found hope in being able to connect with others like them, so they didn't feel so alone.”
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 19 — A group of scholars has come up with a new system that ranks colleges on how they fare in the battle for students who are admitted to several colleges and have to choose among them.
Colleges compete for students against similar schools; they may never compete against dissimilar institutions.
But, with enough data, a college's place in relation to all schools can emerge, and that's where the new rankings — which, at the top level, do not dif fer greatly with the popular U.S. News & World Report standings — take shape.
“The new system rewards other schools,” the AP repor ted. “Georgetown and Notre Dame score higher than they do in U.S. News,” for example, because they win “tournaments” within the constituency that wishes to attend a Catholic college.
Joe Cullen writes from New York.
BY Jim Cosgrove
KANSAS CITY STAR, Oct. 9 — Wangari Muta Maathai, the 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, says Benedictine College “touched my life so profoundly,” according to correspondence released by the school.
A native of Kenya, Maathai is founder of a popular movement to protect the environment, improve the lot of women and fight corruption in Africa.
In a recent letter, Maathai said: “On a daily basis, I saw women working hard for higher goals and inner goals.”
Maathai holds the college's medal for alumnae “who have served others significantly in the spirit of Christ.”
Is There a Problem?
THE SUN HERALD, Oct. 11 — Peggy Peterson, director of compulsory school attendance enforcement with the Mississippi Department of Education, said she fears the growing number of home-schooled children in her state may not be receiving top-quality instruction from their parents.
The Biloxi daily asked Sarah Nicholas, a representative for the state College Board, for her reaction to Peterson's claim. Nicholas said home-schooled students often score higher than public-school students on the SAT and other standardized tests.
“I don't know why,” Nicholas said. “But historically, students who are home schooled usually have exceptionally high scores on those tests.”
EXPATICA, Oct. 11 — A large number of secondary schools in Holland either refused to accept or destroyed copies of a magazine sponsored by the national educational ministry to promote tolerance of homosexuality, reported the Dutch news site.
The magazine includes interviews with celebrities about their positive impressions of homosexuality, a photo page depicting homosexual couples kissing and a “tolerance test.”
Christian schools and schools with large immigrant populations took the lead in rejecting the magazine.
CATHOLIC NEW YORK, October — It's an honor usually reserved for the national colors of visiting dignitaries or those of winning World Series teams, but New York's Empire State building was recently bathed in the blue and white colors of the College of New Rochelle.
The accolade was part of the conclusion of centenary celebrations for the school founded just north of the city by the Ursuline Sisters in 1904.
A mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral was also celebrated by Cardinal Edward Egan, who received the college's Centennial Medal in hour of his commitment to education.
THE TABLET, Oct. 15 — For the first time in its 135-year history, New York's St. John's University has a free-standing church on its main campus in Queens, reported the newspaper of the Brooklyn Diocese.
The new St. Thomas More Church was dedicated by Brooklyn Bishop Thomas DiMarzio in the company of the Vincentian priests who staff the university.
The church's construction was funded through a gift from alumnus John Brennan.
CHICAGO SUN TIMES, Oct. 21 — Josephinum Academy, a small, all-girls Catholic high school that serves a low-income population, received a $2.25 million anonymous donation thought to be the largest donation to a Catholic girls school in the Chicago area.
The gift, which came from the estate of a woman who had supported several Catholic institutions, will be used primarily for the endowment fund.
Run by the Sisters of Christian Charity and the Religious of the Sacred Heart, the school sees almost 100% of its students accepted to college.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Smoke of Sullivan
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, Oct. 5 — A letter from the Jesuit university's theology department promoting an upcoming appearance by commentator Andrew Sullivan — a homosexual who favors same-sex marriage — was described as “a practicing Catholic” who “has challenged the Church's position on gay life.”
The department said Sullivan's talk, funded by Ford-ham's Center for American Catholic Studies, would be especially suitable for freshmen students of its course in faith and critical reasoning because Sullivan “can model for our students how a vigorous intellect can illuminate faith (and vice versa!).”
OLEAN TIMES HERALD, Oct. 2 — Franciscan Sister Margaret Carney, a theologian and expert in Franciscan spirituality, has become the first female president of St. Bonaventure University, which is administered by the Franciscan friars.
Sister Carney said the university had “sur vived a deep wound,” caused by the athletic scandal involving eligibility requirements that ultimately caused her predecessor, Franciscan Father Robert Wickenheiser, to resign.
Sister Carney was general superior of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God in Pittsburgh before she joined St. Bonaventure as dean of Franciscan studies.
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS, Oct. 5 — Michigan Federal District Judge Gerald Rosen has ordered Ann Arbor Public Schools to pay $102,738 in attorney fees and costs to the Thomas More Law Center because school officials prevented student Betsy Hansen from expressing her Catholic beliefs at a “Homosexuality and Religion” panel as part of her high school's annual “Diversity Week.”
Last December, Judge Rosen ruled that the school had violated Hansen's constitutional right to freedom of speech and right to equal protection, as well as the Establishment Clause.
The judge's 70-page opinion in favor of the student was highly critical of the action taken by the school to censor Hansen's speech.
Jesuit Joy in Alabama
THE MOBILE REGISTER, Oct. 5 — Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach became the first Jesuit superior general to visit his order's Spring Hill College as he helped mark the 175th anniversary of the college's founding this fall, celebrating a Mass that attracted more than half of the resident student body.
Father Kolvenbach was presented with Spring Hill's first Fons Sapientiae Award, which honors those who have been an example of wisdom and faith.
The Jesuit leader urged Spring Hill to build on the fact that it was the first college in Alabama to admit black students, and to do so by deepening its commitment to solidarity, the cornerstone of Catholic social teaching.
Whither Women-Only U?
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 5 — Is a faith component necessary for an all-women's college to survive?
Could be. As recently as 1980, there were more than 120 all-women's colleges in the country. “There are now fewer than 60 all-women's colleges … and half of them are Catholic,” said Wells College sociology professor Leslie Miller-Bernal.
Miller-Bernal, the author of several books on single-sex colleges, was quoted by the wire service reacting to the decision by Wells, a secular institution, to go co-ed in the face of declining enrollment.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Abortionist on Board
THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR, Oct. 5 — Indiana Right to Life has called for the resignation of an Indiana University trustee who routinely per formed abortions as the top doctor at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Clarence Boone, medical director of Planned Parenthood of Northwest Indiana until about five years ago, was appointed a university trustee in July by Gov. Joe Kernan. He has since retired from the practice of medicine.
