Commencement exercises for Alliance for Catholic Education to grant masters degrees

Author: Bill Schmitt

2012 Alliance for Catholic Education Commencement ceremony

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) will bestow master’s degrees on 108 Catholic school educators and leaders at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (July 12) at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is the featured commencement speaker.

Notre Dame will grant master of education degrees to 83 ACE Teaching Fellows who have served the last two years in 30 different communities across the nation in the innovative program that was founded in response to a call for talented, recent college graduates to serve as instructional leaders for children in under-resourced Catholic schools. Twenty-five educators will receive a master of arts in educational leadership from the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program. The initiative is the largest program of its kind, providing world-class formation to passionate Catholic school leaders.

This year’s graduates continue Notre Dame’s 20-year legacy of fueling Catholic schools with passionate leaders. These men and women bring a new imagination and zeal to help strengthen Catholic schools and empower marginalized children. The cohort of graduates brings the total number of ACE Teaching Fellows to more than 1,300 alumni who have served as classroom teachers in one of ACE’s partner schools nationwide. Seventy percent of them have continued their careers in K-12 education.

Since its inception in 2002, the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program has embraced a vision of leadership that promotes strong Catholic school culture, applies executive management skills and fosters academic excellence. More than 250 Remick Leadership graduates serve Catholic schools in 38 states and 82 dioceses around the world.

Casey will offer the commencement address as a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Before his distinguished career in law and public service in Pennsylvania and his first election to the U.S. Senate in 2006, Casey performed a year of voluntary service as a fifth-grade teacher and eighth-grade coach in inner-city Philadelphia.

Notre Dame Vice President and Senior Associate Provost Christine Maziar will confer the degrees on behalf of the University. The annual Commencement exercises will also feature remarks by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., the Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, who founded the Alliance for Catholic Education in 1993 along with Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C.

“We are blessed with talented and faith-filled graduates seeking to extend the gift of a great Catholic school education to as many children as possible. Their tireless commitment provides a witness of hope for Notre Dame, the Church and our nation,” said Father Scully. “They remind us that every child, especially the most vulnerable, must have the opportunity for a quality education. We are deeply grateful for their service and the support of their families.”

Contact: Bill Schmitt, Alliance for Catholic Education, 574-631-3893,