November 28, 2018

As Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) celebrates its 100 year anniversary, Education Archivist Maria Mazzenga explores the school’s roots in a blog post on The Archivist’s Nook.

Mazzenga writes, “The origins of NCSSS lay in the training of women for war and reconstruction efforts both at home and abroad.  It would have been simple to train these women on the campus of Catholic University here in Washington, D.C., but the University still did not admit women in 1918, when it was decided by the U.S. Bishops that a training school for wartime social service would be created. So “Clifton” was established through the efforts of Fathers John J. Burke and William Kerby in 1918 in the Georgetown Heights area of Washington, D.C. for this purpose. Run by the National Council of Catholic Women, the school’s first dean was Maud Romana Cavanaugh, an ambitious and energetic woman who managed to open the school on November 25, 1918. Cavanaugh served as early faculty, along with Catholic University faculty members, such as Father John Ryan, Father John O’Grady, and Father Kerby, all well-known for adapting Catholic teaching to American social problems.”

To learn more about the origins of the school and its eventual move to the University, visit The Archivist’s Nook

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