Indiana Right to Life executive director Mike Fichter said, “His presence on the board gives undue influence to an organization that operates an abortion clinic just a few blocks from the Bloomington campus.”
Truly Free Speech
FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, Oct. 2 — A U.S. district cour t in Lubbock, Texas, ruled a public institution could not limit speech to “free-speech zones,” a tactic critics say is often used by universities to restrict opinions that run contrar y to what is considered politically correct, such as favoring legalized abortion.
The case was brought by Jason Roberts, a Texas Tech University law student who sought to speak about his view that “homosexuality is a sinful, immoral and unhealthy lifestyle,” and to do so outside the designated zone — a 20-foot-wide gazebo that can hold about 40 people.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Sept. 23 — Christian Brother Craig Franz will resign Jan. 1 as president of St. Mar y's College of California to help rebuild the confidence of potential donors.
Conrad Colbrandt withdrew a pledge of a $112-million gift after discovering that he and some 35 others had lost funds in an investment scam.
St. Mar y's had opened a $26-million science building in 2000, assuming that Colbrandt's pledge would cover a $15-million loan the institution had taken out to construct it.
Busted for Intolerance
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, Sept. 26 — A nontenured lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was found guilty of “intentional discrimination and harassment” against a student when she wrote an email that decried a “white, Christian male” student for his “violent, heterosexist comments” when he had merely expressed traditional opposition to homosexual behavior.
That's the conclusion of a report by the U.S. Department of Education, which said the college's decision to monitor Elyse Cr ystall's English classes after the incident was “appropriate.”
However, North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones wondered “why a teacher like Ms. Cr ystall was allowed to remain and teach at UNC … after such an egregious violation.”
BENEDICTINE COLLEGE, Sept. 27 — A gift of $750,000 was given to the college in Atchison, Kan., this fall, days before the arrival of a new president, Stephen Minnis.
The gift came as the “Catholic college is bursting at the seams with seven consecutive years of enrollment growth,” said the college's press release.
The bequest came from the estate of Orin Newton, a direct descendent of Richard Newton, brother of Sir Isaac Newton.
BY Jim Cosgrove
ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE, Sept. 13 —Brian Lacey, a 1972 graduate of the Colchester, Vt., college, has honored the teacher who most influenced his life with a $1.1 million pledge to endow the St. Michael's Henry G. Fairbanks chair for the humanities.
Lacey, an American studies major who was St. Michael's first Rhodes Scholar nominee, is a television producer and marketer.
Fairbanks, who founded the St. Michael's humanities program, was a popular professor at the college, where he taught from 1946 to 1981.
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, Sept. 15 — William Thierfelder, a spor ts psychologist, businessman and father of eight, has taken up his new duties as the 20th president of Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, N.C.
A licensed psychologist, he was founder and president of ProSportDoc Inc., a company that helps professional athletes enhance their physical and mental abilities to better train and compete.
He also founded the sportsperformance training program at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., and taught at Penn State University's college of medicine.
No Explanation Needed
THE OBSERVER, Sept. 19 — Holy Cross Father Edward Malloy, Notre Dame's president, told the university's student newspaper that he is among those waiting for an explanation from the U.S. government for why Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan's visa was revoked, preventing him from teaching this fall at the campus of the Fighting Irish.
Because Ramadan has not been given a chance to hear and address whatever concerns led to the State Department's action, “it seems to me the law's not being fulfilled,” Father Malloy told the newspaper.
The action, requested by the Department of Homeland Security, can be carried out without any formal proceedings or notification of any kind.
CDU.EDU, Sept. 20 — The Catholic Distance University in Hamilton, Va., is offering 10 online courses for its graduate programs leading to master's degrees in theology or religious studies, the university announced on its website.
The school offers “advanced training in the faith that is loyal to the magisterium,” said Robert Royal, the university's graduate dean, in such areas as Church history, the sacraments and martyrs of the 20th century.
Information is available at http://www.cdu.edu or by calling (888) 254-4CDU, ext. 703.
The Good Fight
THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, Sept. 19 — In an opinion piece on how conser vative college students in Nor th Carolina are bucking rigid secularism and political correctness on campuses throughout the state, Duke University student John Plecnik praises a “Catholic congressman,” U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, for coming to the aid of students.
“When a Christian student was lambasted for his beliefs, Jones took it up with the university chancellor,” says Plecnik, writing in an independent newspaper of the Duke University law school. “Now that Alpha Iota Omega, a Christian fraternity, has been denied official recognition, (Jones) has returned.”
He calls Jones “a shining example of how politicians ought to represent their constituents — and UNC is not even in his district.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Scared of Science?
CHRONICLE.COM, Sept. 14 — The Biological Society of Washington has publicly distanced itself from a paper, published last month in its journal, that challenges Dar winian evolution, saying that the paper, which suppor ts intelligent-design theory, should not have appeared in the journal. However, it did not retract the paper.
The ar ticle was written by Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discover y Institute in Seattle. It was accepted by the journal's previous editor, Richard Sternberg, a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design, which promotes the idea that nature has a purpose.
Meyer's paper contends that current evolutionary theory cannot explain how new animal forms developed in the distant past. It advocates intelligent design, which holds that biological systems are so complex that they could have arisen only through the action of an intelligent force.
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 10 — Trinity College has been renamed Trinity University, reflecting its growth and expanded programs.
In 1897, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur founded Trinity in Washington, D.C., as one of the nation's first liberal ar ts colleges for women.
The undergraduate liberal ar ts college will keep the name Trinity College and continue as an all-women's school.
Catholic U. Stands Tall
THE WASHINGTON POST, Sept. 17 — Catholic University has told the organizers of a local Italian film festival that it will not host a panel discussion if actor Stanley Tucci is featured.
The university said its action is in accord with the teaching of the nations' bishops that Catholic colleges are not to give “awards, honors and platforms” to those who oppose the church's fundamental positions, par ticularly on abor tion.
A 2003 Tony Award nominee, Tucci is best known for starring in the Italian-restaurant film Big Night. He is also a member of Planned Parent-hood's “celebrity coalition.”
LORAS COLLEGE, Sept. 16 — The liberal-ar ts college of the Archdiocese of Dubuque announced that it has received an anonymous gift of $1 million.
Jim Collins, president of Loras, said half of the gift would be allocated to the “For the Glory” campaign for a new athletic and wellness facility, while the other $500,000 would be used for scholarships.
