(EVENT SPEAKER CHANGE) Mrs. Laura Bush to speak July 14 at ACE graduation ceremony



Mrs. Laura Bush will be the principal speaker Saturday (July 14) at the 12 th annual graduation ceremony for the University of Notre DamesAlliancefor Catholic Education (ACE) program.

The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall of theDeBartoloCenterfor the Performing Arts and is a ticketed event for the friends and families of the graduates.

The ACE program will confer master of education degrees on 84 graduates who have received instruction on campus the past two summers and served during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years in Catholic schools nationwide. They will join more than 700 ACE alumni, the majority of whom remain in education as either teachers or administrators.

Mrs. Bush is actively involved in issues of national and global concern, with a particular emphasis on education, health care and human rights. Among her initiatives in education was a historic trip toAfghanistanin March 2005 to witness firsthand the work of the Womens Teacher Training Institute, which is training women to lead classrooms that girls once were forbidden to enter.

A librarian by training, Mrs. Bush is honorary ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade, serving as an international spokesperson for efforts to educate people throughout the world, especially women and girls. She hosted the first-ever White House Conference on Global Literacy in 2006 to encourage international cooperation to build free societies through literacy. She also has been involved in teacher recruitment programs such as Teach forAmerica.

In conjunction with President Bushs visit to Notre Dame in May 2001 to deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree, the University established a scholarshipin Mrs. Bushs name. The Laura Bush Scholarship is awarded annually to an elementary or secondary school student enrolled in Catholic schools in her home state ofTexasthat are served by the ACE program. To date, five students have received more than $10,000 in tuition assistance.

Thomas E. Larkin Jr. and his wife, Margaret, ofLos Angeleswill be honored at the ceremony with the Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education. A graduate of Notre Dame and member of its Board of Trustees, Larkin is vice chair of The TCW Group Inc., Trust Company of the West (TCW), TCW Asset Management Co., and TCW Investment Management Co. He has served the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as a member of its investment committee and education foundation.

Founded in 1994 by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., the ACE program provides college graduates an opportunity to earn master of education degrees while serving as teachers in understaffed Catholic schools nationwide. In exchange for a modest stipend and a tuition-free graduate program, the ACE participants make a two-year commitment to teach in these schools.

More than 85 recent college graduates from a wide variety of educational disciplines enter ACE each year. They take courses and participate in teacher training projects at Notre Dame during their two summers in the program and are assigned to full-time teaching positions at schools in more than 30 cities and 14 states during the academic year. After two years, the students graduate with a masters degree, and about 75 percent elect to remain in education.

Five local schools -MarianHigh School,St. Josephs High School,St. JosephSchool, St. Bavo School and St. Vincent de Paul School – are served by ACE teachers.

_ Note to the media : The White House press office has provided information on credentials for this event. If you have questions, contact Ryan Narramore at 623-703-7782 or Dennis Brown at Notre Dame at 631-8696._

_ Contact: John Staud, ACE director, 574-631-7183 or jstaud@nd.edu

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