October 31, 2017

Event Will Mark 50th Anniversary of Land O’Lakes Statement

What makes a university Catholic? Can a university be faithful to its religious identity and pursue excellence? What is the relationship between the Magisterium and academic freedom? In 1967, a group of Catholic educators raised these questions and others in “The Idea of the Catholic University,” more commonly known as the Land O’Lakes statement. Though the statement was aimed at promoting greater academic excellence and societal engagement among Catholic colleges and universities, many questions remain about the adequacy of the vision which it laid out.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the statement, The Catholic University of America will host a conference Friday, Nov. 10, to explore the past, present, and future of Catholic higher education in the United States. “Land O’Lakes at 50: The Future of Catholic Higher Education” aims to provide constructive ways forward within the academy, Church, and society.

The conference will draw scholars and Church leaders from around the country including Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Boston, a University alumnus, and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Cardinal O'Malley, who earned both his master's and doctoral degrees at the University in the 1970s, also taught here from 1969 to 1973.

In a July 23 op-ed in the National Catholic Register, John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America wrote, “Fifty years after the Land O’Lakes conference, we academics speak frequently about a dialogue of faith and reason. This represents real progress from the narrower view put forward in 1967. It assumes that they — faith and reason — have something to say to each other. Openness to that dialogue is real academic freedom.”

The conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Heritage Hall in Father O’Connell Hall on the University campus, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E. For more information about the conference as well as biographies of the speakers, visit https://provost.cua.edu//LandOlakes.cfm. To register, visit https://cua.irisregistration.com/Register?code=LOL50.

MEDIA: To schedule an interview or attend this event, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at communications@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.

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