Earlier in the year, the college also received a $1 million donation from Eldon and Marge Herrig of Dubuque.
NEWARK STAR-LEDGER, Sept. 11 — New Jersey's St. Peter's College fired its head football coach, Scott Kochman, for using ineligible players in a Sept. 4 game against Monmouth University.
The coach said that he had been given an incorrect list of eligible players and that his firing ended a simmering feud with the Jesuit college's athletics director, William Stein.
Kochman said he had written at least two letters to the college's provost to complain about the management of the athletics program.
Stein said the firing was strictly about the eligibility issue.
BY Jim Cosgrove
‘Best’ Catholic Colleges
US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, Sept. 3 — Three Catholic colleges made the magazine's annual top-50 list, including the University of Notre Dame (18th), Georgetown University (25th) and Boston College (37th). Holy Cross was 31st among national liberal-ar ts colleges.
Catholic colleges and universities fared best in the categor y of best universities-master's, which ranks schools with undergraduate and master's programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.
Divided by region, eight Catholic schools were in the top 15 in the categor y in the North with Villanova University first. First-place Creighton University and three other Catholic institutions were among the top 15 in the Midwest.
Seven of the top 15 regional universities in the West are Catholic, and three Catholic schools made the top 15 in the South.
Collegians for Life
TIME, Aug. 30 — A feature on the growing conser vatism of American college students pointed out that 45% of freshmen are pro-life on abortion — a marked improvement from the 33% in 1992. The number of freshmen who say they never party is up from 12% in 1987 to 23% today.
Time suggested that even the more “liberal” positions of students are really “libertarian.” These include 40% suppor t for legalized marijuana use (the most since the 1970s) and homosexual “marriage,” endorsed by a record 59% of freshmen as opposed to just 30% in the general population.
SOUTHERN CATHOLIC COLLEGE, Aug. 23 — The regional Catholic college now in formation is accepting student applications for its inaugural freshman class in 2005.
An hour's drive nor th of Atlanta, in Dawsonville, Ga., Southern Catholic will initially ser ve a student population of 150, with projected growth to an estimated 3,000 by 2020.
The 100-acre site, surrounded by the Appalachian mountains, already includes buildings for classroom, worship and living space.
Donation Lost in Scam
CHRONICLE.COM, Aug. 18 — Saint Mar y's College of California will have to put major construction plans on hold and repay a multimillion-dollar bank loan for a new science building after officials learned that a donor will have to renege on a $100-million pledge, apparently as a result of a real-estate investment scam.
Benefactor Conrad Col-brandt is being treated as one of some 40 victims in the swindle and will face no criminal charges.
College officials maintain that only capital projects were affected by the loss of the $100-million pledge and that St. Mar y's endowment remains sound.
‘Harvard of the Right’
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 18 — The Rev. Jerr y Fal-well will open a law school as par t of Liber ty University in Lynchburg, Va., this fall in hopes of training a generation of attorneys who will fight for traditional causes, especially those involving freedom of religion and the right to life.
“We'll be as far to the right as Har vard is to the left,” Falwell told the Associated Press.
Heidi Thompson, one of 61 founding students, said she would like to help reverse the decision to legalize abortion. Said Thompson, “I'd love to fight Roe v. Wade.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Duties of Catholic Pols
AVE MARIA LAW SCHOOL, Aug. 21 — The school and the Our Sunday Visitor Foundation will sponsor a conference on the duties of Catholic politicians with respect to the Church's teaching on life issues on Sept. 16 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Speakers will include Robert George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University; Newsweek religion editor Kenneth Woodward; First Things editor Father Richard John Neuhaus; and Gerard Bradley of the University of Notre Dame School of Law.
While the conference — called “Public Witness/ Public Scandal: Faith, Politics and Life Issues” — is free and open to the public, call (734) 827-8073 or write to email@example.com by Sept. 10 to reserve a space.
Free Ride Less Free
NEW YORK POST, Aug. 10 — The average cost of attending a Catholic or other private college is up 97% since 1990 and stands at a national average of $29,000 for tuition, room and board. The equivalent cost of attending a public four-year college — just under $10,000 — is up 87% over the same period.
“ For public colleges, in par ticular, the increase … has been dramatic,” said consumer advocate Miriam Kramer, who acknowledged that students in state colleges are not accustomed to bearing so much of the cost of their education.
She reported that tuition increases this fall at the State University of New York will range to as high as 23% more than last year.
Freedom for Fliers
THE BLADE, Aug. 13 — Reversing a lower court decision in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, a federal appeals court has ruled that an Ohio school district may include religious material among community fliers that it distributes to students, reported the Toledo daily.
The unanimous three-judge panel concluded that the school district does not endorse religion by distributing fliers advertising religious activities along with those from the Red Cross, 4-H Club and sports leagues.
The decision noted that other federal cour ts have reached a similar conclusion.
THE HERALD SUN, Aug. 12 — The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has declined to officially recognize and fund Alpha Iota Omega, a Christian fraternity, because the group refused to sign a nondiscrimi-nation policy that would open its membership to non-Christians, reported the North Carolina daily.
In a similar case last year, the university recognized and funded the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship after originally balking at the idea. The university switched course, distinguishing between InterVarsity's leadership, which is restricted to Christians only, and its membership, which remains open to all UNC students.
ST. BONAVENTURE UNIVERSITY, Aug. 16 — The university announced that it is developing a new program to provide information, resources and support to enhance care at the end of life through inter-disciplinary scholarship and research, teaching and public outreach.
Known as the GRACE project — which refers to ger-ontology research, academic preparation and community enrichment — the university said the project will be distinguished by its location “within the distinctive Catholic-Franciscan ethos of St. Bonaventure.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Campion's First …
CAMPION COLLEGE, May 12 — Campion College of San Francisco has graduated its first class.
In May 15 ceremonies, 14 students received associate of arts degrees in Catholic humanities from the college, which was founded in 2002 by former faculty and supporters of the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco. The institute had been broken up by Jesuit Father Steven Privett, USF's president, and placed under the authority of the university's theology department.
This fall, according to a Cam-pion statement, Campion graduates will matriculate at such schools as Ave Maria University in Florida, Benedictine College in Kansas and the Josephinum Seminary in Ohio.
… Franciscan's Largest
FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY, May 8 — Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, has graduated the largest class in its history.
On May 8, some 434 undergraduates and 127 graduates received their diplomas in more than 30 undergraduate disciplines and among the seven graduate-level programs, a press release from the university reported.
