Steve Camilleri to speak at ACE Commencement ceremony

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ACE Commencement Ceremony in the Debartolo Performing Arts Center. Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame.

ACE Commencement Ceremony in the Debartolo Performing Arts Center. Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame.

Steve CamilleriSteve Camilleri

Steve Camilleri, the executive director of the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, Indiana, and a member of the first class of ACE teachers, will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2019 Commencement Ceremony of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) on Saturday (July 13).

“We are honored that Steve has accepted our invitation and will celebrate our ACE graduates with us,” said John J. Staud, executive director of ACE and the acting director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives.

“Steve famously became our first ACE teacher 25 years ago when he was the first person to say yes to our newly formed mission to strengthen, sustain and transform Catholic education. Since then, he has been a tireless advocate for compassionate service to others. He is a pillar in the community, an inspiration and mentor for emerging leaders, and perhaps the most vocal supporter of ACE.”

Camilleri taught fifth- and sixth-grade religion and English at Holy Ghost Catholic Grade School in Hammond, Louisiana. After his time in ACE, Camilleri returned to Notre Dame and worked in development and special events and as ministries director at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. While pursuing a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University, he launched the ND Vision program. In August 2004, Camilleri became the executive director of the Center for the Homeless.

ACE commencement exercises are set for 3:30 p.m. in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Notre Dame will bestow 132 graduate degrees upon a next generation of Catholic school teachers and leaders who completed periods of formation and service in two nationally recognized programs.

Eighty-eight ACE Teaching Fellows graduates will receive master of education degrees as the culmination of two years of academic study combined with teaching in Catholic K-12 schools in underserved areas around the country. Forty-four graduates from ACE’s Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program will receive master of art degrees in educational leadership, concluding 25 months of formation that prepared them to be principals and other leaders in Catholic education.

ACE will also give three awards during the ceremony. Elias Moo and Maura Shea will receive the 2019 Michael Pressley Award for Excellence in Catholic Education. This award is presented to graduates of the ACE Teaching Fellows program who have distinguished themselves in making significant contributions to the ministry of Catholic education. Moo is the superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Denver and a member of ACE’s 14th class and the Remick Leadership Program’s 15th class. Shea is a member of the 18th class of ACE Teaching Fellows and works for the Witherspoon Institute, a research center at Princeton University that strives to enhance understanding of the moral foundations of free and democratic societies.

The Michael Pressley Award for a Promising Scholar in the Education Field will be given to Max Engel, an assistant professor at Creighton University and member of the fifth class of ACE Teaching Fellows and the Remick Leadership Program’s third class. This award honors an ACE graduate whose work in academia echoes Pressley’s commitment to strengthening education through research and scholarship.