New McGrath Scholars Program assists Latin American students

Author: Dennis Brown

A new University of Notre Dame scholarship program named in honor of a respected and beloved Panamanian archbishop is making it possible for outstanding students from Latin America to attend his alma mater.p. Named in memory of Most Rev. Mark G. McGrath, C.S.C., archbishop of Panama from 1969-94, the McGrath Scholars Program at Notre Dame provides need-based scholarship aid to qualified students from throughout Latin America.p. In addition to the scholarship support, the program also includes a fund that provides students with support programs for a variety of counseling, tutoring, communication, cultural and social services.p. “We want to educate the next generation of leaders in Latin America in the traditions that have made Notre Dame a special place,” said Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., executive vice president of the University. "This scholarship fund allows us to invite the best and brightest students from throughout Latin America to study here.p. “Their presence will help shape our academic strategies as well, to give all of our students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will allow them to understand the larger global context in which they live. This is needed now more than ever.”p. Notre Dame currently enrolls about 760 international students from 100 countries worldwide, including 150 from Latin America.p. A native of Panama, Archbishop McGrath was a 1945 graduate of Notre Dame. He was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1949 and earned his doctorate in theology in 1953 from the Angelicum University in Rome.p. Archbishop McGrath served in several ministries in Chile from 1953-61, when he was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Panama. He was appointed resident bishop of the new diocese of Santiago de Veraguas in 1964.p. A member of numerous Vatican commissions, Archbishop McGrath served with distinction in the Second Vatican Council and held leading positions in the Conference of Latin American Bishops. He also played a central role in the affairs of Panama, particularly in facilitating the 1994 elections.p. Archbishop McGrath was elected to Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees in 1975 and served for 25 years. He suffered from Parkinson’s disease in his later years and died Aug., 4, 2000. During three days of national mourning in Panama, he frequently was described as a “giant of the faith.”p. More information on the McGrath Scholars Program at Notre Dame is available from David M. Morrissey, director of international advancement, at (574) 631-4083 or

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