Jim Towey, director of the White House Office for Faith-Based Initiatives, spoke to graduate students, telling them to never stop learning. “Education will cease,” he said, “with the last breath you take before you meet God.”
Author George Weigel addressed undergraduate students, urging them to “think of your life as a vocation.”
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, May 9 — Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., has stepped up student-recruitment efforts in the Atlanta area. The initiative comes in anticipation of the scheduled opening of Southern Catholic College in fall 2005 in Georgia.
For most of its 128-year-history, Belmont Abbey College has been the only Catholic college between Virginia and Florida, the paper noted. While the college had traditionally recruited heavily in the Northeast, where more Catholics are located, the increasing numbers of Catholics in the South led it to change its marketing strategy.
The college was founded by Benedictine monks in 1876.
New DePaul Leader
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, May 8 — DePaul University in Chicago has named Father Dennis Holtschneider as its 11th president, effective in July.
He replaces Father John Minogue, who announced his retirement in October after 10 years as the school's president.
Father Holtschneider, 42, faces the challenge of expanding the school's modest endowment, the paper noted. The school still relies on tuition for 80% of its operating budget.
The Vincentian priest holds a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard. He is currently vice president and chief operating officer of Niagra University in New York.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 10 — Colorado Gov. Bill Owens has signed the nation's first-ever college-voucher plan into law.
The law would give up to $2,400 per voucher to high-school students in need. Owens said the bill sends a message to high schoolers that college is not out of reach.
Students attending private schools — such as Regis University in Denver, which is Catholic — will receive $1,200 per voucher, the wire service reported. The money is allowed to go to religious schools as long as they are not “pervasively sectarian.”
The program is set to begin in fall 2005.
BY Jim Cosgrove
The Uninvited: Part 2
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 1 — St. Joseph High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., on April 30 rescinded its invitation to Gov. Joe Kernan to speak at his alma mater's graduation because his pro-abortion stance conflicts with Church teaching.
The school made its decision upon the request of Bishop John D'Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who has direct authority over the school, the wire service reported.
St. Joseph's theology teachers said they thought the Catholic governor's presence would contradict moral truths they teach, the bishop said, adding, “I am in full agreement with these teachers.”
THE JOURNAL NEWS (New York), May 5 — Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., had a surprise for its students when they returned from spring break: Crucifixes are now in all the classrooms.
An alumnus and high-profile benefactor visited the school in the fall and noticed the lack of crucifixes in the classrooms he remembered when he was a student there, the newspaper reported. The alumnus paid for the crucifixes in more than 100 classrooms on campus.
“It was a long time coming,” said Kim Morey, the college's student government president. “Students are supposed to embody the mission of the Christian Brothers.”
THE GW HATCHET, April 30 — Speakers at an April 26 panel discussion on contraception at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., encouraged students to abstain from sex until marriage and then to practice natural family planning.
“Catholicism and Contraception: Why Condoms Don't Work” discussed Church teaching on contraception and natural family planning, the student newspaper of the university reported.
Several students were impressed. “The nature of [natural family planning] is so powerful,” one audience member said. “I mean, is their anything in this world that is more powerful than creating life?”
D.C. Schools Thrive
THE WASHINGTON POST, May 6 — Only a few years ago, the District of Columbia's Catholic schools were thriving in affluent areas and hurting in the inner city, much like their counter-parts nationwide. During the past few years, Catholic schools around the country have been closing at a fast rate, the paper reported.
However, the one exception has been in the District, where fund-raising efforts for improvements have helped increase enrollment. More than half of the city's 30 Catholic schools have undergone renovations in the last few years.
The news comes at the same time the District is preparing to start a federally funded voucher program for the 2004-05 school year. Many of its participants will likely choose to attend Catholic schools.
Michigan to the Vatican
THE ANN ARBOR NEWS (Michigan), May 4 — Eastern Michigan University's only known Catholic priest to serve on the school's faculty has been appointed to a papal advisory position at the Vatican.
Father Bernard O'Connor will leave for his new post in late May. In the area of diplomacy, the priest will work with the Catholic population and issues in Iraq, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, the newspaper reported.
Father O'Connor has been a professor, lawyer, adviser and arbitrator on the campus. He has won awards for teaching and holds several bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, including a law degree.
BY Jim Cosgrove
FORT WAYNE JOURNAL GAZETTE (Indiana), April 28 — Only four days before she was scheduled to give the May 1 commencement speech at the University of St. Francis, Dr. Nancy Snyderman was told she was no longer welcome at the podium.
Information provided to the university by Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., Bishop John D'Arcy noted Snyderman's comments in support of abortion on an episode of ABC's “Good Morning America,” on which she serves as medical correspondent, in 1997.
In its statement rescinding the invitation, the university said Snyderman's comments were not in line with Church teaching.
FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY, April 27 — Four Franciscan University of Steubenville students are taking their research on forced abortions all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The research forms the appendix to a brief filed by attorney Christopher Sapp, according to a press release from the university. Sapp is presenting Jane Roe II v. Aware Women Center for Choice Inc., a case that involves a woman whose abortionist had her physically restrained and performed the procedure on her after she had changed her mind.
Students Shannon Andriyanova, Shane Haselbarth, Heather McCombs and Ann-Marie Morris researched cases of abortions performed on unwilling women as the main project for their senior seminar on legal studies. The school is located in Steubenville, Ohio.
Mount St. Mary's U?
THE GAZETTE (Maryland), April 29 — The president of Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., has a new vision for the school. Naturally, not all of its present students were thrilled with the announcement.
Part of Thomas Powell's plan is to drop the “college and seminary” from the name of the school, replacing it with “university,” and to increase enrollment. Powell shared his vision for the future with students April 23, the newspaper reported.
Most of the complaints came from taking the “college and seminary” out of the name. Powell also said he wanted to increase the number of Catholics at the school. Right now, 67% of enrollment is Catholic; he wants to increase it to 70%.
Curtains for Cabaret?
THE RECORD OF BERGEN COUNTY (New Jersey), April 28 — The musical play “Cabaret” opened at Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, N.J., April 26 without incident. Protests since then, however, have called the production inappropriate for a Catholic school.
Messages posted to an Internet bulletin board criticized the opening, the paper reported. One message said the play is “180 degrees opposed to the holdings of the Roman Catholic faith.”
Pro-Life Students Injured
LIFENEWS.COM, April 27 — Pro-life students from George Washington University were forcibly removed from a pro-abortion rally led by Sen. John Kerry on April 26 — not by police but by abortion activists.
After pro-abortion supporters began chanting, “What do we want? Choice!” the pro-life students countered with “Life!” LifeNews.com reported.
Women in National Abortions Rights Action League Tshirts surrounded the pro-life students and told them they had to leave. When they refused, the pro-abortion women dragged the students away, injuring one of the students’ feet and causing another to begin choking.
“They had no right to touch me like that,” said student Suanne Edmiston. “So much for ‘my body, my choice.’”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Grand Canyon College?
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, April 21 — New Phoenix bishop Thomas Olmsted is seeking to start a new Catholic college in the area, discussion of which has been ongoing for 10 years.
Bishop Olmsted has appointed Msgr. Dale Fushek to oversee the effort, the Arizona daily reported.
In August 2002, leaders of the effort announced plans for fund raising to help build a 5,000-student campus on 125 donated acres located in the far western part of the Phoenix area. The offer of land still remains on the table.
College Pulls Papers
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 21 — La Roche College in Pittsburgh pulled the student newspaper from campus before an April 17-18 open house because the issue contained a column about condom use.
The college said the column didn't reflect its policy or the Church's teachings on condoms. The open house was for potential students and their families, the wire service reported.
The article, which was written as an opinion piece, questioned why there were pamphlets available on campus for information on where to drop off unwanted babies but no information about condoms.
THE JOURNAL NEWS (New York), April 23 — What was once a nightclub is now a satellite campus for Christian Brothers-founded Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
For more than 20 years, the Rockland Graduate Campus was located in nearby Tappan Zee High School, where evening classes were held. As attendance grew, so did the need for more space, the newspaper reported.
Now students can enjoy state-of-the-ar t technology, a library, a lounge and conference rooms in the former Images nightclub, which closed in 2002.
The campus boasts more than 300 students studying for arts and sciences graduate degrees.
A Gathering of Cardinals
ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, April 23 — In an annual fund-raiser for The Catholic University of America, six cardinals came to St. Paul for Mass followed by a dinner in Minneapolis on April 23.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., and Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore were joined at the event by Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Vatican's ambassador to the United States, the newspaper reported.
“There's a desire to make the university better known in other areas,” said Catholic University spokesman Victor Nakas, “since it is the national university of the Catholic Church.”
Home Schools Rise
SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE (Mass.), April 25 — A growing number of families in North Central Massachusetts are home schooling their children.
When one woman started home schooling her kids a decade ago, she was the only person she knew who home schooled. Now, the newspaper reported, as many as 20 and perhaps up to 50 families in the area home school their children.
Massachusetts doesn't keep track of the exact number of home-schooling families. However, the founder of the Montachusett Area Christian Homeschoolers noted the number of families in its support group rose from six to 35 in the last 20 years.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Another Take on Seton
LIFENEWS.COM, April 16 — Yes it decorated a judge who struck down New Jersey's partial-birth abortion ban. But Seton Hall University insists it is committed to the gospel of life.
“The award that will be given at the law school is not a reflection of university policy,” said Dr. Mel Shay, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, in a statement released prior to the awards ceremony.
The school awarded Judge Maryanne Trump Barry the 12th annual Sandra Day O'Connor Medal of Honor on April 16, upsetting pro-life advocates and the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., in which the school is located, LifeNews.com reported.
Archdiocesan spokesman James Goodness said Archbishop John Myers was “extremely upset” by the award.
New Direction in Dallas
DALLAS MORNING NEWS, April 15 — The University of Dallas has named Dr. Francis Lazarus its next president.
Currently Lazarus is vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of San Diego. He will take office in July, the newspaper reported.
Lazarus succeeds interim president Robert Galecke, who succeeded Msgr. Milam Joseph in December.
Lazarus is “committed to the quality of education, the mission and the Catholic identity of the university,” said Msgr. Dan Dillabough, vice president for mission and university relations at the University of San Diego. “For us, it's wonderful that he can take his experience here and use it for the challenges there.”
No Time for Tenet
ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, April 5 — Jesuit Father Lawrence Biondi, president of St. Louis University, has announced he will not stand for re-election to the Tenet Healthcare Corp. board of directors.
Father Biondi has been chair of the ethics committee for the corporation, many of whose 114 hospitals perform abortions. He had been a board member since shortly after Tenet acquired St. Louis University Hospital in 1998.
Last year, according to a Cardinal Newman Society newsletter, the group called on Father Biondi not to run for re-election this May.
Winging It in Worcester
CHRONICLE.COM, April 7 — Is “unquestioning obedience” to Church teaching a help or a hindrance to new Catholic colleges and universities springing up around the country?
That was the question posed by a Chronicle of Higher Education live online colloquy April 7. David O'Brien, the Loyola professor of Roman Catholic studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Wocester, Mass., was the colloquy's featured guest.
In a transcript of the lively discussion at Chronicle.com, O'Brien stated: “By the way, as a sometime left-winger with 35 years in these schools, I have yet to find an institution of the left.”
CATHOLICTEXTBOOKPROJECT.COM, April 13 — Volume 3 of the Catholic Schools Textbook Project is now available for fall 2004, the project's organizers have announced.
A Light to the Nations: Ancient to Medieval covers Western tradition pre-history, first civilizations, and ancient Egypt, Israel, Greece and Rome through Medieval Christendom from a Catholic perspective. The volume includes supplemental documents, art, literature and music.
The other texts in the series are From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America and All Ye Lands: World Cultures and Geography.
BY Jim Cosgrove
‘Father Jack's Tiger’
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, March 14 — Chicago's DePaul University is pulling the plug on what one university board trustee dubbed “Father Jack's tiger project.”
In 2002, DePaul president Father Jack Minogue oversaw the purchase of a $1 million piece of land in southeast Missouri to build an environmental studies program centered on tigers.
Two years later, however, after putting $800,000 more into the project, the university is hoping to sell the 55-acre plot of land located about 400 miles from Chicago.
School officials acknowledge that students have never set foot on the land, the paper reported. Currently the land contains two houses, a restaurant, a swimming pool, a tennis court and five Bengal tigers.
THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE, March 16 — Thomas Aquinas College president Thomas Dillon has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced the appointment in February. The committee's function is to make recommendations on state and national accrediting agencies, oversee criteria for accreditation, and supervise the process of eligibility and certification for schools, a college press release stated.
Dillon's appointment to the 15-member panel is for a three-year renewable term.
Cristo Rey in Boston
THE BOSTON GLOBE, March 14 — The Cristo Rey Network, financed in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is planning to open another Catholic school this fall in Boston.
The Notre Dame School plans to begin classes Sept. 1 in Lawrence, Mass. It is one of the latest in a series of Cristo Rey schools launched in some of the poorest neighborhoods across the country.
Students attend classes four days a week and work the fifth day for tuition. They wear uniforms, go to Mass and attend school for 185 days, the paper reported.
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur will run the new school.
THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, March 14 — Proposed federal regulations could make it easier to create single-sex schools across the nation, and Chicago public school officials are happy to hear it.
At a recent Sun-Times board meeting, officials voiced excitement over the creation of all-girls and all-boys schools.
The new regulations would no longer require districts to create “comparable” schools for each sex but rather, if a district wanted to create an all-boys school, it would merely need to offer girls a “substantially equal” school that could be coeducational.
The rules were demanded by the 2002 No Child Left Behind law.
USF Ups Enrollment
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, March 2 — For the first time in its history, this fall the University of San Francisco will limit freshman enrollment.
The Jesuit-run university received 5,168 applications for 950 spots in the fall freshman class, according to a university press release. The number represents a 21% increase from last year and a 50% increase from two years ago.
Approximately 300-400 students will be put on a waiting list, according to director of admissions Tom Matos. In the last four years, he said, the freshman class has grown by 190 students.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Not Taboo at Seattle U.
THE SEATTLE TIMES, March 2 — As par t of Jesuit-run Seattle University's yearlong series on campus regarding sexuality, history professor Theresa Earenfight recently gave a seminar on “the histor y and politics of contraception.”
“Sex should be about pleasure, I think, although that's not necessarily the Catholic perspective,” she said.
Indeed, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sex is reser ved for the sacrament of matrimony and is not only for the good of the couple but also for the generation and education of children.
As par t of the series, Seattle University students, 40% of whom are Catholic, have also heard from the parents of a student who said he is a homosexual, “explored” the mind of a rapist and debated sex education.
The newspaper noted that the university operates independently of the Archdiocese of Seattle.
Washburn Case Dismissed
CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE, March 3 — A federal judge in Kansas dismissed a lawsuit involving the display of controversial statue on the campus of Washburn University in Topeka.
The judge ruled the university did not violate the Constitution with its display of a statue of a smug-faced Catholic bishop wearing a miter that resembles a phallus.
He said the presence of “Holier Than Thou,” the name of the statue, on the campus “would [not] cause a reasonable obser ver to believe that [Washburn] endorsed hostility toward the Catholic religion.”
The Thomas More Law Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Washburn professor and a senior at the school, both devout Catholics. The center said it plans to appeal the decision.
Passion for Students
CHRISTENDOM COLLEGE, Feb. 25 — More than 275 students at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., viewed The Passion of the Christ on Ash Wednesday at a local theater the college rented.
College president Timothy O'Donnell said he had seen a pre-released version of the film in November and thought it impor tant enough for all students to see.
Back on campus after the film, students spent a holy hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament and confession was made available.
Seton Hall Student Sues
WNBC (New York), March 10 — A homosexual student at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., filed a lawsuit against the school March 10 claiming he was discriminated against when he was denied his request to start a campus homosexual group in December.
Citing its Catholic tradition, the university said it would not formally recognize any campus group, homosexual or otherwise, that was based solely on sexual orientation, the news station reported.
The university did offer a “memorandum of understanding” to the student acknowledging the group's existence but retaining the right to choose the group's name. The student rejected the offer.
ATLANTA BUSINESS JOURNAL, Feb. 24 — Edward Schroeder, a former executive at United Parcel Ser vice Inc., has been named chairman of the board for Southern Catholic College in Dawsonville, Ga.
Schroeder is retired from UPS, where he star ted as a driver and worked his way up to become head of international operations.
Southern Catholic College plans to open in fall 2005.
BY Jim Cosgrove
In Defense of Catholics
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Feb. 25 — Outraged by an anti-Catholic sculpture at Washburn University, public schools in Wichita, Kan., have barred visits from university recruiters. Following the lead of local Catholic high schools, Wichita's Board of Education voted Feb. 23 to ban recruiters until the “Holier Than Thou” statue at the university is removed from campus.
The sculpture depicts a grimacing bishop wearing a miter, which some have said resembles male genitalia.
Washburn University said the Wichita's schools' action was “unfortunate.”
PITTSBURGE POST-GAZETTE, Feb. 24 — St. Bonaventure University in New York has named its first woman president.
Sister Margaret Carney, who is currently the university's senior vice president for Franciscan charism — a position in which she is responsible for making sure Franciscan values are lived out on campus in everyday life — will replace Father Dominic Monti on June 1.
She has held her current position since March 2003, after school officials sought to instill those values in the basketball program, which was marked by scandal last year.
Then president Robert Wick-enheiser, the head basketball coach and the athletic director resigned after it was found a player who was ineligible was allowed to play anyway.
BAYSIDE (N.Y.) TIMES-LEDGER, Feb. 26 — A federal court judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has thrown out a lawsuit brought by the mother of two schoolchildren who claimed the Department of Education was discriminating against Christians for not allowing Nativity scenes on school grounds. Andrea Skoros, a Catholic, said the department unfairly favored Muslim and Jewish religious symbols in school holiday displays by forbidding Nativity scenes, although Christmas trees were permitted, the paper reported. “Exclusion of the creche from holiday displays is not discriminator y or hostile toward Christianity but rather serves the holiday display policy's secular purpose,” said Judge Charles Sifton in his Feb. 18 decision.
Skoros' attorney said the case would be appealed.
THE TOLEDO BLADE, Feb. 26 — While tuition at most schools is rising higher and higher every year, Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio, is cutting its tuition by 41%.
The college announced Feb. 26 that tuition for full-time students (those who take 12 or more credit hours) will drop next year from $14,400 to $8,544.
Officials said research showed the college was becoming unaffordable to students interested in attending. “The public has viewed the price of Lourdes College as a barrier,” said Robert Helmer, who was inaugurated Feb. 29 as the college's seventh president.
Par t-time students, however, will see an 8% increase, from $330 to $356 per credit hour.
KPRC-TV (Houston), March 1 — Har vard University confirmed Feb. 29 it plans to set up a privately funded research center to grow and study human embryonic stem cells.
A statement from the university said the center would stay within the laws and regulations on research for such stem cells. President Bush in 2002 allowed federal funding only for work to be done on existing stem-cell lines. To harvest stem cells, researchers must destroy human embryos.
Wis. Research on Humans
PRO-LIFE WISCONSIN, May 29 — Pro-Life Wisconsin launched a campaign to end research on human embryos at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the group announced.
The campaign includes a postcard drive to notify state legislators and Gov. Scott McCallum, and the formation of UW Alumni for Life, an association of university alumni who oppose embryo research.
Gov. McCallum assigned $27 million over five years to the university's BioStar Initiative. This cash increase prompted Pro-Life Wisconsin to try to make sure that none of the money funds human embryo research.
Peggy Hamill, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, said, “Human embryos are not mere research material, they are persons who deserve respect.”
Campus Bank Funds Abortion
VILLANOVA TIMES, May 24 — Villanova University's only on-campus banking facility donates to Planned Parenthood, the world's largest player in the abortion industry, the student daily reported.
First Union Bank has been a boycott target by the pro-life movement. Due to a confidentiality clause in the bank's agreement with the Catholic university, it is unclear when Villanova's contract with First Union will end and whether the bank's donations to Planned Parenthood will affect a new contract.
The local bank has donated to a local Planned Parenthood group in the past, and though it has no plans to do so in the future, it does not rule Planned Parenthood out. A spokeswoman for the bank said that its donations went only to Planned Parenthood's “educational” expenses, not “medical” expenses. But many Villanova students took issue with the pro-abortion group's “educational” projects as well.
Local Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon called the Planned Parenthood-supported movement to yank the Vatican's permanent observer status at the United Nations an “anti-Catholic effort.” The Villanova Times also noted that Planned Parenthood has lobbied for laws and court rulings requiring Catholic institutions to provide contraceptive coverage in employees' health plans.
Missionaries In Public Schools
TIME, June 4 — The Child Evangelism Fellowship has built strong relationships with many public schools, despite court scrutiny, the national weekly reported.
The fellowship focuses on getting children to state that they accept Jesus as their savior. It attracts children to its Good News Clubs with after-school activities, songs and candy, often on school property immediately after the end of classes.
Detractors called the group “an evangelical hard sell.” The group has 3,000 paid and 45,000 volunteer missionaries.
The fellowship is awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether it can continue to use public facilities.
The court has ruled that high schools cannot bar student-led religious groups if other student groups are allowed, but that ruling may not affect elementary schools or adult-led groups like the Good News Clubs.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Crackdown on Classics
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, May 18 — Loyola University Chicago will eliminate all graduate programs in classical studies, in an attempt to reverse the school's declining enrollment and ease its debts, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
The university originally planned to scrap the department entirely. Under the new plan, it will still offer undergraduate degrees in classical studies. The university will also eliminate 35 full-time administrative and staff positions.
Judge Allows 'Straight Pride’ Shirt
MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, May 19 — A U.S. District Judge ruled that Elliott Chambers, 16, can wear his “Straight Pride” shirt to school, the Minnesota daily reported.
The Register reported April 29 that the lawsuit was underway.
The judge ruled that Woodbury High School Principal Dana Babbitt's ban on the shirt could violate free-speech protections. The shirt says “Straight Pride” on the front, and shows a man and woman holding hands on the back.
Chambers said he wore the shirt in part as a protest against the school's pro-homosexual actions, such as designating classrooms “safe zones” where homosexual students would be counseled to express their sexuality.
The ruling leaves open the possibility that the shirt may still be banned if school officials can prove that it caused a disruption of school activities.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Cardinal Law Meets With Skeptical Theologians
BOSTON GLOBE, May 10 — Boston Cardinal Bernard F. Law met with theologians at local Catholic colleges to discuss Pope John Paul II's apostolic constitution on higher education, 1990's Ex Corde Ecclesia (The Heart of the Church), the Boston daily reported.
Cardinal Law said that he would inform college presidents about which theologians sought a mandatum, a written statement pledging that the theologian will teach authentic Catholic doctrine. But he promised he would not take any disputes public.
The Globe reported that theologians at the meeting “seemed generally satisfied,” despite previous criticism of the mandatum.
Cardinal George Blasts Illinois Law
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, May 13 — In a stinging editorial in the Chicago daily, Chicago Cardinal Francis George decried Illinois school laws that prevent parents from getting “some help from their own tax money in sending their children to any school they want.”
Cardinal George responded to a Tribune article that stated that he opposed Church-run charter schools. “I don't oppose the Catholic Church running charter schools,” he replied; “the State of Illinois won't permit the church to run charter schools.”
Some have suggested turning Catholic schools in financial crises over to the public school system, which the cardinal called “a way of cannibalizing successful but under-funded schools.”
Catholic School Start-Ups Conference
AVE MARIA COLLEGE, May 11 — Ave Maria College is organizing a conference in the Detroit area to promote start-ups of independent Catholic schools, the college announced. The conference will discuss everything from fundraising to finding teaching materials.
Conference coordinator Dan Guernsey said, “Families are home schooling in record numbers, and Catholic education is in demand as never before. But the resources of parishes and dioceses are spread thin, so a lot of parents are taking matters into their own hands and exploring how they can start their own independent Catholic schools.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Protest Over Bush Speech
SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, April 29—President George W. Bush will be the University of Notre Dame's commencement speaker on May 20, but a disgruntled professor has started an online petition against the president's appearance, the Tribune reported.
Peter Walshe, a professor of government, said, “Having Bush as the commencement speaker demonstrates that Notre Dame is drifting away from social teachings of the Catholic Church.” Walshe cited Bush's policies on tax refunds, health care and the environment.
A counter-petition Website protests Walshe's effort, the Tribune reported. One senior who signed Walshe's petition acknowledged that many students are excited Bush is coming, noting that “he's a pro-life president.”
Cash for Catholic Schools
THE NEW YORK POST, April 30— New York City Central Labor Council president Brian McLaughlin, the head of the city's labor movement, has offered a major cash infusion for six struggling parochial schools, the New York daily reported.
McLaughlin wrote a letter to Cardinal Edward Egan offering to put together a group of union leaders to find a “permanent, long-term solution” to the cash crisis. The six schools, which have been threatened with closure, have a combined projected deficit of $853,000 for the next school year.
An anonymous donor, rumored to have promised $150 million, never came through.
Kennedy on Bioethics
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, April 17—Sen. Edward Kennedy will speak at the 30th anniversary celebration of Georgetown University's Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Institute of Ethics, the university announced.]
Sen. Kennedy, D-Mass., has been one of the Senate's most reliable pro-abortion votes, even voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Official Denounces Play
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, April 27 — Florida education commissioner Charlie Crist harshly criticized Florida Atlantic University for sponsoring a production of"Corpus Christi,” a play that portrays Jesus as a homosexual. He said it “should appall any thinking person who honors the religious beliefs of others.”
Where Are the Religious?
COMMONWEAL, April 20 — A recent study on the relationship between religious orders and Catholic colleges showed that although 98% of college presidents and congregations said that religious were vanishing from campus, 59% said their institutions had no plans to address this situation, the Catholic magazine reported.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Visit by Director of Pope's Movie
UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON , April 12 — Renowned Polish film director and producer Krzysztof Zanussi visited the University of Dayton to discuss his life's work, the university announced.
Zanussi's most recent film, Our God's Brother , was shown in conjunction with his visit. The movie is based on a play written in 1949 by Karol Wojtyla about Adam Chmielowski, a Polish artist he canonized in 1989.
University Offers Christian Housing
INDIANA DAILY STUDENT , April 10 — Indiana University already has three houses for Christians on campus, and is working to add a fourth, the university's student daily reported.
The fourth house is due to open in the fall of 2001. The school already offers housing for students seeking to live in a Christian community, including housing specifically for Lutherans and for Catholics. Six students can live in the school's Catholic center — with the added perk that the center overlooks Bill Armstrong Stadium, so residents can get front-row views of sports events from their bedrooms.
Many students said that Christian housing made it easier to live out their beliefs and work in campus ministries.
‘Gay’ Song Draws Catcalls
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION , April 13 — Administrators and campus groups at the University of Virginia have been unsuccessful in battling a popular, informal addition to the school song, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
When the song is sung at football games, after the lines, “We come from Old Virginia, Where all is bright and gay,” many students shout, “Not gay!” Students have added the phrase for the past decade, despite university officials’ pleas that they stop. Some students suspect that university opposition has made more students shout the phrase as a defiance of authority.
Singer Wins ‘PC Award’
WASHINGTON TIMES , April 9 — The Intercollegiate Studies Institute gave Princeton ethics professor Peter Singer its “Polly” award for outrageous political correctness on campus, the Washington daily reported.
Singer, a utilitarian, has written in support of euthanasia and abortion.
He most recently drew attention for writing a book review in which he defended bestiality, claiming that society should come to accept it just as society has accepted birth control and homosexual acts.
Catholic Schools, New Age Spirituality
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS , April 10 — Three Silicon Valley Catholic schools teach children to “tap their life-force energy” in hour-long sessions on New Age spirituality, the San Jose daily reported.
Mimi Latno teaches the qi gong meditation and visualization technique at Queen of Apostles, St. Elizabeth Seton and St. Martin of Tours schools.
Latno said she “blends” Western and Eastern religion in the classes. She teaches students to listen to the “spark,” or power inside themselves.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Catholic Schools Test Best in NYC
NEW YORK POST, March 22 — A new study found that New York City's parochial school students scored higher in math and reading than public school students, the New York daily reported.
The New York University study showed that minority and low-income students in parochial schools outperformed public school students from similar backgrounds.
In fourth grade, Catholic school students averaged 10 points higher in reading and seven points higher in math.
By eighth grade, that gap had risen: Catholic students scored 17 points higher in reading and 20 points better in math.
Teacher Prohibited from Questioning Darwin
LOS ANGELES TIMES, March 25 — School officials in Burlington, Wash., told a high school biology teacher that he could no longer teach that Darwin's theory of evolution was flawed, the Los Angeles daily reported.
Roger DeHart did not mention God in his classes, but he did propose arguments for intelligent design, the theory that scientific study reveals that the universe must have had an intelligent creator.
In 1999, after complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union, school authorities instructed DeHart to stop discussing intelligent design. Then, in March of 2001, DeHart was forbidden from even using materials that questioned Darwin's theories.
Carlow College Nixes Comic
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, March 30 — Carlow College, a Catholic institution in Pennsylvania, canceled an appearance by lesbian comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
Westenhoefer's agent, Steven Nash, said that the performance was canceled because of the comic's sexuality.
Grace Ann Geibel, the college's president, called the show “improper,” and the college declined to comment further.
Santa Fe Keeps Controversial Workshops
ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, March 21 — Public schools in Santa Fe, N.M., will continue to use pro-homosexual health class workshops, the Albuquerque daily reported.
Opponents of “Project GLYPH” workshops won a few token concessions: The curriculum's title has been changed from “An Anti-Homophobia, Prejudice-Reduction Curriculum” to “Valuing Differences,” and definitions for homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual no longer describe them as “normal.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Catholic Schools on the Web
NATIONAL CATHOLIC COLLEGE ADMISSION ASSOCIATION, March 19 — The National CCAA has launched a new Web site, http://www.catholiccollegesonline.org with ,sections for parents, high school college counselors, and prospective students. The site addresses questions like, When should I begin the college search? How can I find the best financial aid package? What should I bring to college? The site's search engine can also list all the colleges fitting a particular description — for example, “small liberal arts school in the Midwest.”
Harvard Can't Handle Pro-Life Posters
JEWISH WORLD REVIEW, March 14 — Matt Evans didn't think “Smile! Your mother chose life” was an inflammatory message, the online magazine reported.
Evans, a third-year student at the Harvard Law School, posted small signs with that message on student bulletin boards. Students ripped down the signs. A few days after a student confronted Evans about the posters, he was summoned by the dean of students and told that the dean was coming under pressure to ban all political messages from the bulletin boards. Evans was instructed to include contact information on his fliers, which had been unsigned.
Students posted unsigned anti-Evans fliers reading, “Smile! You're a simpleton.” The university did not attempt to locate the authors.
Loyola Scraps Classical Studies
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, March 15 — Loyola University Chicago has made a preliminary decision to dissolve its classical studies department in order to ease its financial woes, the Chicago daily reported.
The Jesuit university's decision would disperse the study of Latin, Greek, and ancient philosophy and literature throughout the school's other departments. Jesuit Father John Murphy, the department's head, protested, “In the principles of the Jesuit education, classics is primary.” He added that he had received no advance warning of the decision.
The change would cut funding for new books, visiting speakers, summer programs and other features. The final decision will be made in May.
Loyola has faced bad publicity and financial disarray, leading to a 33% drop in freshman enrollment in the last two years.